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History of Leadership


For decades, Miller Canfield has been a leader on diversity issues, both within the firm and in the community. We believe that inclusiveness and diversity are essential to our firm culture and to our success. We are proud that our team of lawyers, paralegals and administrative staff reflects the richly diverse communities in which we live and do business, and we recognize that there is more work to do moving forward. The firm is fully committed to establishing and meeting the most robust diversity goals in the profession.

Our commitment to promoting diversity starts with our management team, which has long included the voices of women and minorities. We were one of the first major law firms in the country to elect an African-American chief executive officer, Leonard Givens, who was instrumental in incorporating the Michigan Minority Business Development Counsel. Beverly Hall Burns has served as Deputy CEO of the firm. Our Board of Managing Directors includes Amy Johnston and Danielle Mason Anderson, has included Jerome Watson and Amanda Van Dusen, and was previously chaired by Megan Norris.

In 2014, our then-CEO, Michael McGee, created the position of Director of Professional Development in an effort to ensure that all human capital areas directly affecting and influencing our diversity initiatives are managed in concert with one another. Thus, Michelle Crockett, the firm's first African-American female principal, currently oversees all hiring, diversity, mentoring and professional development of our attorneys. In this role, one of her responsibilities is to lead the firm's Diversity Committee, which is comprised of principals, practice group leaders and a Managing Director, in an effort to monitor and review our recruitment and retention efforts as well as identify ongoing diversity training for attorneys and staff.  

The Women of Miller Canfield, led by Kim Scott and Kim Berger, meets several times a year to further discuss and support the practice development goals of our female attorneys.

We are a signatory firm of the Grand Rapids Bar Association's Managing Partners Diversity Collaborative Agreement, signed in 2011. The agreement is a formal commitment among 12 major Grand Rapids law firms and the GRBA to collaborate towards achieving greater diversity and inclusion in the West Michigan legal community through education, hiring, retention and promotion.

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