Archive for the ‘Professionals of Color’ Category.

Entering Class of Associates Is the Firm’s Most Diverse Ever

2015 Entering Class

As reported in the Grand Rapids Business Journal, Warner Norcross & Judd’s entering class of new associates is the firm’s most diverse class of new associates in the firm’s history. The new attorneys, who have all been admitted to the State Bar of Michigan, will practice in the Grand Rapids office of the firm. They are:

  • Ashley G. Chrysler, who received her law degree from the Michigan State University College of Law summa cum laude where she was senior managing editor for The Michigan State Law Review. She also holds a bachelor of arts summa cum laude in political science and criminal justice from Saginaw Valley State University. Chrysler has held numerous internships, including for Michigan Court of Appeals Research Division, Ingham County Probate Court, Saginaw County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and Bay County Personnel Department. She won the American Bar Association National Appellate Advocacy Competition.
  • Mi-Hae Kim, who received her law degree from the MSU College of Law magna cum laude where she was managing editor for The Michigan State International Law Review. She also holds a bachelor of arts in economics from the University of Michigan. Kim has served as judicial clerk for the Hon. John C. Griffin of the Circuit Court of Cook County in Chicago. She also served as managing member of Citridian Logistics, LLC in Grosse Pointe.
  • Danyale M. Phillips, who received her law degree from the MSU College of Law where she worked with the State Appellate Defender Office as a student attorney for the Plea and Sentencing Clinic. She also holds a bachelor of arts in political science from Spelman College in Atlanta. Phillips has served as legal intern for Spectrum Health and as administrative support specialist for the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.
  • Kent D. Sparks, who received his law degree from the MSU College of Law summa cum laude where he was senior notes editor for The Michigan State Law Review. He also holds a bachelor of arts with high distinction in education from the University of Michigan. He is a trained civil and domestic mediator. He taught science and history at Northville High School prior to attending law school. He also served as an elected member of the board of education for the Whitmore Lake Public Schools from 2009-2012.
  • Amber M. Underhill, who received her law degree from Notre Dame Law School. She also holds a bachelor of arts degree in Spanish from Grand Valley State University. Underhill externed with the University of Notre Dame’s Office of General Counsel and has previously served as intellectual property paralegal for Warner Norcross.

Warner Norcross Issues 8th Annual Diversity and Inclusion Report

2014 DIAR

Warner Norcross & Judd has issued its eighth annual report regarding the firm’s initiatives to become a more diverse and inclusive organization. The 2013 Diversity and Inclusion Annual Report includes a letter from Managing Partner Doug Wagner in which he reviews the firm’s progress. It also includes brief articles regarding some of the firm’s diverse professionals and a demographic profile of the firm. To see a copy of the report, click on the image above. Copies of the firm’s annual reports for 2006 and 2012 may be found on the firm’s website by clicking here.

Videos from grab Law Tell Why Two Young Lawyers Chose to Live and Practice in Grand Rapids

grab LAWgrab Law has posted two more videos in which young lawyers tell why they have chosed to live in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  The new videos feature Grand Rapids lawyers Charissa Huang and Jeff Kemperman who each talk about their involvement in the community.  grab LAW is an initiative of theManaging Partners Diversity Collaborative to help match minority and female attorneys with law career opportunities in West Michigan. 

 Learn more at and follow grab LAWon FacebookLinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter.

Warner Norcross & Judd is a charter member of the Managing Partners Diversity Collaborative. 


Young Attorneys Tell Why They Chose to Start Their Careers in Grand Rapids in this grab LAW Video

Warner’s Kelechi Adibe is among the attorneys interviewed in this great video from grab LAW about what Grand Rapids has to offer young professionals.  grab LAW is an initiative of the Managing Partners Diversity Collaborative to help match minority and female attorneys with law career opportunities in West Michigan. Learn more at and follow grab LAW on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Warner Norcross & Judd is a charter member of the Managing Partners Diversity Collaborative. 

Warner Attorneys Participate in Workshop on Business Development for Women and Persons of Color

Workshop 9-10-13Nine Warner Norcross & Judd attorneys were among 52 attorneys who participated in “Growing Your Practice: A Workshop on Business Development,” targeted at female attorneys and attorneys of color.  The half-day workshop, which was held on September 10, 2013, was sponsored by the Managing Partners Diversity Collaborative.

 The Workshop was conducted by Jane DiRenzo Pigott of R3 Group LLC.  Ms. Pigott brought a wealth of practical knowledge and insight gained by her many years in private practice. She served as chair of the environmental practices at both Katten Muchen and Winston & Strawn in Chicago.  At Winston & Strawn, she was the first woman to serve on the firm’s Executive and Compensation Committees.  In addition, she created and implemented the firm’s diversity initiative, for which the firm has been recognized multiple times with the prestigious Sager Award from the Minority Corporate Counsel Association.

 Following the workshop, the participants attended a luncheon where they had the opportunity to meet with their respective managing partners to discuss their business plans and the support they needed from their law firms.

 The Managing Partners Diversity Collaborative was formed in 2011 by 12 of the largest law offices in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in association with the Grand Rapids Bar Association, to promote diversity and inclusion in our firms and the profession. Conducting the annual workshop is one of 45 action steps in the Collaborative’s Action Plan adopted in 2012.

Kelechi E. Adibe Named to Lawyers of Color’s Inaugural Hot List

KelechiKelechi E. Adibe, an attorney with the law firm Warner Norcross & Judd LLP, has been named to Lawyers of Color’s inaugural Hot List.

The Hot List features 100 attorneys who are minorities from the Midwest and under the age of 40. Attorneys are nominated by mentors, peers and colleagues and selected by committee based on noteworthy accomplishments or activity in legal pipeline initiatives, bar publications and legal blogs.

Adibe joined the firm in 2012 and is a member of the State Bar of Michigan.

Adibe holds a bachelor’s degree with distinction in economics and political science and a doctor of jurisprudence cum laude from the University of Michigan.

Lawyers of Color, which was founded as On Being A Black Lawyer, has been recognized by the American Bar Association, National Black Law Students Association and National Association of Black Journalists. Founded in 2008 as a news and resource center, the company has grown into a social media firm providing research, career development and brand marketing opportunities to clients.