Michael J. Jasaitis, Crown Point, First District, is a partner at the firm Austgen Kuiper Jasaitis, practicing in municipal law, real estate, school law and civil litigation. Notably, Michael represents high school student-athletes across the state facing eligibility and disciplinary disputes.
Michael is a member of the Lake County (past president), Indiana State (chair, Young Lawyers Section, 2010-2011; mentor, Mentor Match) and American bar associations. He is also a member of the Calumet American Inns of Court. Michael contributes his time to various local civic and community groups, and serves on the board of directors of the Lake Area United Way. He received his B.A., with honors, from Valparaiso University in 1997. He received his J.D., magna cum laude, from Valparaiso University School of Law in 2000, where he was a member of Law Review and served as president of the Student Bar Association. He is admitted to practice in Indiana and Illinois.
Michael and his wife, Katrina, have three children, Jonas, Stella, and Levi.
Michael was born in East Chicago in 1974.
Professional enjoyment: the opportunity I would not otherwise have to serve others in a variety of ways. It is enjoyable to challenge oneself to utilize creativity, whether written or oral, coupled with preparation, to assist a client in resolving issues or solving problems. Without question, seeing a smile on someone’s face after helping him or her in a time of need is without description.
Your inspiration: I had a high school teacher who encouraged me to pursue the law career for various reasons. It always appeared to be a field where an individual could make a difference, and I have found that to be true. After a few college experiences and meetings with those in the practice of law, I solidified my decision to attend law school and enter the practice.
Why bar association involvement: With a bar association, the opportunity to serve goes beyond our clients, and allows us (as a group) to extend service to the community and fellow lawyers. The bar association gives us greater access to a network of attorneys and to the dissemination and exchange of ideas about our respective crafts.
If not a lawyer: A realistic profession would be a teacher/professor, as I have already gotten a taste of that. However, hosting a talk show or performing stand-up would each be the pipe-dream occupation.
Fav hobbies: spending time with my family and sports, especially soccer. I currently coach my son's team and there is no better feeling than to see the joy on his and his teammates' faces.
Fav book or author and current reading: I enjoy reading John Maxwell and John Grisham, although I tend to find myself currently spending a lot of time on legal research websites, in between Dr. Seuss books.
Fav vacation spot? Cabo San Lucas and/or St. Lucia
Fav food or restaurant: I’m a huge fan of desserts in general, but my grandmother’s homemade napoleon cake tops the list. My favorite nearby restaurants are Gamba and Ciao Bella, two Italian restaurants close to home. If traveling to New Orleans, a stop at the oyster bar at the Bourbon House is a must.
Top of my bucket list: taking a month-long vacation with my immediate family and watching my children achieve great things