responding to family matters

Shelley A. Kester

Shelley Kester is an award-winning attorney, a community leader, a dynamic communicator and a caring individual. Her practice includes nearly all aspects of family law, including divorce law. She was among the first in Northern Michigan to complete the Family Law Certificate Program through the Institute of Continuing Education and the Family Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan. Ms. Kester has contributed to the legal profession in Michigan since 1992, serving as past president of the Grand Traverse-Leelanau-Antrim Bar Association and member of the Michigan State Supreme Court Bar. She is also a former member of the California State Bar. An active member of the State Bar of Michigan, Ms. Kester served on its Domestic Violence committee, Practice Management Committee as well as subcommittees of the Family Law Section. Most recently, she was appointed to serve on the Family Law Council for the Family Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan. A trained facilitative mediator and collaborative divorce attorney, she is a current member of the Collaborative Practice Institute of Michigan, the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals and Up North Collaborative Divorce Professionals.

Highly involved in serving her community, Ms. Kester was twice appointed by Governor Rick Snyder to the Child Abuse & Neglect Prevention Board and is the founding and past chair of the Traverse Bay Children’s Advocacy Center. She is also a founding officer and past Board Member of the Great Lakes Children’s Museum. Ms. Kester the proud daughter of Patrick Wilson, who serves of counsel to Wilson Kester.

Melissa L. Baumgartner

Melissa Baumgartner is a family law and estate planning attorney. From business professionals to stay-at-home parents, she has represented an array of individuals in divorce, post-divorce, custody, parenting time and child protective matters.

Prior to returning to Traverse City, Ms. Baumgartner practiced for nearly four years as an attorney with the Legal Aid Society’s Juvenile Rights Practice in New York, where she advocated as attorney for children in family court abuse, neglect and custody matters. She currently serves as Lawyer Guardian Ad Litem for Grand Traverse County Circuit Court, Family Division, where she continues to represent children in child protective proceedings.

Ms. Baumgartner earned her B.A. from the University of Michigan and graduated cum laude from Pace University school of law. A native of Traverse City, she enjoys spending time with friends and family and exploring Northern Michigan. Ms. Baumgartner is licensed to practice in Michigan and New York.

Patrick J. Wilson

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Of Counsel

Patrick J. Wilson has been engaged in the general practice of law since 1963, with emphasis in: estate planning, wills & trusts, probate, real estate, general & professional business, corporate & business law, non-profit organizations, healthcare, labor and school law.
Mr. Wilson was admitted to the Michigan Supreme Court and U.S District and 6th Circuit, Court of Appeals and is a past president of the Grand Traverse-Leelanau-Antrim Bar Association. With a long history of community service, he served as a board member and past president of the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce and served on the board for the Grand Traverse YMCA. Mr. Wilson is a former member of the Board of Trustees for Michigan State University, receiving gubernatorial appointments to the State Board of Ethics and the State Officers Compensation Commission. He was named distinguished Citizen of the Year by the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce, and Distinguished Alumni by Michigan State University. Mr. Wilson was also named Boss of the Year by the Grand Traverse Area Legal Professionals Association.

Mr. Wilson has the unique history of having been a member of both the MSU 1956 Rose Bowl team and the MSU 1957 Final Four Basketball Team. Mr. Wilson is a former United States Army pilot with a tour of duty to Korea. He married his college sweetheart, Sharalee Carter Wilson, in 1960. They are the proud parents of Shelley A. Kester and four other children, and are blessed with fourteen grandchildren.