michelle-halley-marquette-realtor-attorneyI am a problem-solving enthusiast. In both of my professional roles, attorney and real estate broker, that is exactly what I do. I know many think of attorneys as anything but problem solvers (“deal breaker” comes to mind among the nicer of the options), but I have a different approach to real estate and practicing law. In both realms, my clients have goals, and are facing obstacles to those goals. My job is simply, to help.

In real estate, the obstacles may be unfamiliarity with the Upper Peninsula and all it has to offer, the land-buying process, or wild lands themselves. My job is to help clients navigate those obstacles to accomplish their goal – finding and procuring the perfect property for them and their family to enjoy.

I bring a love for the UP and wild places to this work. I backpack, canoe, kayak, ski, camp, swim, hike, snowshoe and enjoy the UP in every possible way as often as I can. Luckily, I have two great kids who are usually game to join me, which makes it all the more fun! I grew up in the UP, hiking, just being in the woods, skiing and tagging along with my dad in the woods while he trained his champion English setters. My mom raised orphaned birds and re-introduced them into the wild. In many ways, my early life was charmed. And those experiences charmed me into a life-long love of being in nature. I am nothing less than 100% convinced that the best cure for just about anything is a good long walk in the woods, a few nights in a tent, or a dip in Lake Superior.

My law practice is largely centered on land-related matters. I litigate matters related to helping family farms, mineral rights, easement disputes, zoning and environmental issues. I usher land transactions to completion and help local businesses thrive. My legal experience and training is a great asset for real estate work. In my practice of law, my clients and colleagues know that my roots are in the UP and that my approach involves keeping it and its communities healthy and moving forward.

It’s no different in real estate. My roots are in the Upper Peninsula, and helping people who care about it, and want to help care for it, is my role here. I am deeply grateful to live in such a beautiful place with such warm and caring people. And, I am enthusiastic about helping others experience it fully. The more of us who love it, the better cared for it will be in the long run.

Last but not least, my most important job has always been that of a mother. I have two young adults whom I love dearly and who constantly impress me. Though one of them is pursuing a career out west while the other is attending Michigan Technological University, we make it a priority to get together several times a year. When we are reunited, we enjoy hiking, Lake Superior dipping, picking berries, paddling, and (highly competitive) card games. I am proud to say that I have passed along my love for the outdoors to my children who both enjoy mountain biking, skiing, backpacking, and hiking in their free time. They were, like I was, lucky to grow up here.

This place is worth getting to know. The people and animals who live here are worth getting to know. And one of the best things about it is that the place and its inhabitants provide a context for living that is beautiful, nurturing, challenging and inspiring.

Freda Michelle Halley

Real Estate Broker

Real Estate Broker, 2015-Present

  • Associate Broker, U.P Waterfront Co.
  • Represent buyers and sellers of wild lands, whole lakes, and luxury real estate in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Legal Experience, 2000-PRESENT


  • Effectively advise corporations, farms, non-profit organizations and individual clients in
    • real property law,
    • employment discrimination,
    • municipal law,
    • farm law, and
    • limiting liability.
  • Negotiate and close commercial and residential real estate transactions in excess of $1 million.


  • Success in federal court, state circuit courts, the Michigan Court of Appeals and Michigan Supreme Court; including briefing, motion practice and all aspects of oral argument and trial.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate about complex technical and legal issues in plain language.
  • Precise and thorough preparation of expert witnesses and testimony.
  • Ability to maximize opportunities and synergies within teams of attorneys, fact witnesses and expert witnesses.

Administrative Procedures

  • Demonstrated ability to navigate administrative agencies effectively including the Federal Communications Commission, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, United States Geological Survey and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and numerous state agencies across the Great Lakes region.
  • Targeted use of the Freedom of Information Act to obtain critical information.

Case and Project Management

  • Leader in strategic decision-making and budgeting for multi-million dollar litigation and transactions.
  • Excel at short-term and long-term prioritization.
  • Ability to utilize media exposure in high-profile litigation.
  • Solution-focused.

Statute and Ordinance Development

  • Effective representation in development of state statutes and rules, zoning ordinances and federal rules.


  • University of Oregon, Doctor of Jurisprudence (with Honors); May 2000, Cert.: Environmental and Natural Resources Law
  • Northern Michigan University, Bachelor of Arts & Master of Fine Arts; 1993 and 1995 respectively, Dean’s List (all semesters)


  • Enjoy two children, McKenzie and Morgan, and camping, canoeing, kayaking, gardening, bee-keeping, skiing, snowshoeing and chicken-tending
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