Escanaba attorney Jessica Bray’s goal in law school was always to become a trial lawyer. “I participated in moot court competitions and in other clinics that focused on advocacy and speaking. I knew that one of my better attributes was public speaking, and I thought the best way to advance my career in law was to be in a courtroom as a trial lawyer,” she said.
Bray has been a member of MAJ since she was first sworn in as a lawyer in the State of Michigan in 1998, and is now an executive board member. “I decided to join because my mentor and partner, Richard Clark, was a member of MAJ, and for as long as I recall, he spoke so highly of the organization and the members involved in this organization. I have since adopted that same opinion and truly value being a member of MAJ,” stated Bray.
One of most valuable membership benefits to Bray is networking with other members. “I can be in a deposition or need to file a response brief, and I can instantly send out a query to people on list server and get responses back from unselfish colleagues that have had similar experiences and are very willing to help. This networking is very beneficial for me given that I am in a small firm in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where it is hard to have colleagues readily available for questions. Having these intelligent, experienced lawyers at my fingertips through MAJ is invaluable to my practice of law.”
Bray contributes to MAJ’s Justice PAC. “I feel Justice PAC is invaluable in electing legislators and judges in the State of Michigan. We are contributors to Justice PAC because we believe in their commitment to supporting those who represent the same ideals that we work for.”
What makes Bray’s firm unique is that in a small town theymust handle virtually every area of law that can pop up. “While we primarily do civil litigation, workers’ compensation, and Social Security Disability, we also specialize in probate matters and real estate matters that local community members frequently need help with.
“While I practice in a law office that is across the street from Lake Michigan. I know every day as I look out my window how fortunate we are to practice here, but I feel like that we are even more fortunate to be able to link into MAJ and other colleagues for any questions or problems we may have given that we are in a remote area of Michigan. There is always an open invitation as my partner, Richard Clark, used to say, stop in for coffee any time you are in Escanaba.”
According to Bray, her most memorable case was a carbon monoxide poisoning case. “My client was a propane delivery driver when he found a propane client deceased in his garage. While rendering aid, he became poisoned by carbon monoxide, as well, and we were able to get a good resolution for him and his family through our workers’ compensation department, as well as through a civil lawsuit.”
Outside the practice of law, Bray has three children and she enjoys golf and exercise. “We follow our children to all of their sporting events from softball to basketball and football. Our family tends to compete whether it be ping pong or playing basketball against each other in the driveway.”