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Joan E. Schleef Partner

Joan Schleef Financial Law Attorney
Grand Rapids
V-Card, Resume
Judy Taunt, 616/336-6680

Financial Experience

Joan is a member of the Financial Services Practice Group. She represents commercial lenders and asset-based lenders (including banks) in documenting, negotiating and closing numerous commercial loan transactions, including working capital and formula-based loans; real estate acquisition and development loans; and leveraged buy-out financing.

She also represents lenders in connection with borrower insolvencies, loan restructurings and workouts, banks in various matters concerning regulatory compliance issues and various corporate and commercial clients regarding general commercial matters. Prior to joining Varnum, Joan served as Judicial Clerk to the Honorable Wendell A. Miles, United States District Court, Western District of Michigan from 1985 to 1988.


  • University of Cincinnati College of Law
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    J.D., cum laude, 1985
    Lead Articles Editor, University of Cincinnati Law Review
    Order of the Coif
  • Indiana University
    Bloomington, Indiana
    Bachelor of Music, with distinction, 1982
    (performance degree on violoncello)

Professional Affiliations

  • Federal Bar Association (Bankruptcy Law Section)
  • State Bar of Michigan (West Michigan Chapter )
  • Grand Rapids Bar Association
  • Ohio Bar Association


  • Best Lawyers in America® since 2013
  • Best Lawyers in America®, Women in the Law Spring Business Edition, Banking and Finance Law, 2017
  • Martindale-Hubbell® BV Distinguished™ Peer Review Rated

Community Involvement

  • Opera Grand Rapids, Executive Committee
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