Meet a member: Susan Durian Metzger

Susan Durian Metzger is an attorney in the firm of Laaksonen Law Offices, P.C. She graduated cum laude from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan and completed her undergraduate studies in political science at the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina. While at law school, she attended an international human rights program at Trinity College, in Dublin, Ireland.


Attorney Metzger practices at the firm of Laaksonen Law Offices in Van   Buren, Michigan specializing in family law, specifically practicing in the areas of divorce, custody, child support, domicile, grandparents’ rights and paternity. She also practices bankruptcy law in the Western   District of Michigan Federal Court. Finally Attorney Metzger manages the firm’s criminal court appointed list.


Attorney Metzger is actively involved in the local community including serving as a board member for the Wings of God, Inc. (a transitional home which seeks to facilitate positive life changes for previously incarcerated women). She also serves as President of the Van Buren Bar Association. In her spare time, Attorney Metzger enjoys photography, history, travel, and spending time with her family.


Members of the Van Buren County Bar Association are dedicated to helping the people of Van Buren County.  Many of the lawyers of the VBCBA take work pro bono or at reduced fees.  Under Michigan Rule of Professional conduct 6.1

A lawyer should render public interest legal service. A lawyer may discharge this responsibility by providing professional services at no fee or a reduced fee to persons of limited means, or to public service or charitable groups or organizations. A lawyer may also discharge this responsibility by service in activities for improving the law, the legal system, or the legal profession, and by financial support for organizations that provide legal services to persons of limited means.

The above rule is not a requirement but an ideal.  In furtherance of that ideal, the VBCBA has debated whether or not to hold a legal aid clinic at the Paw Paw Library.  The majority of bar members appear to feel that a legal aid clinic would be a good idea.  However, as of now, the idea has yet to receive traction.  In the coming months, the idea may take hold.  Look to this website for further details.











The attorneys of Van Buren County welcome you to our website.  The purpose of this website is to provide an interface between the VBCBA, its members, and the public.  We will notify the public of news and events, and provide a way for the public to locate and contact local attorneys.

This website does not provide legal advice.  Nor does this website endorse any particular lawyers.

Some of the distinguished members of the Van Buren County legal community include the Honorable Kathleen M. Brickley, Honorable Robert T. Hetchel, Honorable Arthur H. Clarke III, Honorable Paul E. Hamre, Honorable Frank D. Willis, and Prosecuting Attorney Michael Bedford.

The current officers of the VBCBA are:

President Susan Durian Metzger,

Vice-President James R. Becker, and

Treasurer Brien Winfield Heckman.

HOW DO I BECOME A MEMBER?  To become a member of the VBCBA, one must be a member of the State Bar of Michigan, be in good standing, and must pay a $50 membership fee.  If you have any questions, contact Brien Winfield Heckman at (269) 353-1111, or write to the VBCBA at VBCBA, P.O. Box 54, Paw Paw, MI 49079.

For those looking for directions to the courthouses.

The 36th Circuit Court is located at 212 E. Paw Paw St., Paw Paw, MI 49079.  The Circuit Court is a court of general jurisdiction that handles cases where the amount in controversy is over $25,000, cases related to family law, and criminal cases where the maximum possible punishment is over one year.

The 7th District Court is separated into an Eastern and Western district.  The Eastern district is located at 212 E. Paw Paw St., Paw Paw, MI 49079.  The Western district is located at 1007 E. Wells St., South Haven, MI 49090.  District Court's handle summary proceedings (Land-lord tenant matters), cases where the amount in controversy is less than $25,000, and criminal cases where the maximum penalty does not exceed one year incarceration.