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I’m very passionate about the law. I love being a lawyer.

Peter Lucido, '88

Peter LucidoPeter Lucido’s grandmother knew he would be a lawyer before he did.

“When I was very young I used to talk a lot, and my grandmother, right from  Italy, used  to say to me, ‘Avvocato,’ which is Italian for ‘lawyer,’” Lucido says. “‘He’s always talking— he’s going to be a lawyer.’ It just stuck with me.”

When Lucido graduated from Detroit College of Law (DCL), now MSU College of Law, in 1988, he received a diploma in Italian to honor his grandmother.  The gesture cemented his love for DCL.

One of eight children of a produce peddler, Lucido’s passage through law school didn’t come easy.  He attended classes at night, and paid his way by helping with the family business on Sundays; he even loaded his brother’s truck at 2 a.m. some mornings during his first year.  Before earning his J.D., Lucido had completed an M.B.A. and picked up licenses in insurance, securities, real estate, and building.

“I always wanted to be a lawyer, but I wanted a strong sense of business before going to law school,” Lucido says.  “If you’re versed at every aspect, you’ll know what to do and how to do it.”  An undergraduate internship with the Oakland County probation department became a full-time job while Lucido was in law school. His interest in criminal law led to an internship in the Wayne County public defender’s office and a clerkship with a criminal defense firm.  The clerkship turned into a full-time job after graduation, and Lucido quickly became a partner at the firm.

After three years, though, he was ready to strike out on his own.  The St. Clair Shores native currently runs a law practice in Clinton Township, where he focuses on criminal defense, family law, and civil litigation and employs six other attorneys who handle other practice areas.

“I’m very passionate about the law,” Lucido says. “I love being a lawyer.  People being able to get their day in court—it’s about fairness.  I went to school for the little people, the underdogs.”

Lucido credits his education at DCL for preparing him to run a successful firm. “My experience was rigorous,” he says. “It was overwhelming at times.  You were exposed to the Socratic method of teaching, and everybody was in the fishbowl together.

“I gave something to that education process,” he adds.  “They gave me more in return.  They gave me inspiration.”

Lucido says that, like many DCL grads, he initially struggled with disappointment over the school’s transition to Michigan State University.  Today he’s an enthusiastic supporter of his alma mater, which now just happens to be located in East Lansing.

A member of the Circle of Friends Benefactors Club, Lucido generously offers both his time and resources to his alma mater.  “If you give back with your classmates to the community as it exists now, you have a chance to resurrect a relationship with the community of people you once shared your experiences with,” he says.  “For DCL graduates, getting involved now can be a homecoming.  It’s about bringing back those individuals and those good feelings once shared during your law school days.”

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A version of this profile originally appeared in the fall 2011 issue of Amicus, published by the MSU College of Law.


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