Two partners with Warner Norcross & Judd LLP have been elected officers of the Grand Rapids Bar Association.
Paul T. Sorensen will serve as president elect and Valerie P. Simmons will serve as vice president of the Grand Rapids Bar for the 2005-2006 year. Sorenson, who concentrates his practice in labor and employment litigation, will serve as president of the association in 2006-2007 while Simmons, who concentrates her practice in litigation, employment and education law, will serve as president the following year.
"We are extremely pleased to have two of our partners assume leadership positions within the Grand Rapids Bar Association," said Alex J. DeYonker, managing partner of Warner Norcross." Paul and Val are active in the Bar, both locally and at the state and national levels. At Warner Norcross, we encourage all attorneys to participate in professional, trade and community organizations in order to enhance their knowledge and improve the quality of life in the communities where we work and live."
The Grand Rapids Bar Association was founded in 1902 to establish and maintain the honor and dignity of the legal profession and to increase its usefulness in promoting the due administration of justice. Today, the organization has more than 1,400 members and sponsors numerous public service projects in its efforts to be an effective voice for the legal profession within the community.
Sorensen, who joined the Firm in 1978, is a frequent lecturer at labor and employment seminars, serving as a faculty member and past chairman of the Hillman Trial Advocacy Program in the U.S. District Court of the Western District of Michigan.
Active professionally, Sorensen has been a member of the Grand Rapids Bar Association since 1978 and an officer since 2001. Additionally, he has served as chairman of several committees for the organization. He is a member and past president of the Western Michigan Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, and a member of the State Bar of Michigan and the American Bar Association. He is also a member of the Insurance Information Council.
Sorensen holds a bachelor of arts from the University of Michigan with high distinction and a doctor of jurisprudence with high honors from the Duke University School of Law.
Simmons, who joined Warner Norcross in 1988, serves as chair of the Firm's Education Law Practice Group. Active within the community, she is the chairwoman of the Michigan Civil Rights Commission, president of the Floyd Skinner Bar Association, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Grand Valley State University Foundation and a member of the Board of Trustees of Spectrum Health.
Simmons is also a member of the State Bar of Michigan, National Bar Association and the American Bar Association. She has served in numerous leadership positions for organizations, including Concerned Citizens Council, Inc.; the Task Force to Establish Cooperative Education Programs with Area Universities; Black Excellence in Education and New Life Home for Women Advisory Board.
She holds a bachelor of science degree in nursing from the Texas Woman's University and a doctor of jurisprudence cum laude from the University of Houston Law Center.
* * *
About Warner Norcross & Judd:
Warner Norcross & Judd LLP is one of Michigan's leading providers of legal services with more than 170 attorneys in four Michigan offices located in Grand Rapids, Metro Detroit, Holland and Muskegon. For the third consecutive year, Warner Norcross was named the best corporate law firm in West Michigan by Corporate Board Member magazine. Nearly half of the Firm's partners are listed in the 2005 edition of The Best Lawyers in America, a greater percentage than any other large law firm in Michigan. Warner Norcross has been recognized as a national leader in client service among law firms by BTI Consulting, as one of West Michigan's 101 Best & Brightest Companies to Work For and as the best law firm in Grand Rapids by a Grand Rapids Magazine reader survey. The Firm represents local, statewide, regional, national and international clients in all areas of business and civil law.