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Michigan Auto Law Clerk Wins National, Regional Law School Litigation Competitions

December 8, 2009 by Steven M. Gursten

* Note: Sarah Stempky is no longer employed with Michigan Auto Law.

One of my most exciting accomplishments as a lawyer is the law student mentoring program I created eight years ago at Michigan Auto Law, which has resulted in our law firm hiring several talented lawyers who were former law school clerks. Tom James, Brandon Hewitt, Alison Tomak and Roger Thon all worked at this firm during law school and have become outstanding lawyers.

One of the goals I had when creating the mentoring program was to take truly talented, remarkable law students — the ones who are top of their classes and have exceptional legal skills — and help them develop into the right kind of personal injury lawyers. Not the caricatures of trial lawyers we see these days from insurance company propaganda, but personal injury lawyers who practice law with dignity, respect, honesty and sincere caring about their clients. By doing this, I believe both myself and the other attorneys here will leave a lasting legacy and commitment to civil justice in Michigan.

Today, I’d like to write a note recognizing our current law clerk, Sarah Stempky. Sarah is in her third year at the Michigan State University College of Law. She is a highly accomplished law student who has also demonstrated a strong commitment to helping people. She’s certainly been an outstanding law clerk here for the past year.

But I want to congratulate Sarah on recently achieving two very prestigious honors.

Sarah’s Commercial Arbitration Team won the regional championship of the American Bar Association 2009-10 Arbitration Competition in Omaha, Nebraska on Nov. 14-15. The team of four advanced to the national competition, which will take place in California in January 2010.

Additionally, Sarah’s Moot Court and Advocacy Board Team was a semi-finalist at the William W. Daniel Mock Trial Competition on November 20-22 in Atlanta, Georgia. The team advanced through three preliminary rounds before competing in the semi-final round. There, they argued against the team from the University of Houston Law Center, which went on to win competition. Eighteen law school teams from across the nation competed.

Preparation for these teams requires dozens of hours on top of a demanding law school schedule, and then Sarah also works as a law clerk three days a week at Michigan Auto Law.

Congratulations, Sarah. You are a terrific addition to our law firm. I know you will continue to impress.


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