LANSING, Mich. — The Honorable Janelle A. Lawless, a long-time judge of Ingham County’s 30th Circuit Court, has announced that she will step down from the bench at the conclusion of her current term at the end of this year. By the time the time of her retirement, she will have served the people of Ingham County for over 30 years.
After receiving a Bachelor of Science Degree from Central Michigan University in 1977 and a law degree from Thomas Cooley Law School in 1981, Lawless went into private practice as a licensed attorney in Lansing. In 1990 she was hired as the Probate Court Administrator and Probate Register by the Ingham County Probate Court.
In 2002, Lawless ran for, and was elected to, an open seat on the 30th Circuit Court bench, and began her service as judge in January of 2003. She has been re-elected twice since then, most recently in November of 2014. Her current six-year term expires December 31, 2020.
During her entire tenure on the Ingham bench, Judge Lawless has been assigned to the Family Division of the Circuit Court, hearing cases relating to child protection, juvenile justice, adoption, and other matters involving families. Judge Lawless also served as Chief Circuit Judge from 2012 through 2017.
In addition to her service on the bench, Judge Lawless has been an active member of the Lansing-area community. She is a member of the Hall of Justice Learning Center Advisory Committee, the Community Corrections Advisory Board, and Lansing Community College’s Paralegal Advisory Committee. She is also an Honorary Board Member of the Lansing Area Safety Council.
The successor to Judge Lawless on the bench will be decided in this November’s general election.
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