People’s Law School about to start fifth year

MARQUETTE – Returning for its fifth year, the People’s Law School will begin later this month with five sessions scheduled through the end of October.

“The People’s Law School is designed to be a community education program to help consumers understand legal procedures and help them understand what goes on behind the scenes in the legal process,” said Karl Numinen of the Marquette law firm of Pence and Numinen.

Participants in the classes can attend any or all of the session for a $25 fee to cover the cost of materials.

In addition to Numinen, there will be several speakers featured during the sessions, which beginSept. 26 and run for five consecutive Thursday nights in the Community Room at Peter White Library in Marquette. The classes all run from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

During the opening session, Marquette County Probate Court Judge Cheryl Hill will discuss “The 10 Most Surprising Things About My First Year on the Bench.” Northern Michigan university professor Steven Nelson and attorney Steven Pence will discuss origins of law and the structure of courts.

On Oct. 3, Gabe Cameron will talk about workers’ compensation and Social Security disability, followed on Oct. 10 by Ken Seavoy who will discuss estate planning. On Oct. 17, Numinen will talk about how trial lawyers select jurors.

The final session, on Oct. 24, will include Pence and Raymond O’Dea instructing the class on no fault law and tort reform developments and Pence, Numinen and attorney Michelle Halley will describe representing the unpopular or high-profile client.

Numinen said the Michigan Association for Justice has held similar People’s Law School classes in Lansing for several years. Five years ago, the association asked Pence and Numinen if they would be interested in sponsoring similar sessions in the Upper Peninsula.

They agreed and have conducted the school in conjunction with NMU and the association.

“This has been just a resounding success up here,” Numinen said.

The class attendance has ranged between 100 and 125 participants at each of the schools over the past five years. Sessions were held previously in a classroom at NMU’s Jamrich Hall, the U.S. District Courtroom in Marquette and the Peterson Auditorium in Ishpeming.

Numinen said the law school was previously given the Outstanding Student Program Award at NMU.

Pre-registration for the course is available online at or call the law office at 226-2580, Ext. 3. For more information, contact Nelson at 227-2182.

John Pepin can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206.