GETTING TO KNOW: Jennifer Engelhardt


Attorney Jennifer Engelhardt joined the Ann Arbor firm of Goethel Engelhardt in 2015 after devoting more than a decade of her legal career to the defense of medical professionals and institutions. Throughout her career, she has litigated a variety of matters in both state and federal court, and also is an experienced appellate advocate.

Engelhardt is an alumna of the University of Michigan Residential College, and a graduate of Wayne State University Law School, where she served as editor-in-chief of the Moot Court program, and earned the Walter Nussbaum Award for outstanding performance in the professional responsibility course. Repeatedly selected for inclusion in Super Lawyers and Super Lawyers Rising Stars, Engelhardt practiced at firms in Wayne and Oakland County until 2015, when she joined Goethel Engelhardt.

By Jo Mathis
Legal News

What are the best and worst things about working with your husband, attorney Chad Engelhardt?
Best is that he brings me coffee; worst is occasionally having to admit that he’s right when we disagree.

What’s your proudest moment as a lawyer?
It’s always overwhelmingly gratifying when a client says we have made a difference in his or her life. 

When you were considering law school, what was Plan B?

At the time, there was no Plan B.  Plan A (my post-undergraduate career) was not something I wanted to commit to for the duration of my work life and the law was something that interested me, so I went for it.  I’m sure having watched my dad, attorney David E. Christensen, dedicate his professional life to helping the catastrophically injured also played into that decision.

What would surprise people about your job?
That being a lawyer is absolutely nothing like it is on TV or in the movies. Also, that sometimes it’s better for everyone involved (and for the legal process) if opposing parties and their attorneys litigate respectfully and to the extent ethically and circumstantially permissible, collaboratively.

What do you wish someone would invent?

Teleportation—what an amazing time saver that would be!

What was always written on your grade school report card?
 Some variation of the word “chatty” would be involved.

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received?

That I’m the best mom ever (from my daughter). 

What’s your most treasured material possession?
My coffee-maker.  

What’s the best advice you ever received?
Slow down.  

What question do you most often ask yourself?
What are you doing today?  It resonates both superficially and profoundly, although I don’t always answer it on both levels.

What’s the most awe-inspiring place you’ve been?
New Zealand.

What’s something you changed your mind about recently?
Brussels sprouts. 

What is one thing you would like to learn to do?

What would you like to do if you had more time?
Volunteer and travel more frequently.

What’s something most people don’t know about you?

I’m a total “neat freak” and organization enthusiast.