Archive for February 2012

Grand Rapids Legal News Interviews WNJ Diversity Partner

Warner Norcross & Judd’s Diversity Partner, Rodney Martin, is the featured interview in today’s edition of the Grand Rapids Legal News.  Martin discusses his work on the Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee of the State Bar of Michigan, the efforts of the Managing Partners Diversity Collaborative, and the sources of his commitment to working on diversity and inclusion issues.

The interview is available online at

Applications Now Being Taken for Warner Norcross Minority Scholarship Programs

For the 12th year, Warner Norcross & Judd will be offering scholarships to minority students pursuing studies in law school or in a paralegal or legal secretary college program.  Applicants must be a Michigan resident or must be currently enrolled in a college or university in Michigan. This program is administered by the Grand Rapids Community Foundation. Scholarship applications should be sent to the Foundation.  The deadline for applications for these scholarships is April 1, 2012.

In addition, the firm will once again offer scholarships to minority students who are college juniors or seniors who are considering going on to law school. The scholarships pay to tuition to take a Law School Admission Test preparation course through Kaplan.  Applicants must be a Michigan resident or must be currently enrolled in a college or university in  Michigan. Applicants must be enrolled in a college or university as a Junior or Senior during the 2011-2012 academic year with a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher in undergraduate studies and must have a demonstrated financial need. The deadline for applications for the LSAT preparation course  scholarships is April 30, 2012.

Information about the scholarships and application forms can be found by clicking here.

Warner Norcross is committed to increasing diversity in the profession.  The firm has awarded over $110,000 in scholarships in its minority scholarship programs in an effort to encourage and enable minority students to pursue a career in the law.  The firm was one of the original signatories to the State Bar of Michigan’s Pledge to Achieve Diversity and Inclusion.

Warner Attends BLSA’s Midwest Regional Convention

This past weekend, Marcus Jones and Rodney Martin attended the annual convention of the Midwest Region of the Black Law Students Association, or “BLSA.”  The convention, which was held in Columbus, Ohio, is packed with energy.  Walking around, you see students dressed in business attire,  huddled in groups, talking earnestly. Get closer and you learn that they are team members in BLSA’s mock trial or moot court competition.  The competition is intense as student teams vie for the chance to represent their school and the Midwest Region at the national convention in Washington, D.C. in March.  Those who aren’t competing participate in workshops on a wide range of topics, including public interest law, intellectual property, judicial clerkships, non-traditional legal careers, and choosing a practice area.  In the evening, students gather to network at receptions at Columbus’s Center of Science and Industry and the Moritz School of Law at Ohio State University, host to this year’s convention.

Observing all the activity, it is easy to forget that the enormous effort of planning all of the activities falls on the full-time student leaders of BLSA.  BLSA is the largest student run organization in the United States. Founded in 1968, BLSA has chapters on over 200 law school campuses. Its mission is to articulate and promote the needs and goals of black law students and effectuate change in the legal community.

Warner Norcross & Judd is proud to have been a sponsor and a participant in the 2012 Midwest Regional Convention and congratulates the leadership of the Midwest Region for a job well done.  See you next year!

“The Loving Story” premieres tonight on HBO at 9 p.m.

HBO will premiere “The Loving Story” this evening at 9 pm. “The Loving Story” is a documentary about Richard and Mildred loving, an interracial couple who married in the 1950s.  They were arrested in the middle of the night and banished from the Commonwealth of Virginia.  Their case ultimately went to the United States Supreme Court, where the Court overturned the Virginia law. It is a great documentary and an important chapter in the story of our country’s civil rights struggle.


Warner Issues 6th Diversity and Inclusion Annual Report


Warner Norcross & Judd has issued its 6th Diversity and Inclusion Annual Report.  The Annual Report is a key way that we communicate our commitment to, and progress toward, becoming a more inclusive organization.  It is also a way of keeping ourselves accountable for following up on our commitments.  The 2011 Diversity and Inclusion Annual Report includes a letter from our Managing Partner, Douglas Wagner.  It also provides brief articles highlighting some of our diverse professionals and the leadership roles they play in our firm and in the community.  Finally, as we do every year, we have included a demographic profile of the firm.  To read a copy of the 2011 report, click here

Copies of the firm’s Annual Reports for 2006 through 2010 may be found on the firm’s website by clicking here.

Martin Luther King, Jr., Essay Contest Winners Recognized by the Grand Rapids School Board

MLK, Jr., Essay Contest winners and Honor Mention Award winners


MLK, Jr., Essay Contest Winners Andruw Sandy, Jamarius McBride, and Kevin O'Neil (left to right) with Rodney Martin


Last evening the Grand Rapids School Board recognized the winners of the 2011-12 Martin Luther King, Jr., Essay Contest.  The essay contest, in its 7th year, is conducted by Warner Norcross & Judd for sixth graders in the Grand Rapids Public Schools.  Grand Prize winner Jamarius McBride, of Riverside Middle School, read his essay, “Are You Willing?,” to the members of the board. 

Warner Norcross & Judd Diversity Partner Rodney Martin presented Jamarius with a gift card from Schuler Books and Music and a savings bond.  Martin also presented a gift card and savings bond to first runner up Kevin O’Neil, of the Center for Economicology, and second runner up Andruw Sandy, of Riverside Middle School.  In addition, Martin recognized 20 students whose essays received Honorable Mention and presented them with a gift card.

Warner Norcross & Judd designed the contest to encourage students to think about how Dr. King’s legacy of peace and justice applies to the world in which they live.  Essays were judged by Warner Norcross attorneys and staff on originality, clarity, organization and knowledge of Dr. King and his work in the civil rights movement.