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Volunteerism + Pro Bono Work

At Warner, we wholeheartedly embrace rolling up our sleeves and getting our hands dirty to give back to our community. Our commitment extends beyond financial contributions, as we recognize the value of giving the gift of time.

To underscore this belief, the firm has established a volunteer time-off policy allowing all firm members to take two days of paid time off annually to volunteer at an organization of their choosing. This goes beyond mere obligation; it cultivates a profound sense of emotional and professional fulfillment among our employees by affording them the opportunity to give back in ways that resonate with them personally. Furthermore, throughout the year, we organize initiatives that provide our firm members with opportunities to foster connections with each other, as well as strengthen their bond with the community.

In addition to these firmwide volunteer events, our attorneys are deeply committed to transforming lives through pro bono work, and their dedication has earned the firm recognition on the State Bar of Michigan's Pro Bono Honor Roll. While the nature of pro bono work varies for each attorney, our signature pro bono initiative focuses on assisting eligible individuals in clearing old criminal convictions from their records through the expungement process. Spearheading this initiative is esteemed Warner attorney Chuck Burpee who has made expungement work a central focus of his practice since the enactment of Michigan's Clean Slate Act in 2021.

Expungement has proven to be a life-changing opportunity for countless individuals, granting them access to housing, employment and other opportunities that were previously out of reach. In 2022, to further expand this initiative and support as many individuals as possible, Warner forged partnerships with Legal Aid of West Michigan and the Greater Grand Rapids NAACP. These organizations were overwhelmed by the sheer number of individuals in need of such assistance and we're proud to help shoulder some of that responsibility. Moreover, Warner is eager to train any interested attorney at the firm, not just litigators, on the expungement process. In 2022 alone, 16 of our attorneys guided 36 individuals through the initial steps of the expungement process, culminating in eight successfully expungements. The remaining cases are diligently working toward achieving the same goal in 2023.

Creating equity within under-resourced communities is important to Warner and important to me.

Chuck Burpee, Of Counsel
Warner attorneys and staff volunteering for Family Promise, an organization that supports homeless families and keeps them together in times of crisis.
The managing partner, Mark Wassink, and staff members volunteering at 20 Liters for the 2022 United Way Day of Caring.