They say you can tell a lot about a person from a round of golf.
You can gauge someone’s good will, we’re told. You can also measure the level of sportsmanship and adherence to a spirit of fair play and integrity.
If his showing on the golf course is any indicator of his performance in the courtroom, then John F. Schaefer of The Law Firm of John F. Schaefer is a hole in one.
Schaefer, who touts a 73 as his personal best, has seen great successes both on the golf course and in the courtroom — rightly earning the title as one of Michigan’s top family law attorneys.
He’s been in the practice of providing quality legal service to clients for 40 years and says he was always interested in law. However, his sights were set for a while on a football career until he injured his knee — which wound up changing his professional trajectory.
The family law giant was raised in Birmingham and attended Cranbrook School. His first exposure to law and legal work came from his father, who attended law school but left, due to the expense, and started his own businesses. Schaefer’s entrepreneurial father, who could draft his own legal contracts for his business ventures, inspired Schaefer and stoked his interest in the law.
Schaefer’s knee injury cut his college football career short, though he kept hope for a professional career.
“I thought I was good enough to play in Germany for the Army, so I intended to go into the Army and serve in the Special Forces,” Schaefer says. “I was all set up to go, and I failed the physical because of my knee.”
Schaefer spent the next few years exploring his career options. He worked a stint in advertising with the J. Walter Thompson Co., and he spent time as a substitute teacher at local schools. The teacher became the student again when Schaefer decided to attend the Detroit College of Law, one of the nation’s oldest free-standing law schools.
“I always felt like that’s what I really wanted to do,” Schaefer says. “But I had been postponing it with all these other things.”