Tolbert & Tolbert LLC
When husband-and-wife lawyers Michael and Shelice Tolbert took a path less traveled back to their hometown of Gary, there were some people who tried to talk them out of it.
“People looked at us like we were crazy and asked why we would open a law firm in Gary?” Michael said. “If we had followed the conventional wisdom of others, we would be in Crown Point or Valpo, and what would that do for our community? We have grown so much through the grace of God by being home and have helped so many along the way. It’s about community, helping people, and filling a need.”
The duo’s faith-based law firm is rooted in Christian principles and includes litigation, personal injury, business law and mediation services. After working at larger law firms, they felt drawn back to Gary in 2015 after finding that there was a law firm desert in their hometown.
“We saw a need. Gary like most urban areas is a law firm desert. Based on statistics, we found that when you look at Gary vs. the region, there is a lack of lawyers in this area,” Michael said.
“I think it is important that the community sees its needs filled within its own community … having the services you need where you live,” Shelice added. “I think it is also important for children and those that aspire to do something similar to what we do, or our profession, see those who look like them in their own area.”
Working as a husband-and-wife team and as Christian-based lawyers really goes hand-in-hand for the couple, who met as children in Gary in 1987.
“‘We are all made in God’s image’ is in the back of my mind every time I talk to a client or when I am helping someone through their problems. I want them to be treated fairly and feel their problems will be handled correctly,” Michael said. “We are not passive about our faith. We let people know that we are believers, and it is part of our job to show the light of Christianity and show light in certain places that are dark.
“God honors marriages, and when He’s amongst us, nothing is impossible. Shelice is not only my life partner, but my business partner.”
“We complement each other on our approaches, and we understand what our profession takes. We are friends and have known each other since we were 12,” Shelice added. “We are counselors in the sense that we are helping people with their problems. We are getting them the best solution and with that comes our background of having faith, and God can guide us to getting the best solution to help our clients.”
Tolbert & Tolbert LLC
1085 Broadway, Suite B, in Gary