From Janitor to Lawyer: How Michael Gelfand Earned His Real

Decades later, Gelfand’s name morphed into one of Florida’s most recognized in real estate law. In his 35-year legal career, Gelfand has sat on the Palm Beach Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission and held leadership positions among his peers. He chaired the Florida Bar’s real property, probate and trust law section,

In the backstory to The Lincoln Lawyer, how did Louis and his family make their money? Is it all from real estate?

During their first meeting (in the detention cell), Haller asks Roulet several questions about his background.  Roulet reveals his father died when he was two.  This could explain the close relationship he has with his mother.

It does appear they have deep financial resources, but only clues are offered.

  • “She’s not accustomed to being told what to do.” (Roulet speaking to Haller about his mother, when he asks her to leave their family attorney’s office)
  • Mother plunking down $100K for Haller’s retainer (without blinking an eye)
  • Roulet’s Maserati, Range Rover and Rolex
  • Roulet telling Haller, when asked, that he made $600K last year (when he was asked).


Aside from that, the viewer is left to speculate on their wealth, which appears to come from their real estate dealings.  It does seem to be considerable, but not conclusively so.

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