Skip to content

Melissa Papke Recognized by Michigan Lawyers Weekly as Go To Lawyer for Real Estate and Condo Law

July 7, 2021

Melissa Papke, partner and chair of Varnum’s Real Estate practice, has been recognized by Michigan Lawyers Weekly as a Go To Lawyer for Real Estate and Condo Law.

Michigan Lawyers Weekly launched the “Go To” program to recognize leading lawyers in a particular field of law. Only 20 lawyers across Michigan received the Go To Lawyers for Real Estate recognition. Papke and other honorees will be featured in a special publication that includes their photos and profiles written by the MLW editorial team. 

Papke focuses on corporate and real estate matters, with an emphasis on commercial sales, acquisitions, leasing and redevelopment, as well as construction law. She has extensive experience in structuring primary and replacement real estate financing with banks, private investors, and joint ventures, including mezzanine and other uniquely-structured secured loan facilities.

Among Papke’s signature accomplishments to date is her extensive transactional work on redevelopment projects in the City of Detroit, involving acquisitions, leasing, construction, economic incentives, financing and other unique project considerations, often including opportunity zone-driven timing, entity and investment structures.

Papke is a Fellow in both the American College of Real Estate Lawyers and the American College of Mortgage Attorneys. She is a sought-after speaker on real estate law matters and she has presented to organizations around the country including the International Council of Shopping Centers, the American College of Mortgage Attorneys, and numerous presentations to the Real Property Law Section of State Bar of Michigan, among others.

Papke is consistently recognized in legal ranking organizations such as Best Lawyers® and Top Lawyers, both of which rely on peer nomination and balloting in order to be considered and ranked. She was also recognized by Crain’s Detroit Business in the 2017 class of Notable Women Lawyers in Michigan, recognizing those who excel in their area of practice as well as volunteer, teach and mentor.

Michigan Lawyers Weekly states the criteria for “Go To Lawyer” recognition as follows:

  • A lawyer who is an expert in his or her field, well-versed in the nuances of the case law, statutes and regulations clients will encounter.
  • A lawyer who is experienced and enjoys a record of success, with many cases and/or transactions that give testimony to the quality advice he or she can provide.
  • A lawyer to whom other lawyers make referrals because of his or her expertise and accomplishments.
  • A lawyer who can think creatively and identify all options for a client.
  • A lawyer you would name when a friend from another state calls and says she has a client who needs some legal help in a given part of our state.
  • A lawyer you might call yourself if you needed legal help in his or her field.

More about the recognition can be found at

Sign up to be the first to access our leading legal insights.

The link you have selected will redirect you to a third-party website located on another server. We are offering the link for your convenience. Varnum has no responsibility for any external websites and makes no express or implied warranties about any external websites.

Please be aware that contacting us via e-mail does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and the firm. Do not send confidential information to the firm until you have spoken with one of our attorneys and receive authorization to send such materials.