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Northern Michigan lawyer specializes in helping veterans

TRAVERSE CITY — A Traverse City attorney, who also served in the Air Force, has as opened up a new practice called True North Legal Group. He said he’s here to help a population in our area that he believes is underrepresented.

“I just saw a need for a more community focused law firm, a legal group that was focused on helping people in the community,” said True North Legal Group Founding Attorney Joshua Traeger.

Traeger is fairly new to the Traverse City community, moving to the area with his young family in 2022. After law school, he joined the Air Force and used his legal degree as a defender and a prosecutor.


“So for ten years I was on active duty. Eight and a half of those years, I spent traveling the world handling the military’s most serious cases. Like JAG. Yeah, JAG. The Air Force. Oh, yeah, exactly. A few Good Men, if you’ve seen that, if you’ve seen the movie, you know I’m no Tom Cruise. I went from, you know, Korea to Germany to handle my cases, and it was amazing,” said Traeger.

Now out of the military and living in Traverse City, Traeger says he saw a huge need for veteran legal services. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, many of our Northern Michigan counties are home to veteran population percentages in the double digits, much higher than the national average of just under 7%.

“So we have, you know, in excess of 10% of Northern Michigan residents that have a military background in some counties around Traverse City like Benzie and Wexford and Kalkaska Counties. Those numbers are in the 12% to 15% range,” explained Traeger.

He is using his experience to build-up a community law practice that, among other things, helps his fellow veterans. Some of whom may have left the service with an unfavorable discharge characterization. It’s something that can hound them for years and stop them from receiving VA benefits.


“Take a look at the things you’ve done since separating from active duty or from the military, and then determine whether that service characterized action is truly appropriate. So the advice I always give veterans is if you’re in that situation where you’re not eligible for VA benefits, give yourself some time to build a record, a resume, so to speak, outside of your service that shows that you deserve a different characterization,” said Traeger

While VA benefits are a huge issue, Traeger says others like criminal defense, consumer protection, employment and fair housing practices play a big role for vets.

“And so we see our role in the housing problem as ensuring that veterans understand the proper way for an eviction proceeding or a foreclosure proceeding to happen,” he said.

Traeger says the values he learned as a kid and in the military have set him up to create his community and veteran centered law practice.


“So that that desire to serve that that belief that serving others is better than serving yourself is kind of at the core of why I made that decision.”

If you would like more information about True North Legal Group, please click here.

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