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Practice Areas



Loyola University Chicago School of Law
Chicago, Illinois
LL.M., Health Care, cum laude, 2014

Drake University Law School
Des Moines, Illinois
Drake Law Review, Editor
J.D., cum laude, 1996

Michigan State University
East Lansing, Michigan
B.A., cum laude,1993

Bar Admissions



Court Admissions

All Michigan state courts

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan

Family Law Attorney

Erika Salerno Shadowens is a partner at Varnum LLP. Erika’s practice is entirely devoted to family law matters specializing in divorce, child custody and family law litigation including change of domicile, interstate and international child custody matters. Erika is also a trained mediator and collaborative lawyer. She adamantly advocates for her clients in Kalamazoo, Kent, Allegan, Berrien, Van Buren, St. Joseph, Barry, Calhoun, Eaton, Ionia, and surrounding counties. Her 26 years of experience lends itself well to complex high asset cases involving closely held family businesses, and challenging child custody matters. Her knowledge of the law, diligence and tenacity help her accomplish her client’s goals in their family law matters.

Erika has litigated cases in all levels of the court system, including the Michigan Supreme Court. Media outlets call on her to share her expertise. Erika is a former Council Member of the State Bar of Michigan Family Law Section and currently serves as a Board Member for the Girls on the Run of Greater Kalamazoo. 

Honors and Recognitions

Best Lawyers in America®, Family Law, 2021 and 2022

National Law Review, Thought Leader Award (Family Law Practice Team), 2020

Michigan Lawyers Weekly, Women in the Law, 2014

Kalamazoo County Bar Association, Vlachos Award, 2013

Professional Affiliations

Kalamazoo County Bar Association

Kalamazoo County Family Law Bar Association

State Bar of Michigan, Family Law Section

Community Involvement

Girls on the Run of Greater Kalamazoo, Board Member

East Kentwood High School Marching Band, Volunteer

Red Storm Robotics Team, Volunteer

Western Michigan University, Adjunct Professor

Leadership Kalamazoo, 2014

Client Testimonials

Erika is a no nonsense attorney that tells you straight forward what your options are from a legal standpoint and advise you how best to proceed. Meanwhile, always leaving the final decision with you. She always made me feel as if my case was the most important because though I am merely one of many clients, Erika communicated with me like I was the only one.

– Kandy

Erika did a fantastic job with our case even when it got very heated between the other side & their lawyer towards the end. She got us sole legal and physical custody of our daughter which we thought was near impossible. She really cares about her clients and always has their best interests in mind.

– Luke

I have hired Erika twice for two separate occasions. The most recent case she helped me with was a custody issue. She was able to help me keep custody of my son, and to be able to move out of state. With both occasions Erika showed compassion and genuine concern. She goes in to battle and stands strong on the battle for you! I highly recommend Erika and will use her again!

– Lisa

*Statements concerning past results do not assure similar outcomes in any other matter.

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