Mishawaka-based law firm to open soon in Dowagiac

Published 11:01 am Friday, February 26, 2016

The pool of professional services offered within the limits of the Grand Old City will soon be getting a bit larger.

Mishawaka-based law firm May, Oberfell & Lorber will soon be moving into their new office on the first floor Dowagiac’s James E. Snow Professional Building, located at the corner of Main and Front streets downtown. Crews working for the city have spent the last several months preparing the space for them to move into, with the firm expecting to have the office ready for them to move in the week after next, said Marcel Lebbin, a partner with the law office.

The office will act as an extension of the firm’s main Indiana office, with one or more attorneys working from the Dowagiac location five days a week, Lebbin said.

May, Oberfell & Lorber was founded in 1856, and is considered the oldest law firm in South Bend. The firm, which handles a full range of civil legal services, has 23 active attorneys, nine of which are licensed to practice in the state of Michigan, Lebbin said.

“We’ve been around for a long time in the Michiana area,” Lebbin said. “We’ve been doing business on both sides of the state border for more than 100 years.”

The firm has several clients in the Dowagiac area, and has recently dipped its toes into expanding its presence in the area by opening an office in Sister Lakes. The firm was enticed to take the full plunge into the Dowagiac area by Mayor Don Lyons, who convinced representatives to open up a satellite location in the city.

“We felt their services would be a good fit for our community and would work out well for everyone,” Lyons said. “We’re very excited that they’ll be here.”

While representatives were shown several possible buildings, the firm very quickly settled on the Snow Building for their Dowagiac location, Lyons said. The city signed a lease with May, Oberfell & Lorber in October for space on the first floor, and has been working on getting it ready for the new tenants ever since.

“We’re very comfortable with the building and amenities, and we have a great location,” Lebbin said. “It’s right there downtown.”

The law office will join the Dowagiac office of Advanced Dermatology and the Van Buren/Cass County Health Department as the tenants of the professional building, rounding out the number of services the location will soon offer residents of Dowagiac.

“[The building] will represent them well and they’ll represent it well,” Lyons said.

Lebbin said he and other attorneys with the firm are excited to get up and running in the new office space, and to give Dowagiac residents another source for legal representation and advice.

“I would encourage people to stop by and get to know us,” Lebbin said. “We want to be part of the community.”