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Voice of Miller Canfield: Year-End Reflections
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As the year 2016 comes to a close, many of us are reflecting on what has been a year of ups and downs, challenges and opportunities. As I look back on the year, a few things stand out and make me feel especially proud of my colleagues and my firm and the ways we’ve grown this year and the many ways we have supported our clients, our communities and each other. Among them:

They are generous. The staff and attorneys I work with are some of the most giving people I know. Whether they are contributing money to support worthy charitable causes, or giving of their time through pro bono work and volunteerism, my colleagues never fail to make me proud. This year alone, the firm contributed more than $1.8 million and thousands of volunteer hours to endeavors that promote the greater good in our communities. These contributions included more than 5,000 hours of pro bono service performed by our lawyers. And Leo Goddeyne, a senior attorney in the firm’s Kalamazoo office, was recognized by the State Bar of Michigan as the recipient of the John Cummiskey Award in recognition of his outstanding service in pro bono. Finally, this year Wendy Richards joined the firm as Pro Bono Counsel, which will help our attorneys make even deeper commitments to give back in 2017 and beyond.

They are inclusive. Miller Canfield has always been a firm that values diversity and inclusion. This year the firm committed to these values in a huge way, participating in the inaugural Women in Law Hackathon to promote the attraction, retention and promotion of women in law firms. The firm and its attorneys have made an ongoing commitment to this endeavor to provide the best opportunities and support for women lawyers, demonstrating over and over again their steadfast belief in inclusion and opportunity for all, for the betterment of the firm and for the clients we serve.

They make a difference. The work my colleagues do often has a direct and positive impact on our communities. I’m reminded of that this month as the City of Detroit celebrated a project to install 65,000 new streetlights, a project that has had a tremendous impact on the city’s safety and livability. It was a titanic undertaking, launched early in 2014, when the city was flat broke and working through bankruptcy. If not for the effort of my colleagues, who worked quietly and tirelessly to develop the never-before-used financing structure that made the $185 million project possible, many of the city streets would still be in the dark.

They embrace and respond to change. Whether it’s the surprising-to-some election results, or a regulatory change, or a business trend on the horizon, my colleagues continue to act quickly to see around the corner and anticipate developments that will impact their clients. They quickly reach out to clients to provide timely and thoughtful analysis of issues that will affect them or the greater economy.

They do great work. Finally, the team at Miller Canfield continues to amaze me at their ability to quickly come together, dig in and apply their top-notch skills and understanding of client needs to deliver the very best service. This ability not only benefits the clients we serve, but often the community and the region, as was the case last month when Miller Canfield’s client closed on a land purchase where the $80 million American Center for Mobility autonomous vehicle testing facility will  be located. The facility is a huge win for the state and local community and economy. My coworkers are widely recognized as being among the best in the country, earning clients’ trust, and as leaders in their communities.

As the year comes to a close, I wish my fine colleagues, friends and clients, a peaceful holiday season and joyous New Year, and thank you for a wonderful 2016!

Tags: Firm News
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