Law firm elects shareholder


Catherine Brainerd. Courtesy Rhoades McKee

A local law firm has selected a new shareholder.

Rhoades McKee said this week attorney Catherine Brainerd was elected to the role.

Brainerd, who has worked for Rhoades McKee for two-and-a-half years, focuses her Grand Rapids-based practice helping individuals, business owners and insurance companies “navigate disputes” in and out of the courtroom. 

She specializes in real estate, employment and probate matters.

She said she’s “thrilled” to be chosen as a shareholder at the firm.

“It feels like a place I can really call home,” Brainerd said. “The people are great, the quality of work is phenomenal and more importantly, the ethics felt very comfortable, with the choices that everyone makes — and it’s a very friendly and collegial atmosphere.”

Mark Smith, a senior attorney who’s in charge of associates at Rhodes McKee, said he thinks Brainerd’s election to shareholder was “pre-ordained from the day she joined our firm.”

“She has all of the attributes of someone we want to associate with as a shareholder,” Smith said. “She’s hardworking, bright, intelligent, personable and fits well into the culture of the firm. She’s a great ambassador for the firm and is well-respected.

“She also has a great background in terms of experience and credentials.”

Brainerd’s background

Previously, Brainerd worked for Dykema’s Grand Rapids office for three years and as the law clerk for Chief Judge Donald Johnston in Kent County’s 17th Circuit Court.

She is the chair of the Labor and Employment Section of the Grand Rapids Bar Association, on the board for the Women Lawyers Association of West Michigan and a member of the Junior Achievement Fundraising Committee.

Brainerd holds a J.D. from Wayne State University Law School, where she served as editor-in-chief of the Law Review, and a B.S. in business administration from Central Michigan University.

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