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A Better Partnership


Jul 2020
July 15, 2020

Warner Supports Michigan Communities with Donations, Volunteers

As Michigan continues to reopen its economy, the law firm Warner Norcross + Judd LLP is supporting communities across the state with donations and volunteers.

One of the largest law firms in Michigan, Warner has made contributions to support food banks, which have seen increased demand during the COVID-19 pandemic. The firm has invested in initiatives to address racial and social injustice, including the creation of jobs for young adults, prioritizing those most heavily impacted by disproportionate outcomes. Warner has also donated to flood relief efforts in support of the Midland area, which suffered a devastating 500-year flood in May.
“We are strong believers in giving back to the communities where we live and work,” said Managing Partner Douglas A. Dozeman. “The past four months have been incredibly challenging for all of us who call Michigan home. In addition to our ongoing support of nonprofits across the state, we have made extra contributions to support programs and services addressing immediate and emerging needs. It’s what neighbors do in times of crisis – and what we are honored to be able to do for our state.”
Warner has eight offices throughout Michigan: Grand Rapids, Southfield, Midland, Macomb County, Kalamazoo, Muskegon, Lansing and Holland. Contributions to nonprofits throughout the state include:
  • Donations to food banks, including Forgotten Harvest, which supports Southeast Michigan; Kids’ Food Basket, which supports West Michigan; Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes, which supports Kalamazoo County; and the Greater Lansing Foodbank, which supports seven counties in central Michigan. This support was made possible through a grant from the Warner Norcross + Judd Donor Advised Fund through the Grand Rapids Community Foundation.
  • A gift to the Equal Justice Initiative, which is committed to challenging racial and economic injustice in American society. This donation was made under the auspices of the firm’s Statement on Racism and Social Injustice, which outlined four action items Warner is implementing.
  • Support of GRow 1000, a summer employment program for Grand Rapids teens and young adults designed to encourage exploration of career interests and develop job readiness skills. Warner was an initial signatory on the program, which debuted this summer.
  • Donations for flood relief in the Great Lakes Bay Region through a gift to the Midland Area Community Foundation made possible through a grant from the firm’s Donor Advised Fund through the Grand Rapids Community Foundation.
Firm members also found creative ways to give back and support their communities in these uncertain times, including:
  • Attorneys and staff from the firm’s Midland office pitched in to help with community clean-up after hundreds of homes, businesses and nonprofits were damaged by the flood.
  • Partner Vito Ciaravino volunteered to build a “Tot Lot” with the Rotary Club of Grosse Pointe.
  • Partner Madelaine Lane led the “Singing in Place” series, which brought Opera Grand Rapids soloists into living rooms and offices during the Stay Home order.
  • Partner Rodney Martin read and recorded a book in support of the Comprehensive Therapy Center’s 15th Annual Read to Me Tea Event in Grand Rapids.
  • Senior Counsel James Liggins reviews and approves small business micro grants as a volunteer for United Way of Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region.
  • Southfield Legal Assistant Rashonda Wilson volunteered virtually for nonprofits supporting mental health and survivors of domestic and sexual violence as well as distributing food to essential workers and flowers on Mother’s Day to Detroit-area moms.
  • Holland Receptionist Misty Burlingame worked through United Way of Ottawa County to check on 400 seniors in Grand Haven, helping shop for groceries and other needs, to clean apartments for emergency housing and to support COVID-19 testing efforts.
  • Community Relations Liaison Courtney Failer recorded videos of songs for patients of Emmanuel Hospice and stories for students in the residential program at Wedgewood Christian Services, both in Grand Rapids.
  • The Grand Rapids office is again gathering backpacks and school supplies to support students at D.A. Blodgett-St. John’s.
These enhanced efforts are in addition to Warner’s ongoing support of scores of nonprofits throughout the state. Attorneys and staff volunteer, hold leadership positions and contribute financially to organizations focused on the arts and performing arts, housing, racial equity and justice, children and youth, physical and mental health, LGBTQ+, women’s issues, food insecurity and other areas that resonate personally.
Warner launched its Donor Advised Fund through the Grand Rapids Community Foundation in 1998, allowing the firm and individual members to make financial contributions. In addition to the initiatives outlined above, these contributions have been used to fund scholarships to promote the legal profession for people of color and to support various community organizations.

This story was also covered in Michigan Lawyer's Weekly and can be read here.

About Warner
By providing discerning and proactive legal advice, Warner Norcross + Judd builds a better partnership with its clients. Warner is a corporate law firm with 230 attorneys practicing in eight offices throughout Michigan: Grand Rapids, Southfield, Midland, Macomb County, Kalamazoo, Muskegon, Lansing and Holland. To learn more, visit, follow us on Twitter @WNJLLP or connect on LinkedIn.
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