Staffers win ‘Unsung Legal Heroes’ awards



A statewide legal publication has honored support staff members from three area law firms for their behind-the-scenes work.

Michigan Lawyers Weekly recently selected 20 staffers from around the state to be part of its inaugural “Unsung Legal Heroes” class.

The new program honors law firm employees who “have consistently gone above and beyond the call of duty” in their work, often behind the scenes.

Michigan Lawyers Weekly selected the winning legal support professionals from eight categories, including law librarian, paralegals, legal secretaries, firm administrators, information technology, legal education and legal marketing.

2017 West Michigan honorees:

Tamara Bergstrom, Varnum, legal marketing

Sara Burr, Varnum, legal secretary

David Ghareeb, Varnum, information technology

Jodi Johnson, Varnum, legal secretary

Laura Harner, Varnum, paralegal

Maria Schmidt, Hewson & Van Hellemont, legal secretary

Mary St. Clair, Warner Norcross & Judd, legal secretary

The complete list of winners can be found online.


With more than 160 attorneys in eight Michigan offices, Varnum serves as counsel to individuals, businesses and institutions throughout Michigan and the Midwest.

Hewson & Van Hellemont

Opened in 2010, the Grand Rapids office of Hewson & Van Hellemont provides legal services in the areas of subrogation, workers’ compensation, insurance defense and more.

The firm also has offices in Oak Park and Fort Myers, Florida.

Warner Norcross & Judd

Established in 1931, Warner Norcross & Judd is a corporate law firm with 230 attorneys practicing in eight offices throughout Michigan: Grand Rapids, Southfield, Clinton Township, Midland, Muskegon, Kalamazoo, Holland and Lansing.

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