Get to Know Your Family Law Advocate: Jackie Dupler
In late August, Foster Swift welcomed attorney Jackie Dupler as a member of the firm’s Family Law Practice Group. Jackie recently sat down for a Q and A session with the firm's Business Development team to discuss her practice areas along with her perspective on being a family law attorney.
Tell us a little bit about your practice.
My practice area here at Foster Swift is primarily in domestic relations including custody and divorce. I went to law school specifically so I could practice family law because families are the most important thing to me and if I am going to spend all my time, my education, my focus and my career on something, then I want it to be something I am truly passionate about, like families.
What is the most surprising or unknown fact about Family Law that most people don't know about?
Many people know certain things about family Law. Most people know about the drama and how contentious it can be. But I think most people don't see things from the same perspective that I have.
I have an opportunity to help people during one of the most, if not the most difficult situation that they'll ever have to go through and address the most important things in their lives: their children, their retirement, their life savings, even their goals, hopes and dreams. I have the chance to help them through that difficult situation and help them be in a better place than they ever thought they could be before the divorce.
I actually do love every single day because it is an opportunity for me to make a big difference.
What advice can you give for individuals going through or are considering going through the divorce process?
I definitely think it is extremely important to consider having an attorney by your side. There are people that choose to represent themselves but it is a complicated process and even more importantly, it's an emotional situation. Having someone who is really your advocate that at times can help "talk you off the ledge" is an incredible asset.
Having an attorney in your corner gives you the ability to have someone who has experience but is also a "neutral" and isn't as emotionally charged as you might be. An attorney can help guide you to make better decisions for yourself long-term.
In addition, I consider divorce, unfortunately and fortunately, to be a bit of a marathon. You owe it to yourself to be healthy for it. Obviously, health can come in many forms: getting enough sleep, eating right, exercising, and watching your mental health including your vices. Some people, when they are in a difficult situation or going through a trying time, might start drinking more. It's really important during a divorce to make sure you are taking care of yourself so that you are doing what's right for you and your family.
What or who inspired you to pursue a career in law?
Growing up, my parents said I was argumentative and that I could make for an attorney one day. But really, it was my mentors that I have had throughout my career especially those that I had once I began to pursue an interest in the law. I worked for Robin Omer before going to law school and he really inspired me to fall in love with family law and see the potential of what you can do for your client as well as their children, if you do it the right way.
In addition, after law school, I clerked for Judge Laura Baird and she really helped me to see from the bench that perspective as to what you can really do for a family. This really is what made me all the more excited about practicing law and family law in particular. That strengthened all the more when I went to work for Bernie Finn at my previous firm. The thank you notes he would get from clients for the amazing things he did for them, really inspired me to push myself and find a way to excel like he did.
When you are not practicing law, what are some of the activities you participate in your local community?
I really like the farmers markets that we have here in Lansing. I sometimes like to venture to the Detroit area and check out the Eastern Market. I enjoy cooking, walking my dog and spending time with my family and friends. I also volunteer on several boards. I am a huge MSU fan (Go Green!) and enjoy watching sports.
Jackie practices from Foster Swift's Lansing office and handles a wide range of family law matters, from straightforward divorce cases to difficult family situations involving substance abuse, domestic violence, sexual assault, mental health, co-parenting and financial difficulties.