Archive for February 2008

• eMagazine Focuses on the Transformation of West Michigan

Rapid GrowthRapid Growth ( is a weekly Internet magazine that describes itself as follows:

Rapid Growth is a weekly e-magazine and web site devoted to showcasing the positive and sustained transformation of the greater Grand Rapids region.

Rapid Growth connects you with the latest development, innovation, and investment news from Grand Rapids, its neighborhoods, and the central cities of the West Michigan region. Featuring original stories and photography, Rapid Growth provides you with a distinctly different view of metropolitan Grand Rapids.

It has lots of information about the different neighborhoods in West Michigan cities, including Grand Rapids, Holland, Muskegon, and surrounding towns, including links to restaurants, shops and oranizations in the neighborhoods.  It also has some beautiful slide shows of the area.

The magazine features stories about some of the best aspects of West Michigan and should be a useful tool for us as we promote West Michigan as a diverse and inclusive community and a great place to live and work.

You can subscribe to the magazine at

• WNJ Diversity Efforts Featured in Detroit Legal News

The Detroit Legal News has run an article on our firm’s diversity efforts as reported in the 2007 Diversity Annual Report.  Click here to see a copy of the article.

• ULALI to Perform in Grand Rapids on Saturday, March 22

UlaliULALI, a first nation women’s a cappella trio, will perform in concert on March 22, presented by the Grand Rapids Women’s Chorus.The event will also feature the Snowbird Singers from the Saginaw- Chippewa Tribe and the Woodland Singers from the Little Traverse band of Odawa.

ULALI conveys their message about the struggles of Aboriginal peoples, especially American Indian Women, by using their powerful voices to break stereotypes. A pre-concert panel discussion will be held at 6 p.m. the night of the concert, followed by the Concert at 7:30. The panel discussion will conclude by 6:45, and is free with a ticket to the concert. Doors for the concert will open at 7.

The pre-concert panel discussion will include the following speakers and topics:

  • Deb Gutowski: We are interconnected to the Earth…Using Medicine Wheel Teaching
  • Punkin Shananauet: The Anishinabe Kwe Hand Drum
  • Pat DiPiazza: Preserving Indigenous Language

The performance will take place in the Royce Auditorium at the St. Cecelia Music Center, 54 Ransom Street, NE, in Grand Rapids

Tickets may be purchased online by following this link.

• MAP Offers Golf Programs for Women

The Multiracial Association of Professionals (“MAP”) offers a comprehensive golf program for women that provides instruction, etiquette, league play, and professional networking.  Here is how MAP describes the program:

“Get in the Game is designed for women – who love to golf – who want to golf better – who have never golfed before.

“Get in the Game is for any woman who has turned down an opportunity to participate in a golf outing because she was uncomfortable on the golf course, or missed a business opportunity taking place on the links. Get in the Game is a program designed for any woman that wants to do something for herself, raise her self-esteem, become more active, and learn one of the greatest games and universal business tool – GOLF.”

There are five different offerings in the program:

Front 9  (golf lessons)

The Front 9 provides women a non-threatening environment to learn the swing mechanics of golf. Each session will provide four 50-minute lessons that cover full swing and short game fundamentals. With a 6 to 1 teaching ratio, students are ensured individual attention.  

Spring Training Package

Get back into the swing of things with this Spring Training Package designed for returning golfers. Workout those early spring swing mechanics with a 50-minute lesson in full swing, a 50-minute short game lesson, video feedback swing analysis, and 90 practice range balls.   

Making the Turn (golf etiquette and rules)

Perhaps no other sport is governed by so many rules and required etiquette. Improve your performance by increasing your “on course” confidence and knowledge. During this two-hour clinic, you will be taught everything from PGA rules, to where not to drive a golf cart, to how to be a “ready” golfer. 

Mini – League (for beginner golfers)

The Mini-League: four holes, four weeks, 60-minute! Enjoy league play without performance pressure or a lengthy time commitment.  The Mini-League offers golfers four-hole play each week, for four consecutive weeks, and playtime is approximately 60 minutes. The Mini-league is a great opportunity for beginner golfers to enjoy league play!  

