John Colip, Butzel Long Photo

For more than four decades, John R. Colip has focused his practice on Corporate, Family, Probate and Real Estate Law, including business organization and estate planning. He has counseled and represented clients throughout Southwestern Michigan concerning myriad legal issues. He is a trained mediator and does facilitative as well as evaluative mediation. He is a trained Collaborative Divorce lawyer.


John Colip assists clients with corporate and business planning matters including transfers of ownership, business sales, succession planning, and other issues inherent to family-owned and corporate enterprises. His experience includes financing, acquisition, and operation of real estate projects of all sizes, construction contracts, purchase agreements, documents pertinent to condominium sales and acquisitions, and more.

Clients look to John for his deep experience in protecting assets, probate and trust administration, tax matters, and general corporate matters. He has been recognized by a leading legal publication for his notable experience assisting clients in the areas of Business, Family, Real Estate, and Trust, Will and Estate Planning Law.

Mr. Colip is a Shareholder practicing in the firm’s Southwest Michigan office. Before he joined Butzel, he practiced for nine years at a large firm located in Southwest Michigan. Prior to that John was a shareholder in a small law firm in Southwestern Michigan. John proudly served for four years as a Captain in the office of the Judge Advocate General, in the United States Air Force. Sharing his knowledge and experience is important to John. He has served in leadership roles in several professional and community organizations during the course of his career, including as former President of the Southwestern Michigan Estate Planning Council, the Southwestern Michigan Volunteer Center, the Buchanan-Galien Lions Club, and the Buchanan Community Schools. In addition, he was a member of the Board of Directors of the Lakeland Health Foundation, and other organizations.

John received his juris doctor from Valparaiso University and his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Notre Dame. He is admitted to practice in various courts in Michigan, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, and the U.S. Court of Military Appeals.



Valparaiso University, J.D.

University of Notre Dame, B.A.



  • State Bar of Michigan
  • Berrien County Bar Association, former Treasurer
  • Cass County Bar Association 
  • Southwestern Michigan Estate Planning Council, former President

Awards & Recognitions

Awards & Recognitions

Leading Lawyers - Closely & Privately Held Business Law; Family Law; Real Estate Law: Residential; Trust, Will & Estate Planning Law – 2023

United States Air Force, Judge Advocate Generals Office, Captain

Community & Professional

Buchanan Lions Club, former President

Lakeland Health Foundation, Board of Directors

Buchanan Community Schools, Board of Education - Trustee, 1994-2010

Miss Buchanan Pageant, Master of Ceremonies - 30+ Years

News & Events

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