What was the inspiration for launching a minority women-owned law firm?
Jehan Crump-Gibson: You have to be the change you want to see. This is why we thought it was so important to start the firm. Minority women continue to be underrepresented in equity positions in law firms and the legal field as a whole. A minority-woman owned law firm like Great Lakes Legal Group is uniquely positioned to aid in the ongoing efforts to address this disparity. Minority women serving in such critical leadership roles are integral in diversifying the legal profession. In turn, this diversification has a direct impact on the communities we serve.
With these roles, we have a responsibility. As important as it is to command a seat at the table, you have to leave the door open to the room for those to come in behind you. We do this by continuing to feed the pipeline. Recruiting talented young women of color and providing opportunities for exposure to young women in firms’ aids in augmenting representation in the industry. We are fully committed to these efforts at Great Lakes.
Ayanna Alcendor: Probate and Estate Planning, Family Law, Criminal Law, General and Civil Mediation, Business and Commercial Matters, Governmental Affairs
JCG: I have been blessed with diverse experiences in the legal field and in the community that have unquestionably prepared me to take on the role as Managing Partner of the firm. I have had the great fortune of gaining critical experience in government, serving as staff attorney and deputy chief of staff for former Detroit city council member Saunteel Jenkins and as a policy analyst for former Detroit city council member Sheila Cockrel. During my law school tenure, I also clerked in-house at Comerica Bank’s corporate legal department and externed at the federal district court for the Honorable Arthur J. Tarnow. Garnering knowledge and skills from these roles, I practiced as a solo-practitioner for a number of years, representing clients in various courts at the state level and in federal court.
The Wolverine Bar Association was integral in cultivating my career, from my very first day as a law student at Wayne State. As soon as I got the opportunity, I began to involve myself with leadership roles, ultimately serving as president.
The most important takeaways from my legal experiences and my role with the Wolverine Bar were leadership, commitment and accountability. By its very nature, the role of a lawyer is a leader. Having ownership in your practice takes that role to the next level. It also requires an unwavering commitment and a strong sense of accountability, to your partners, your staff and most importantly, your clients.
AA: When I decided to become a lawyer, I wanted to gain experience and knowledge in as many areas as possible. To this end, I connected with seasoned attorneys practicing civil, family, probate, bankruptcy and criminal law. While in law school, I had the opportunity to clerk for a federal magistrate judge, and serve as a pro bono pro se bankruptcy consultant and expungement advocate. The legal field is ever-changing and more times than not, clients are being confronted with overlapping legal conflicts. The diversity of my experiences lends to my ability to effectively address the issues of our clients and pool resources to best meet their needs.
AA: Steadfast commitment to ethics, strong communication skills, and knowledge of the law are essentials of any reputable law firm. Great Lakes Legal Group offers clients and the community at large not only these fundamentals, but also two partners that have the ambition, drive and commitment to excellence and client satisfaction. These are qualities that are far too often overlooked. GLLG offers a holistic approach to meeting client needs. We have the unique ability to offer a vast array of client services in-house. This law firm truly is a one-stop shop. We are passionate about the law and our clients.
Where can we find more information on your firm?
JCG: Our website is www.gllegalgroup.com. There, you will find detailed information about the owners’ backgrounds, the services we offer and the areas we serve. You can also sign up for our newsletter on the home page to stay connected with us. We are on social media as well: facebook.com/gllegalgroup, Instagram: @gllegalgroup and Twitter: @gllegalgroup Please be sure to connect with us, as we regularly share helpful legal tips and updates in the law.
This story was first reported on https://rollingout.com/2018/01/09/2-black-women-launch-law-firm-metro-detroit/