Muskegon County Bar Association Welcomes Angella Guerrero

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Photos by Diana L. Coleman

 

By Diana L. Coleman

Legal News

Angella Guerrero was all smiles and the star of the show as the only new attorney being admitted to the bar in Muskegon County this November.

Her family and friends joined Guerrero, a Cooley graduate, for this special day in her life.

The Chief Deputy County Clerk, Marcia L. Wilkes, produced the letter of verification on Guerrero’s behalf. Judge William C. Marietti reviewed the document and stated she was fully qualified for admittance to the bar. Attorney Belinda Barbier, acting as her sponsor, moved for Guerrero’s admission. Barbier said, “I have known Angella for three years and she possess high morals and integrity and will offer a great deal to the bar.”

Muskegon County Bar Association president John Schrier welcomed Guerrero to the bar and encouraged her to become an active membe. “Attend the social events, network with local attorneys, and call on lawyers and judges for information. There is much to learn from the bench and the bar and the members are willing to help,” said Schrier.

Guerrero received the oath from Marcia Wilkes and, with shaking hands and a smile, recited every word clearly. She was directed to sign the county’s large Roll of Attorneys book. All attorneys admitted in Muskegon County since the inception of the circuit court have signed this book.

Watching the ceremony with a front row seat inside the gate to the courtroom, Guerrero’s parents, Dawn Cady and Bryan Guerrero, were also smiling broadly, but were handed a box of tissue from Judge Marietti’s court staff to help with the proud parents tears.

Guerrero’s grandparents, across the room, could also have benefited from the box of tissues. Judge Marietti always says, “It takes a family to raise a lawyer,” and her family was bursting with pride.

The Honorable Andrew Wierengo, Chief Judge of the 60th District Court, welcomed Guerrero. “We have an open door policy, which is unique to Muskegon County. We want the lawyers to feel comfortable in approaching members of the bench with questions,” said Judge Wierengo.

Judge Marietti also encouraged Guerrero to become an active participant in the bar. “You are going to quickly find out that you really don’t know anything. You may know the book stuff, but not the logistical part of practicing law. Talk to other people. MCBA is a very welcoming bar and all are here to help you succeed,” said Marietti.

Guerrero is a Muskegon native and graduated from Orchard View High School with a 4.23 GPA. She received an undergraduate degree from Michigan State University, with honors, in Political Theory and Constitutional Democracy in 2007, and her GPA there was 3.82.

Guerrero said, “  always sort of wanted to be an attorney from way back in elementary school. While in college I realized things are not always fair in life. I wanted to do something — to make a difference and help people.”

Enduring the grueling “Cooley Commute,” Guerrero attended the Grand Rapids campus of Thomas M. Cooley Law School. “It has been a long road and I’m looking forward to working in West Michigan,” said Guerrero. “I have the very best family. My grandma Susie Engle listened to my tearfully frustrations and helped me through many rough times.”

Guerrero’s parents Dawn and Bryan, her grandparents, Bruce and Sue Ann Engle, her sister Amber (now at Michigan State University), and her boyfriend David Doremire were very supportive while she attended law school.

Guerrero clerked during law school at the local firms of Corwin Law, and Houghtaling Wasiura and Catalino. She also clerked at the Grand Rapids firm of Ryan, Podein & Postema.

“I’m not having much success finding a position in a law firm,” said Guerrero. “I may have to start my own practice unless something opens up. In the meantime, I am substitute teaching at the Career Tech Center.”

Following the swearing-in ceremony, Guerrero was joined by family and friends for hugs, congratulations, and positive words of encouragement, as she enters her new career.