By: Joshua Sampson, Staff Writer
Growing up in Boyne City, Jodi Doak wanted to be a lawyer since she was 8 years old. After her mother married a lawyer, she saw his profession as a very interesting goal to attain in life.[private]
“It was the focus of my entire education and career,” she said. “I really enjoy my job too, it’s enjoyable and fun.”
Doak attended Harbor Light Christian School before graduating and furthered her education by transferring to Palm Beach Atlantic University. Afterward, she went on to Thomas M. Cooley Law School and tied for fifth highest at graduation – receiving 14 book awards for highest grade in an individual class.
“My father always told me that education is the most important thing for me to do,” Doak said.
Today, she works in Boyne City caring for family, business and criminal cases involving Boyne City residents. While she enjoys every aspect of being a lawyer, including all of her criminal cases, she has a special interest in child abuse and neglect cases. “I represent parents that are getting divorced,” she said. “If the state gets involved, seeking foster care, they appoint attorneys to represent the children and parents.”
She stresses that any case is equal in her eyes, regardless of her interest in child abuse and neglect cases, and she views all of her work the same. Even though she enjoys her work, she said the hardest part of the job can be when dealing with people’s important issues. “It can be really time intensive and stressful,” she said. “The issues you deal with are very important to people and can effect them and their whole family.”
Being a lawyer, Doak said, can also have repercussions on her own family’s life and time – she explained this so young people looking to be lawyers can better understand what the job is like. “I have a family and a son and I am a foster parent as well, and sometimes it is a difficult balance,” she said. “If your not careful, it can pull away from your personal life.”
Doak offers other advice too for young people seeking a job as a lawyer, and hopes it will benefit those who are unsure of the profession. “Become familiar with the field. Get out there and see what it is like to be a lawyer,” she said. “I know some people who when they figure out what being a lawyer means, don’t want to do it anymore.”
For those who have no interest in being a lawyer, but are instead confused whether to contact one, said Doak, the best advice is to ask yourself two easy questions. “Do you think you need a lawyer and why?” she said. “I’m really honest with people because I don’t like to waste their time and money.”
Doak said it can never hurt to consult a lawyer, and she gives free half-hour consultations at her firm.
Currently, her office hours are 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Fridays, and she is available by phone most of the time as well. To contact Jodi Doak with questions at her office, call (231) 582-0712.[/private]