Health care attorney relishes 'ever-evolving practice area'


By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

Attorney Sarah Wixson, who was drawn to the law by the desire to advocate for and help people, is a recent addition to the Health Care Practice Team at Varnum, working out of the Ann Arbor office.   

“I’m honored to be a part of the Ann Arbor legal community and thoroughly enjoy working downtown,” she says. “I’m a regular at the People’s Food Co-op and the Tea Haus.”

Wixson’s practice in health care law includes working with physicians, physician groups, hospitals, and health care entities. She also does corporate work with a focus on transactional and real estate law and complex commercial litigation.

“I was drawn to health care law because it’s an ever-evolving practice area that encompasses many facets of the law,” she says. “I enjoy the complexities of mergers and acquisitions, as well as working with individual physicians.”

“Incorporating several other areas of work into my practice, in addition to my primary focus on health care law, provides for a stronger overall knowledge base and better results for clients.”

A member of the State Bar of Michigan, American Bar Association Litigation Section, American Health Lawyers Association, Washtenaw County Bar Association, and a fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America, Wixson started her career by graduating cum laude from Hope College. She earned her undergraduate degree in Spanish and English, and was a Presidential Scholar, a Freshman Music Prize Recipient, and a winner of an All-MIAA Academic Team GPA Award.

Her studies included studying abroad at the Universidad De Sevilla in Spain.

“It was an incredible opportunity full of culture, diverse thinking, and all things that go into learning a second language,” she says.

Her next stop was Wayne State University Law School, where she was a Dean’s Scholar and Bronze Key Certificate Recipient.

“Wayne Law caused me to think outside and beyond legalistic issues. I enjoyed the daily analytical challenge and relationships cultivated with various faculty members,” she says.

In law school, she interned for the Hon. Mark A. Goldsmith of the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan; was awarded the Best Appellate Brief Award for her Legal Research and Writing Class Section; served as Senior Note and Comment Editor for The Wayne Law Review and was published in Law Review.

“Some of my dearest friends from Wayne Law also served on Law Review,” she says.

After serving as a law clerk and associate attorney at a large litigation firm for several years, Wixson worked at a boutique litigation firm where she focused on complex business litigation and contract work, and joined Varnum a year ago from Wixson Law, PLLC.

A West Michigan native who grew up near Holland, Wixson now makes her home in Ann Arbor where her husband, Matt, is an anesthesiologist with the University of Michigan.

“We have a 3-year-old daughter, Gracie Rae, who makes our life immeasurably better, and a Wheaton Terrier, Stella, who still believes she is a puppy,” she says.

“My family and I enjoy most of what Ann Arbor has to offer—great food at places like Pacific Rim, Café Zola, and West End Grill; Kerrytown and the Ann Arbor Farmers Market; The Big House; Crisler Center; Nichols Arboretum; and Gallup Park to name a few of our favorite spots.”

Wixson also serves as vice president of the Ypsilanti-based Growing Hope, that provides farm and garden education, youth and school programming, and workshops for local food entrepreneurs. She became involved in the nonprofit organization due to a connection through Hope College, her alma mater.

“I’m passionate about hunger relief and excited to aid in providing nutritious food to people and children in our local communities,” she says. “I believe Growing Hope is making a tangible difference in our local youth.”