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Fossel Elected Vice President of Grand Rapids Bar Association

May 12, 2015

Varnum attorney Elizabeth Joy Fossel was recently elected vice president of the Grand Rapids Bar Association. Her term of service, which begins July 1, will be followed by a term as president-elect of the association. She will accede to the role of president in 2017. Fossel has served on the board of trustees for the Grand Rapids Bar for the past three years.  

Fossel is a trial attorney and has spent her entire legal career at Varnum. She joined the firm in 1986, focusing her practice on complex business and commercial litigation, employment claims, health care defense issues, product liability and contested probate matters.

Currently in counsel status, Fossel leads Varnum's Diversity and Inclusion Team, coordinating the firm's internal and external diversity and inclusion initiatives. She is also a key member of the Managing Partners Diversity Collaborative.

Fossel is well known in the community for her pro bono work. She routinely volunteers through Legal Aid of Western Michigan and in 2011 was recognized by State Bar of Michigan with the John W. Cummiskey Award, in recognition of her outstanding pro bono contributions.

In addition to serving the Grand Rapids Bar Association Board of Trustees, Fossel's significant community involvement includes serving on the boards of Meijer Garden and Sculpture Park, Girl Scouts of Michigan Shore to Shore, Gerontology Network, American Red Cross of West Michigan, Grand Rapids Ballet, Ivy Foundation,  and AIDS Foundation of Kent County. She also serves the steering committee of the Broadway Theatre Guild, is a volunteer with the American Cancer Society, and was recently appointed to the board of trustees for the Michigan Women's Foundation.

Fossel has received numerous awards throughout her legal career, including the Grand Rapids Bar Association's 2010 Michael S. Barnes Award, a recognition of exemplary dedication to pro bono service.  She was featured in a 2013 ABA Journal article for her ongoing commitment to social justice through pro bono work.

Fossel has an AV® Preeminent™ rating from Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating possible, and is listed in Super Lawyers. She is a graduate of Cooley Law School and received her undergraduate degree from Stanford University.

The current GRBA membership is made up of newly admitted, practicing, non-practicing, and senior attorneys, law students and legal assistants. It totals 1,430 people. Elections are held annually and electronically and are 10 business days in duration.

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