Natalie brings her education, training, experiences, and life lessons to bear in her passionate work as a family law practitioner, mediator, and appellate attorney. Natalie will listen to what you need, want, and expect out of your process and help you find the right approach to navigating your family law matter. She will strive to help you reach resolutions to your problems in ways that help you emerge in one piece and with a bright future.
Natalie believes that many people endure the traditional judicial process simply because no better option is made available to them. She is convinced that when given the choice between a potentially long, destructive court battle and a private, people-centered opportunity to control one's own future, most people will choose the latter. That is why she offers her services as a collaborative attorney or as a neutral mediator to those facing divorce, child custody matters, or other difficult family issues.
One size does not fit all, so when you are in emotional turmoil facing some of the most difficult decisions of your life, Natalie will help you see and focus on the long-term, family-friendly benefits of a respectful resolution, in or out of court.
In her life outside work, Natalie is an avid backpacker and intrepid traveler. She’s visited all fifty states (Alaska was number fifty!) and has traveled three continents so far. Her proudest outdoor accomplishment is summiting Mt. Rainier’s 14,410 peak, and second to that, braving the world’s highest bungee jump over the Zambezi River in Africa. A former opera singer, Natalie admires all genres of music and enjoys an annual trek to Blissfest, Michigan’s best summer music festival. She enjoys cooking and gardening, but loves the time-saving benefits of Blue Apron and Door-to-Door Organics!
Natalie strongly values community and connection. Her love for good works, service to others, and world travel landed her in the Peace Corps in Zambia, Africa, where she lived in a mud hut without electricity or running water for two years. She loved the simplicity of living without modern technology and conveniences, although the six-mile bike ride to the post office was a trek if there was no letter from home waiting! Coincidentally, she loves the immense variety of technology in today’s world and is always looking for new ways to implement cutting-edge applications that improve client service to the firm.
Natalie credits yoga, meditation, her amazing husband, and the love of her four cats with helping her stay grounded and focused in this challenging profession.
Before founding Alane & Chartier with business partner Mary Chartier, Natalie served as a staff attorney to Michigan Supreme Court Justice Michael F. Cavanagh and Michigan Court of Appeals Judge Stephen L. Borrello and worked as a Prehearing Attorney in the Michigan Court of Appeals Research Division. She also clerked at one of Lansing’s premier plaintiff firms and ran her own independent contracting business providing legal research and writing services to area attorneys.
After graduating cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts at Central Michigan University, Natalie attended graduate school at the University of Kentucky. She spent two years in the Peace Corps and was then Chief Operating Officer of an entrepreneurial technology company, which she oversaw during the commissioning and implementation of Internet service provider software (back in the day when that was somewhat more novel!).
Along with running Alane & Chartier, Natalie has taught Scholarly Writing, Moot Court, and Advanced Legal Writing, and Family Law at Western Michigan University School of Law. She speaks and writes prolifically on family law topics across the state and country.
Professional Activities/Community Involvement
- American Bar Association
- Family Law Section
- Law Practice Section
- Council of Appellate Lawyers
- International Academy of Collaborative Professionals
- State Bar of Michigan
- Family Law Section
- Appellate Section
- Ingham County Bar Association
- Ingham County Bar Foundation (Fellow)
- Institute of Continuing Legal Education (Family Law Advisory Board Member)
- Lansing Area Collaborative Practice Group (Founder and Board Member)
- Collaborative Practice Institute of Michigan (Former President, Former Vice President, Former Treasurer)
- Child and Family Charities (Former Board Member)
- Resolution Services Center of Central Michigan (Former Board Member)
- National Women’s Law Alliance (Former Board Member)
- Women Lawyers Association of Michigan
- Association of Family and Conciliation Courts
- NORML Legal Council
- Peace Corps
Awards and Recognitions
- Outstanding Woman in the Law, Michigan Lawyers Weekly
- Outstanding Woman Law Student, Women Lawyers Association of Michigan
- Distinguished Student Award, Western Michigan University School of Law
- Winner and Best Advocate, National Appellate Advocacy Competition, NW Region, NYC
- Second Best Advocate, National Appellate Advocacy Competition, National Finals, Chicago
- Best Advocate and Finalist, Intraschool Moot Court Competition
- Best Advocate, First Year Moot Court Competition
- Interest-based negotiation: How an Orange Can Help You Get What You Want, National Association of Career Women, Lansing Chapter’s May Luncheon, Lansing, 2017
- Institute of Continuing Legal Education, Family Law Institute, Novi, 2016
- NORML Legal Council Seminar, Aspen, 2016
- Ingham County Bar Young Lawyer’s Association, 2016
- Referee’s Association of Michigan, Mackinac Island, 2015
- Institute of Continuing Legal Education, Family Law Institute, Novi, 2015
- Upper Michigan Legal Institute, Mackinac Island, 2014
- State Bar of Michigan Family Law Section Mid-Winter Conference, Peter Island, British Virgin Islands, 2014
- State Bar of Michigan Family Law Section Mid-Winter Conference, Riviera Maya, Mexico, 2014
- NORML Legal Council Seminar, Key West, 2014
- Institute of Continuing Legal Education, Family Law Institute, Plymouth, 2013
- State Bar of Michigan Family Law Section Mid-Winter Conference, Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands, 2013
- Michigan Judge’s Association, Mackinac Island, 2012
- Institute of Continuing Legal Education, Family Law Institute, Plymouth, 2012
- Shiawassee County Bar Association, 2011
- Institute of Continuing Legal Education, Family Law Institute, Plymouth, 2011
- Institute of Continuing Legal Education, Family Law Institute, Plymouth, 2010
- International Academy of Collaborative Professionals Annual Forum, Washington D.C., 2010
- Thomas M. Cooley Law School, Lansing, Michigan, J.D., Magna Cum Laude
- University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, M.A. A.B.T., Rural Sociology
- Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, Michigan, B.A., Cum Laude, Voice Performance, Sociology
- Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida (two years of really great football!)