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Meet Angela

Angela Cole, a local attorney with 20 years experience, has filed her candidacy for Midland County Probate Court Judge. She is seeking to succeed Judge Dorene S. Allen, who is slated to retire from the bench at the end of 2024.

A Passionate and Qualified Candidate

"I'm ready to serve Midland County as the next Probate Judge," Cole said. "To me, being qualified for this position involves more than possessing legal expertise or sitting on the bench. I have extensive experience working directly with impacted children, families, and visiting foster care homes and juvenile centers. I have a strong record of community service and regularly attend training and conferences to stay current with the law. Additionally, I have comprehensive and relevant court administration and estate planning experience.

Legal Background and Advocacy

Cole has been a licensed attorney since 2003 and has law offices in both Midland and Sanford. A well-known legal advocate for children and the underserved, she owns her private practice and is also executive director of Affordable Legal Care, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit she founded in 2018.

She earned undergraduate degrees from Delta College and Northwood University and received her law degree from Michigan State University – College of Law.

Impressive Court and Private Experience

Cole spent several years in Midland Probate Court, dedicated to the youth in Midland County as the attorney referee -- making decisions in juvenile delinquency and child abuse and neglect cases. Concurrently, she served as a magistrate with the 75th District Court and was the deputy trial court administrator for the 42nd Circuit Midland County Court – Family Division.

In private practice, Cole is a highly sought-after special prosecutor, currently serving in multiple counties across Michigan. In her role as special prosecutor, she represents the Department of Health and Human Services in child welfare cases. She also acts as a court-appointed attorney in a considerable number of child abuse and neglect cases representing impacted children, mothers, or fathers. She said that her work in private practice provides a keen sense of understanding of putting together families through reunification, adoption, guardianship, child support, custody and visitation disputes, divorce and separate maintenance, and payment of child support while working closely with the Friend of the Court.

Driven by Hope and Compassion

"When I'm asked about my dedication to this area of law, I explain that it's driven by hope – the aspiration to positively impact at least one child's life or to support a parent in acquiring better understanding and resources as they strive to reunite with their child," Cole said.

Cole said she is extremely qualified and possesses a deep knowledge of the inner workings of the Probate Court. She often visits children and families in foster homes or in the homes of their parents, observes parenting time, works one-on-one with children in neglect and abuse cases, and makes recommendations for the best interest of each child.

"While working in the courtroom, a probate judge needs to be compassionate and comfortable with a variety of people, especially those afflicted with drug addiction, affected by poverty, or impacted by mental, developmental, and/or physical impairments," Cole said. " Interacting with individuals and immersing myself in this setting each day is what persuaded me to pursue the Probate Judge position.”

Recognition and Community Involvement

For the past five years, Cole was voted “Best Attorney” in every attorney and law firm category by voters in the Midland Daily News Reader’s Choice Awards. She withdrew from the awards in 2023 after being nominated in every category due to the upcoming election.

Cole is a member of the Midland County Bar Association, and previously served as its president. Prior to joining the County of Midland in November 2014, Cole was a Dow Corning corporate attorney with global responsibilities, and a judicial law clerk for Honorable Paul J. Clulo and Honorable Thomas L. Ludington, both of the 42nd Circuit Court in Midland County.

Cole grew up in Midland County and raised her three sons here, deep roots which she says make her even more invested in the community. Her community commitment includes participation in activities and boards of many local charitable organizations.

Cole is a 2011 graduate of Leadership Midland and is the 2023-2024 president of the Midland Noon Rotary Club. Cole has been an adjunct professor for Delta College since 2018, teaching juvenile law to police cadets. In response to the 2020 dam failures which caused historic flooding in Midland County, Cole stepped up to coordinate community efforts in the face of overwhelming need. Balancing her private practice and non-profit responsibilities, her flood mitigation efforts included months of coordinating thousands of community meals, free legal services, coordinating donations, and working to provide a local senior with a replacement home after hers was destroyed.

A Commitment to Serve Midland County

“Running for Probate Judge is all about continuing my service to the Midland community; and with my knowledge, compassion and experience in this area, I am the perfect fit to be Midland’s next Probate Judge.”

Paid for By
the Committee to Elect
Angela Cole Probate Judge
5915 Eastman Avenue Suite 100
Midland, MI 48640
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