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Sawhill Honored by Michigan Lawyers Weekly

August 8, 2013

Varnum attorney April Sawhill has been recognized by Michigan Lawyers Weekly as one of the 2013 Women in the Law. The honor is awarded to those who exhibit excellence in the practice of law, are inspiring and accomplished leaders in the profession, serve as a mentor to other women, and contribute significant time and effort to volunteerism or pro bono work.

Sawhill focuses her practice primarily on commercial litigation and plaintiff personal injury cases, with an emphasis on catastrophic injuries and wrongful death. Sawhill has handled all forms of alternative dispute resolution in federal and state courts, including facilitative mediation, arbitration, and case evaluation. She serves as a case evaluator in Kent County.

Within Varnum, Sawhill served on the firm's Diversity Team, which works to promote diversity and inclusion within the firm and throughout the community. Most recently, she has taken a role on the firm's Recruiting Committee where she works to bring diverse talent into the firm. She also helped launch Varnum's MiSpringboard program, a state-wide program designed to remove some of the barriers associated with starting and growing a business by providing free legal services to new business initiatives.

Outside of her practice and the firm, Sawhill has enthusiastically taken part in organizations, events, and charities where she is able to influence and mentor women of all ages.  She has served as a panelist judge in competitions aimed at developing female entrepreneurs, including Entrepreneur YOU, and The Blast! Pitch Competition, an event for women entrepreneurs in the Grand Rapids area.  She regularly gives her time as a mentor to Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women (GROW), an organization for women-owned small businesses, serving on their Micro-Loan Committee.  She has served as a mentor at Camp Moxie, a southeast Michigan-based leadership camp for girls. In 2009, she was a volunteer coach for Grand Rapids City High’s mock trial team and took her rookie team to within one place of advancing to state finals.

In 2011, Sawhill was selected to participate  in Leadership Grand Rapids, a nine-month intensive leadership program offered by the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce. For the past three years, she has served as a board member for Health Intervention Services, a nonprofit, faith-based health center serving the uninsured in Grand Rapids. She  recently became a member of the community advisory board of BRAINS (Behavioral Resources and Institute for Neuropsychological Services), an assessment and treatment center for those with mental health concerns.

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