’04 Westwood grad returns to practice law

ISHPEMING – When deciding where to practice law, it was a no brainer for Dominic F. Andriacchi Jr. to pick his hometown of Ishpeming and to join the family practice.

“This is where I grew up and everything I know is here,” Andriacchi said. “There’s a need for quality, caring and up-to-date legal representation in the area.”

Andriacchi, 27, was born and raised in Ishpeming. He graduated from Westwood High School in 2004 where he played football, ran track and wrestled. After graduation, he went on to play four years of football at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wis. where he received his bachelor’s degree in physical education as well as two minors – one in health education and the other in adaptive physical education. He is currently licensed to teach K-12 in Wisconsin in those three subjects.

While student teaching in two at-risk, inner-city Kenosha schools, Andriacchi took the LSAT, receiving an honor’s scholarship to Cooley Law School in downstate Auburn Hills.

“My father is an attorney and my parents have always guided me toward the law, so it’s always been my goal,” Andriacchi said. “Between that and the honor’s scholarship, I decided to go to law school.”

Andriacchi started at Cooley in the fall of 2009. Throughout law school, he accomplished many things, making the dean’s list and honor roll many times and receiving a book award in Alternative Dispute Resolution. During his first year, he volunteered at the State Appellate Defender’s Office in Detroit where he reviewed cases.

“I would review cases to see if people were convicted of crimes they didn’t commit by determining if the Detroit crime lab was involved somehow,” Andriacchi said. “In previous years, they had possibly tainted evidence used to convict people by not following proper procedures.”

During the summer after his first year, he interned as a law clerk for Marquette County Circuit Judge Jennifer Mazzuchi. Dominic also did some work at the Marquette County Prosecutor’s Office.

In his final year, he interned at the staff attorney’s office for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan in Detroit. There, he reviewed prisoners’ habeas corpus petitions and wrote recommendations to the presiding judge.

“If Michigan puts someone in jail and that person says ‘Michigan violated my rights,’ and they run out of options in the Michigan courts, they come knocking on the federal court’s door. I would review what they had to say and make recommendations to the federal judge on what to do,” he said. “I also worked in Cooley’s Estate Planning Clinic, creating wills and powers of attorney for indigent people in the area.”

Andriacchi graduated from Cooley Law School cum laude in May 2012 in the top 28 percent of his class. He sat for the Michigan Bar Exam in July. In November, he was sworn in as an attorney by Judge Mazzuchi and has been a practicing attorney with his father at Dominic F. Andriacchi, P.C. since then.

His focus is on criminal defense, estate planning and general civil litigation in Michigan courts and in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan.

“I understand that I’m young, but I’ve been around the law my entire life,” Andriacchi said. “I’ve been interviewing inmates and working on cases with my father since I was in high school.”

Andriacchi said he sees his father, Dominic F. Andriacchi Sr., as his mentor. One key advantage of working with his mentor is that if he ever has a question, all he has to do is walk across the hall.

“I understand how some people may be concerned with my age, but I’m actually better off than most other young lawyers and even some lawyers with a few years of practice,” he said. “I’ve worked on cases from where the client faced the possibility of life in prison to lawsuits where hundreds of thousands of dollars were at stake. Most people do not have those experiences nor the mentor that I have.”

Andriacchi is very passionate about the law and believes in justice, fairness and people’s rights. The law is his calling: it’s what he’s interested in and wants to pursue.

“When people are looking for a lawyer, they have two options,” he said. “They can hire a lawyer to do a job and the lawyer will only work for their money. Or, if they believe in my values justice, fairness and people’s rights they can hire me and they’re going to get somebody that works for them and their ideals.”

For more information on Andriacchi and his practice call 906-486-4457 or visit AndriacchiLaw.com.