Passing the bar: Stowe-Lloyd returns home to take over Betz law firm.

February 11, 2015
Melissa Stowe-Lloyd

Melissa Stowe-Lloyd

Coming Home.

Many people have traveled the world and have had life experiences that their hometowns could never offer them, but many of those people are choosing to leave those grand ventures behind to move back to their roots in search of a slower paced lifestyle.

Mason County Press occasionally features these individuals in our series, “Coming Home.” Today’s feature is Melissa Stowe-Lloyd.

By Rob Alway. Editor-in-Chief.

There’s just something about the hometown. Maybe, more specifically it’s Ludington with its state park, sandy beaches and beautiful sunsets. It’s definitely about family too.

Melissa Stowe-Lloyd, 39, has decided to get back to her roots, raise her family and run a law practice in her hometown. She recently became a partner with Dave Betz and is preparing to take over his 50-plus year law practice in downtown Ludington. The firm is now known as Stowe-Lloyd Law, PLLC.

“I’ve always been drawn to coming back here,” Melissa says. After graduating from Ludington High School in 1993, Melissa attended the University of Michigan where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish and history in 1997.

“I always thought I was going to be a teacher and then I decided to go to law school,” she says. She studied law at DePaul University College of Law in Chicago and graduated from there in 2001. After clerking for a national law firm in Chicago for a while, she then moved to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida where she took on civil litigation and insurance cases for seven years.

Attorneys Melissa Stowe-Lloyd and David Betz and legal assistant Melissa Harvey.

Attorneys Melissa Stowe-Lloyd and David Betz and legal assistant Melissa Harvey.

“The firm was transitioning and I’m a Midwestern girl at heart. I moved back to Ludington in 2007 and practiced for a year with Clay Olmstead.” But, the larger city seemed more attractive at the time and she moved back to Ann Arbor in the Detroit metropolitan area. After a stint there she found herself back in Ludington again, this time working as an assistant prosecuting attorney for the Mason County Prosecutor’s Office. Then, Ann Arbor called again. There, she worked in the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office. She was then hired by the Thomas Cooley Law School.

For Dave, bringing Melissa into the firm was a natural choice. When he decided he was going to retire he advertised his firm was for sale. He says he had been working with an attorney from Ann Arbor who had expressed an interest in taking over the firm. However, that deal didn’t work out.

“Sometime last fall I thought about Melissa,” Dave says. “I sent her an email and asked her if she had an interest in coming back to Ludington. I told her I was retiring and was looking for someone to take over my practice. She said yes, she would be more than happy to talk to me. One thing led to another and we worked out the arrangements so I could retire.”

Dave says Melissa is a good fit for the firm.

“She brings in more energy and enthusiasm. I’m tired of practicing law. I’ve been doing it for 50 years. Melissa will be a good fit for the Mason County law community.”

Melissa agrees.

“Mason County is a good place to practice law,” she says. “There are a lot of great attorneys here and exciting times with new judges and changes in the courts.”

She is equally happy about being back in Ludington. Melissa and her husband, Rob, have a 14-month-old son, Leland and they want him to have the small town experience.

“This town providing me with a great childhood,” she says. “I had a great education that prepared me for adulthood and a career. Now, while many things have stayed the same in Ludington, the town is also striving.”

Being near family is the most important thing, though.

“I also enjoy being back here with family. My parents, Ed and Sue Stowe, still live in the same home where I grew up. My grandma is here as are extended family. It’s been nice to know that I could always come home.”

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