Shareholder at Fraser Trebilcock
Life After the Bench
Photo BY Erika Hodges
Paula Manderfield has always loved the law. She worked at a private practice as a lawyer for 10 years before serving the Lansing area as a judge. After serving the Lansing community for 20 years, she felt she had done what she could, and that somebody else should have a chance to bring change to the community. Manderfield was ready to reinvent herself, so she returned to private practice as a shareholder at Fraser Trebilcock.
Manderfield now works as a mediator for domestic, family law and civil litigation. She works to find alternative dispute resolutions through mediation of a civil lawsuit by bringing people together to find a resolution instead of going to trial. She meets with both parties to find a common ground that both can agree on without wasting so much time in a court case. When Manderfield was serving on the bench, she referred people to mediation in order to resolve their issues, and as a lawyer, she still believes that mediation is the best option, if possible.
Since returning to private practice, Manderfield has handled a variety of cases, and noted that she has a new found respect for lawyers.
“Most attorneys work really hard, and it’s easy to forget that as a judge,” she added.
When she isn’t mediating or in a court room, Manderfield enjoys many types of exercise, including swimming, weight lifting, cardio and yoga. She also loves to travel, and spent a portion of last summer traveling throughout Europe.