Frequently Thought Questions (FTQs)
Here's a list of questions that you think, but don't have the courage to ask about Varnum and our community:
Q. Is everyone from West Michigan of Dutch descent?
A. As home to the world-renowned Tulip Time festival in Holland, Michigan, we are very proud of the Dutch heritage in West Michigan. However, West Michigan continues to grow as a diverse community. From 2000-2006, the area's population grew by over four percent. With a growing Hispanic community and thriving African-American community, Grand Rapids is home to many different ethnic communities.
At Varnum, we are committed to enhancing the firm's culture with an awareness, understanding and appreciation of diversity at all levels. Our Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council provides a broader perspective and awareness to our strategic planning efforts.
Q. Grand Rapids seems like such a small town - is there anything to do there?
A. Grand Rapids is the second-largest city in Michigan with over 500,000 people, so it is by no means a small town. With the continued growth of West Michigan, never before have there been so many choices in nightlife, dining, shopping and special events. You can catch a great concert, watch a minor league sporting event, enjoy a fantastic dinner, visit the most recent exhibit at the museum or dance the night away. Regardless of your mood, budget or style, there's always something fun to do in Grand Rapids.
And, if you want to get away to a bigger city, Detroit and Chicago are within 4 hours of Grand Rapids.
For more ideas, check out our Life in West Michigan page.
Q. Do I need to bring a snowsuit?
A. Well, maybe. West Michigan does have some pretty intense snow storms in the winter. However, one of the great things about West Michigan is the change in seasons. We experience warm summers, beautiful falls with the changing leaves, snowy winters and the new flowers of spring.
And, there are lots of places to enjoy the great summers and winters. The beaches on Lake Michigan are some of the best in the world - in fact, ABC's Good Morning America named the beach in Grand Haven, Michigan one of the top 5 beaches for families in 2005. Or, try one of the many winter sports in the area, including downhill skiing and snowmobiling. If you are adventurous, visit the Muskegon Winter Sports Complex for a trip down the luge.
Q. Do I have to wear a suit to work every day?
A. Don't worry about spending the big dough on suits for the office. While it is appropriate to wear a suit when meeting with clients or in court, Varnum is business casual every day.
Q. The news always talks about Michigan's bad economy. What's it like in West Michigan?
A. West Michigan is not experiencing the same degree of economic downturn as the rest of state and region. The spectacular view from Varnum's 17th floor balcony showcases the progress of the city. Cranes dot the downtown landscape as Grand Rapids builds its impressive "Medical Mile," home to a new children's hospital, medical school, outpatient cancer center and numerous medical and research offices. Next door to Varnum's building is the newest condo building in Grand Rapids - River House, regarded as the tallest all-residential building in West Michigan at 34 stories.
In 2012, Forbes magazine named Grand Rapids "The Best City to Raise a Family". Real estate is still moving in Grand Rapids - in 2008, CNNMoney.com named Grand Rapids on the list of "10 fastest growing real estate markets." We look forward to the amazing changes in West Michigan!