Bar association names ‘3-in-10’ award winners


Linsey Gleason. Courtesy Varnum

The local bar association has presented awards to three “outstanding” members of the legal profession who are in the first 10 years of their careers.

The Grand Rapids Bar Association, or GRBA, handed out its "3-in-10" awards at its annual meeting last week at CityFlatsHotel in downtown Grand Rapids.

Award recipients were Laura Genovich, a shareholder at Foster Swift, Linsey Gleason, a partner at Varnum, and Ryan McKnight, a project manager and legal counsel at AvaSure.

GRBA presents the awards annually to attorneys in their first 10 years of practice who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement, exceptional public service and significant contributions to the legal profession.

Laura Genovich

Genovich practices municipal and commercial law at Foster Swift’s Grand Rapids office.

She is experienced in bankruptcy law — helping secured lenders, small businesses, farm co-ops and other creditors protect their rights when a borrower or customer files bankruptcy.

Genovich blogs at the firm’s Michigan Bankruptcy Blog, regularly presents at municipal law and bankruptcy seminars and offers free webinars.

She is a member of GRBA and steering committee chair of the Federal Bar Association Bankruptcy Section for the Western District of Michigan.

Genovich has taught as an adjunct professor at Western Michigan University Cooley Law School and serves on the board of the Caledonia Education Foundation.

She received her J.D. from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in 2008 and her B.S. in communications from Ohio University in 2005.

Linsey Gleason

At Varnum’s Grand Rapids office, Gleason focuses on estate planning preparation, estate and trust administration, guardianship and conservatorship services, elder law and special needs trusts.

Gleason frequently works with Grand Rapids Legal Aid on pro bono probate cases.

She is a member and former chair of the Probate and Estate Planning Section of the Grand Rapids Bar Association and a member and past president of the Women Lawyer’s Association of Michigan Western Region.

Outside of her practice, she’s a board member for Senior Neighbors, where she serves as chair, the Grand Rapids Public Museum Foundation, the Holland Home Foundation and a member of the Finance and Audit Committee for Heart of West Michigan United Way.

She received her J.D. from the Michigan State University College of Law in 2008 and her B.A. in business management and economics from MSU in 2003.

Ryan McKnight

McKnight is in-house legal counsel at Belmont-based AvaSure. His work includes contract management, drafting and negotiation, outside counsel procurement and other legal support, such as international government compliance, HIPAA, health care and more.

McKnight has served with the Young Lawyers Section of GRBA for four years, currently as president.

He has also volunteered with Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest.

He received his J.D. from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in 2013 and his bachelor’s degree in international relations, political science, economics and Middle Eastern studies from MSU in 2008.


Incorporated in 1902, the Grand Rapids Bar Association provides continuing education and other services and programs to member attorneys and works to improve the practice of law in West Michigan.

The association also provides a Lawyer Referral Service and an Ask-the-Lawyer program for the community and gives out a number of member and community awards each year.

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