FORE! Golf League for Women

If you enjoy golf and networking, join Fore! A 12-week league designed for moderate to experienced female golfers. Played at the beautiful golf club, The Highlands, with convenient tee times! Golf partners are not needed to play in this league. To increase networking opportunities individuals will rotate to a different foursome each week. And for those that enjoy competition, individual handicaps and league standing will be available each week. Make  the time to enjoy the game of golf, join Fore! 

For more information about Get in the Game contact Sonya Hughes, VP of Diversity Initiatives at (616) 771-0321 or Latricia Trice, Diversity Program Coordinator at 616-771-0332.

 Get a registration form by visiting

• WNJ’s Outreach Efforts

mock-trial-logo.jpgThe Society of American Law Schools reports that from 1992 to 2005, the percentage of African American students in law school declined by 8.6%.

This has occurred at a time when law firms have increasingly been looking to increase their diversity.  One way that firms have begun to address this is through outreach activities designed to encourage African Americans and other disadvantaged minorities to consider a career in law. 

At Warner Norcross we participate in a number of outreach activities. 

  • Since 2000, our Minority Scholarship program has offered an annual scholarship to minority students pursuing a degree in law, paralegal studies and legal secretarial studies. 
  • This year, we have introduced a new scholarship program for minority college students in their junior year.  This scholarship will pay the cost of taking an LSAT preparation course, which typically runs about $1,500.

Information about both of these scholarship programs is available on our website by clicking here.  If you know of someone who may qualify for these programs, or who may have a son or daughter who would qualify, I hope you will share this information.

Our outreach efforts extend beyond law school and college into the secondary schools.  There are two events coming up that we are pleased to be involved with.   

The firm is a sponsor of the D. Augustus Straker Bar Association Martin Luther King Oral Advocacy Competition for high school students in Wayne and Oakland County.  The finals will be held in the Oakland County Courthouse on March 1.  Jeena Shah will be representing the firm.  For those of you who are unaware of the Straker Bar Association, it is a special purpose bar association recognized by the State Bar of Michigan.  The mission of the Straker Bar Association is to promote legal practice opportunities for minorities and women and to facilitate equal justice for all citizens in Oakland County.

For a second year in a row, the firm has been coaching the Grand Rapids Central High School mock trial team as it prepares for the Michigan Mock Trial Tournament on Saturday March 1.  Yvette Bradley, Madelaine Lane, Scott Carvo, and others have been coaching the team.  I am sure they would appreciate it if you would attend one of the trials to show our.  The trials take place at the Kent County Courthouse.  The students conduct two trials.  The first begins at 8:30 a.m.  The second begins at 11:10 a.m.  (They have a bye in the final round, which begins at 2:15 p.m.)  The awards ceremony begins at 4:45 p.m.

• Taste of Soul Sunday at the Grand Rapids Public Library, February 24

The Grand Rapids Public Library presents Taste of Soul Sunday, an annual event that features food sampling from local restaurants, lectures by local authors and artists, music and children’s activities.
Taste of Soul Sunday will be held on February 24 from 1-4 pm at the Main Library.

  • Various types of dance will be explored, including Praise Dancing, Capeoria, Step Dancing, and Ballroom Dancing.
  • Dr. Daniel McClure and Dr. Veta Tucker will present African American history lectures.
  • Artists Rose Hammond and Georgia Farr will discuss their artwork.
  • Hip-hop producer Needlez, radio personality Robert S., and hip-hop aficionado Governor Slugwell will discuss the music industry today.
  • There will be music performance by Acapella Horizon and Joseph Conyers and Sterling Jenkins from the Grand Rapids Symphony.
  • Area restaurants Jamaican Dave’s, Sandmann’s and Wing Heaven will provide food samplings.

Admission is free.  The Main Library is located at 111 Library Street NE.