Skip to content

Practice Areas


Vanderbilt University Law School
Nashville, Tennessee
J.D., 2017
Articles Editor, Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law

University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan
B.A., Political Science and Psychology, with distinction, 2009

Bar Admissions


Court Admissions

All Michigan state courts

Estate Planning Attorney

Janelle joined Varnum in 2017 and is an attorney with the estate planning group. Her approach to planning is informed by experience administering estates exceeding $10 million as well as smaller estates.

The most productive client meetings center around a person or couple in a moment of transition – whether that is a recently married couple, new parents, the transition to an empty nest, a person who is newly single, or someone thinking about retirement. That is the planning that excites Janelle and propels her to find creative solutions.  Beyond basic estate planning, Janelle’s practice includes designing and implementing sophisticated estate plans, settlement of decedents’ estates, estate taxation, and charitable gift planning. 

Janelle’s experience working in the nonprofit sector prior to law school strengthens her ability to facilitate sensitive conversations between family members. She is skilled in helping clients work through challenging circumstances to accomplish estate plan objectives. Her nonprofit sector expertise benefits clients for whom charitable giving is important.  

For the past three years, Janelle has been named by Best Lawyers® as one of the “Ones to Watch,” a designation given to attorneys who are earlier in their careers in recognition of their outstanding professional excellence in private practice. 

In the community, Janelle serves on the Senior Neighbors Board and the American Cancer Society’s West Michigan Volunteer Leadership Council. Within the firm, she serves on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, the Workforce Advancement Committee, and serves as a mentor attorney to several associates. 

Honors and Recognitions

Best Lawyers in America®, Ones to Watch, Trusts and Estates, since 2021

Professional Affiliations

State Bar of Michigan

Grand Rapids Bar Association

Women Lawyers Association of Michigan (WLAM)

Community Involvement

American Cancer Society – West Michigan, Volunteer Leadership Council

Senior Neighbors, Board of Directors

Rockford 100 Women Who Care

American Heart Association, Go Red for Women Executive Leadership Team (past)

Rethinking Dementia: Accelerating Change, Board of Directors (past)

San Juan Diego Academy, Development Board (past)

Sign up to be the first to access our leading legal insights.

The link you have selected will redirect you to a third-party website located on another server. We are offering the link for your convenience. Varnum has no responsibility for any external websites and makes no express or implied warranties about any external websites.

Please be aware that contacting us via e-mail does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and the firm. Do not send confidential information to the firm until you have spoken with one of our attorneys and receive authorization to send such materials.