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Varnum Business Professionals Recognized as Unsung Legal Heroes by Michigan Lawyers Weekly

December 13, 2023

Varnum business professionals Mary Ebels, Deb Giblin and Alison Kern are among the honorees recognized by Michigan Lawyers Weekly in this year’s Unsung Legal Heroes Class of 2023.

The recognition is reserved for talented and dedicated legal support professionals “who have consistently gone above and beyond the call of duty,” according to Michigan Lawyers Weekly. “Some of these honorees cast the first impression for clients, while others work behind the scenes. All are vital to the success of the firm or legal department through their commitment and dedication.”

Each of Varnum’s honorees was nominated by attorneys and others who work with them.

Mary Ebels is a longtime receptionist in the firm’s Grand Rapids office. She was nominated by attorney Janelle Haggadone, who noted Mary’s exceptional job serving as the face and voice of the firm, greeting clients and putting them at ease. Her nomination read in part: “Mary remembers details about everyone and contributes to the familial culture that we have at Varnum. It isn’t easy to manage a busy phone line and meeting space, but Mary pulls it off with grace and a smile.”

Deb Giblin is a legal assistant in the firm’s Novi office, working with the Family Law group. She was nominated by attorneys Julia Perkins and Shalini Nangia, who noted her tireless and thorough efforts with regard to family law matters. “This involves communications with our clients (who love her), opposing counsel staff and attorneys (who love her) and court clerks,” her nomination said. “Many times, lawyers will be in our office and ask ‘can I meet Deb?’ She is always pleasant and patient. We call her the leader, and I especially appreciate her humor.”

Alison Kern is a legal assistant working with attorneys in the Ann Arbor office. She was nominated by Matt Bower and Sarah Wixson, who noted her dedication, unwavering commitment and remarkable organizational skills. “Behind the scenes, she masterfully juggles numerous tasks with a keen eye for detail, ensuring that our clients’ needs are met with precision and efficiency. Not only does she excel in her professional responsibilities, but her vibrant personality and enthusiasm also contribute to a positive office environment.”

Varnum Executive Partner Scott Hill congratulated this year’s honorees and emphasized the importance of staff to the firm’s client service.

“We are very pleased to celebrate the recognition of these valued team members,” Hill said. “Their commitment and dedication to our clients, and to those they work with, is outstanding and this acknowledgement serves as a reminder of the vital role of our support staff. Their contributions are critical to the success of our firm.”

The 2023 Unsung Legal Heroes honorees will be profiled by Michigan Lawyers Weekly in a special digital supplement to be distributed on December 25. More about the program and honorees can be found at MLW Unsung Legal Heroes 2023.

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