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Mobile Law Office is revolutionizing legal services in North Bay

'I can take my work with me, and not miss family time. It really does allow me to have very flexible hours'

“Jobs of the Future” is a series focusing on career paths, local job opportunities, programs, and tales of success that highlight North Bay's diverse job market.        

Upon returning to the Gateway City in 2018 after a two-decade absence, Michelle Lavigne Vezeau didn’t just come back to reconnect with her roots — she brought a vision for a new approach to legal practice. Lavigne Vezeau, a Corbeil native, faced twin challenges with the onset of the pandemic and the imminent expansion of her family with the arrival of a new baby, which spurred her innovative solution: a mobile law office.

Becoming mobile meant that Lavigne Vezeau had to transition from a traditional office environment to a home environment, eventually a mobile one.  What she discovered during this process was that while offering a mobile service removed barriers and provided convenience for her clients, she believes it also prompted them to feel the need to tidy up their homes before her arrival.

Essentially, she felt that the mobile service meant that her clients had added pressure to ensure their homes were presentable when she arrived. This realization became the catalyst for an innovative yet unconventional solution in March of 2022: transforming a Winnebago into a fully functional legal office, giving birth to LVLO Mobile Law Office.  

LVLO Mobile Law Office is designed to meet Lavigne Vezeau’s professional needs but also enables her to be present for her family. Featuring a consultation desk, and a driver's seat capable of rotating 180 degrees for face-to-face discussions, it’s equipped with Wi-Fi, enabling her to set up her workspace anywhere and enjoy various scenic views.

This mobile setup allows for flexibility “I’m either parked in my driveway, or I’m at a space where I can enjoy the view like at the waterfront,” she explains. “If I have to work on the weekends or we have to travel somewhere, I can take my work with me, and not miss family time. It really does allow me to have very flexible hours. I’ve been able to meet clients in Ottawa or Sudbury after they have moved from North Bay.” 

Lavigne Vezeau, an alumna of École secondaire catholique Algonquin, fluent in both English and French, says she always had a passion for law, graduating with Honours from Laurentian University in 2004, and completing her law degree at the University of Ottawa in the French Common Law program. Her legal career spans over a decade with the federal government before transitioning to private practice in 2015. 

Specializing in real estate law, estate law, wills, powers of attorney, and uncontested family law, Lavigne Vezeau advocates for non-confrontational legal approaches. She says what she really came to enjoy was drafting contracts and helping people get their homes but adds there is a lot the lawyer does to make all that happen.

She explains that clients don’t often witness the behind-the-scenes work that goes into real estate transactions. Because everything is available digitally, it provides the flexibility to meet clients where they are in the mobile office.  Lavigne Vezeau notes that she can meet clients anywhere, whether it’s during their lunch hour at work or their current residence. While clients may not see the stack of pages she has shifted through to ensure everything is ready for their closing day she finds satisfaction in this process and enjoys orchestrating how it all comes together.

Running LVLO Mobile Law with one employee, Lavigne Vezeau takes pride in building a successful practice and knowing that she’s helping people navigate life stages while doing something she loves. Lavigne Vezeau and her legal associate work in tandem, emphasizing a collaborative approach devoid of hierarchical structures. Working jointly on every file, they seamlessly collaborate and build upon each other’s insights; a uniquely beneficial practice in the legal profession.

Her message to aspiring lawyers is one of determination. "While the legal profession may seem daunting, 'Your passion will carry you through.' Being a mobile lawyer and providing the convenience that I do for clients just makes sense with an aging population and individuals with busy lives.  It is time for us as a profession to become more accessible to our clients.

“Up until the pandemic, the thought of people signing anything digitally or on a tablet was an abstract idea,” she says. The pandemic did allow for growth; the profession now accepts digital signatures which has facilitated the transition to mobile services like LVLO Mobile Law Office, enabling Lavigne Vezeau to seamlessly conduct legal transactions and consultations from any location.

LVLO Mobile Law Office is not just a convenient alternative; it represents a departure from conventional legal practices. It breaks barriers by bringing the lawyer directly to the client, embracing the benefits of personalized service. Lavigne Vezeau thinks, “Being a mobile lawyer is helping me stand out but I also think it’s sometimes too unique for some people. I feel like you really need to see it, to get it.” 

In addition to her legal practice, Lavigne Vezeau is deeply committed to sharing her knowledge and expertise with the community. She actively engages in offering educational sessions on estate planning, wills and powers of attorneys, recognizing the importance of empowering individuals to make informed decisions about their futures.

Moreover, Lavigne Vezeau serves as a board member for the Alzheimer Society of Sudbury-Manitoulin North Bay & Districts, The North Bay Regional Health Centre and the North Bay and Area Community Foundation. Her involvement in these organizations underscores her dedication to making a positive impact beyond the realm of law, contributing to the well-being and development of the community at large.

If you have a story idea for “Jobs of the Future” send Matt an email at [email protected]

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Matt Sookram

About the Author: Matt Sookram

Matthew Sookram is a Canadore College graduate. He has lived and worked in North Bay since 2009 covering different beats; everything from City Council to North Bay Battalion.
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