Empowered at Varnum
Attorneys with the vision and desire to create a path to success will enjoy a career at Varnum, where initiative and results are resourced, supported and rewarded.
Our culture is differentiated by our appreciation of the entrepreneur. MiSpringboard is Varnum’s statewide initiative designed to remove some of the barriers associated with starting a business by providing free legal services to Michigan startups. To date, MiSpringboard has helped more than 350 new businesses in 80 cities across Michigan, from Houghton to Kalamazoo.
Just as we support client entrepreneurs, we encourage our attorneys to explore opportunities that will help them build a successful practice. And we allocate resources to ensure that opportunities are realized. Our culture empowers you to:
- Grow your practice by using and sharing new ideas
- Become involved in causes you’re passionate about
- Connect with other attorneys through professional and social integration
- Develop your professional knowledge and skills
- Leverage the resources of a large law firm
Our individual practice plan process and strong support departments are other tools of empowerment. It is our desire that everyone reach their fullest potential, whatever that may be.
While many large and mid-size firms are risk averse, we believe the opportunity to explore new ideas adds to the enjoyment of practicing law. If you're self-motivated, entrepreneurial by nature and enjoy the thrill of creating success with like-minded partners, talk to us. Find out what it means to be empowered at Varnum. Inquire in confidence to Carroll Velie, Director of Professional Development.
Along with our commitment to providing the best legal counsel, we are dedicated to being the firm where the best attorneys come to practice. Varnum attorneys thrive on high-level, challenging work, and we provide a strong platform of support and innovative programming to help attorneys achieve their goals. The results are exemplified in our work and program achievements:
- Varnum's litigation team is among the busiest in the state, including high-profile criminal cases and high-stakes international business matters. Among our significant matters in recent years is the representation of more than 100 companies in litigation against Michigan's largest insurer, including appeals all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Every case – averaging $1 million each – has either been successfully resolved or remains pending. We continue to have one of the top trial practices in Michigan, and we're one of the top five busiest firms with matters in Eastern District Federal Court.
- Corporate law is a mainstay of Varnum's work, including a strong and capable merger and acquisition practice. In the past few years, our ongoing representation of one client alone includes roll-up acquisitions of more than 60 agencies across the country into a private equity-sponsored company, aggregating more than $1 billion in upfront value as of spring 2016.
- Varnum's tax practice is one of the most respected in the Midwest, with work that takes us around the world. The caliber of our attorneys is exemplified not only in our work for clients, but is also recognized by national publications. Forbes magazine recognized our win for a client as one of the Top Ten Tax Cases of 2014. Tax Notes recently hailed an article co-authored by a Varnum tax practitioner as one of the ten leading corporate tax articles published in the past year. On a statewide level, our tax attorneys are regularly published in scholarly journals and consumer news publications alike.
- Many of our practices are national and international in scope. Employment litigators regularly handle matters across the country for Fortune 500 companies. Our white collar criminal defense practice takes attorneys to Europe, Asia and South America for internal investigation work. Our data privacy and security practice is national in scope, and our attorneys occasionally travel internationally on business and client development matters.
- MiSpringboard is the firm's innovative program providing $1 million in free legal services to Michigan's startup community. Since 2011, we have helped more than 280 clients in over 75 cities across the state, and Varnum is widely known as the go-to firm for emerging companies. The MiSpringboard program offers an innovative way for attorneys to work with promising startup clients who may not yet have the means to afford sophisticated legal services.
Culture: Opportunity and Camaraderie
Varnum’s non-negotiable traits:
- Firm-first attitude
- Strong work ethic
- Commitment to superb client service
At Varnum, our team of people is the most important resource in our commitment to each other and our clients. Our clients expect the highest quality of legal services. If you are confident that you can meet and exceed client expectations, then talk to us.
|Donut Monday |
The firm provides donuts, bagels, fruit and other breakfast items to attorneys and staff in each office every Monday.
|Black Blazers |
Attaining partnership is commemorated with a custom blazer, worn to the annual Black Blazer Dinner and other special occasions.
|Practice Exchange |
Firm members learn about each other at the annual practice group exchange event, featuring networking via a progressive dinner.
|Heart of Varnum |
The firm's highest honor celebrates firm members who exemplify the qualities of Integrity, Leadership, Teamwork, Respect, Service, Caring, Ambassadorship and Professionalism.
|Varnum Prom |
Each spring, Varnum attorneys and professional staff are invited to attend an elegant evening soiree with spouse or significant other.
|Summer Picnic |
Baseball games, park visits and good old fashioned cookouts are a few of the ways the entire firm celebrates summer together at the annual picnic.
|Break for a Slice |
At least once a month, attorneys and staff enjoy a pizza lunch on the firm. (Gluten free available!)
|Just Good Food for Good Friends |
Food is a rallying point at Varnum, and attorneys and staff are known by the dishes they literally bring to the table. One of our attorneys has even written a cookbook!
|Spontaneous Events |
From a champagne toast celebrating a big win to recognizing national beer day or Cinco de Mayo, Varnum does not miss an opportunity to celebrate.
|December Holiday Party |
Staff and attorneys celebrate the holiday season together, alternating annually between a firm-only event during the work day and a plus-one event after hours.
|Ten Year Club |
When you've been at Varnum for ten years or more, you join this growing group that meets annually to celebrate new members at a special lunch event.
|Community Commitment |
We are engaged in the communities where we work and live, and where our clients work and live. Click here to learn more about Varnum's community involvement.
Providing Value for Our Clients
Varnum has built its reputation by helping clients identify opportunities, negotiate and close commercial transactions, and benefit from up-to-the-minute legal advice. We work very hard to provide a high level of legal skill while keeping a relentless focus on customer service. How do we know we’ve accomplished this? Because our clients tell us.
"We work with Varnum because they provide us with quality legal services in ways that align with our cost requirements."
"I can't imagine doing some of the deals we have done without having Varnum sitting next to me."
"We were very happy with the Varnum team in working to bring our deal together. Pete and Jacob were skillful negotiators, offered creative solutions to challenging complications, understood the process and vigorously moved the process towards a timely and satisfactory conclusion. I have been involved with many Varnum partners during my 40-year tenure utilizing their counsel for employment and labor, environmental, creditors' rights, intellectual property, real estate and financial services. Pete and Jacob were everything I have come to expect from the Varnum team."
"Varnum has continued to meet and/or exceed our expectations throughout the years with what sometimes seems to be limitless knowledge presented in the most timely and professional manner possible. Varnum leadership maintains an unsurpassed level of integrity which seems to somehow trickle down through the entire organization, setting the bar for other firms to follow."
"I have personally used Varnum as our benefit attorneys for over 18 years. Varnum attorneys are excellent in understanding and responding to our needs and are proactive in assuring that our benefit plans are kept in compliance."
"Varnum is very professional and handles our business with integrity. Their ability to understand our issues and develop solutions is excellent. They are very pragmatic and timely with answers and comments. I am often called on by other firms for our corporate work, and I turn down such offers. That is the best form of flattery I can offer the Varnum Law firm."
Read more about what it's like to work at Varnum in Detroit Lawyer magazine >
- June 25, 2018
- June 21, 2018
- June 14, 2018