Monday Profile: Janette Mulvany


As a 13-year-old in 1977, Janette Mulvany began working in the legal field on a part-time basis in the small general practice Thomas A. Klug, P.C.

After graduating from Holt High School in 1982, she earned her associate’s degree in legal secretarial studies from Ferris State and a year later began her 30-year (so far) career at Foster, Swift, Collins & Smith, P.C.

She initially worked for two paralegals in the litigation department, and then worked for several different attorneys in the administrative and municipal, litigation, workers’ compensation, bankruptcy, immigration, domestic, and criminal departments. 

In 1988, she received her PLS (Professional Legal Secretary) certification.

She now works for two shareholders in the administrative and municipal department and one associate from the bankruptcy department.

By Jo Mathis
Legal News

Residence: Holt

What would surprise people about your job?
That I have been working for law firms since I was 13 years old, when I began by typing up/making edits/finalizing legal documents and correspondence, updating library materials, and accounting and payroll.

What do you most want people to know about the work of a legal secretary?
What I wish more people understood is that it isn’t just mindless transcription of documents. A really good legal secretary does a lot of initial document and correspondence preparation; proofreads and corrects errors always regardless of whether or not an attorney asks for something to be proofread; proper English/grammar skills; a professional, kind and courteous attitude toward clients and others in the work environment; a strong desire to want to assist the attorneys she works for to keep them happy; and has excellent organizational skills.

What is your proudest moment as a legal secretary?
Earning my PLS certification.

How did you earn your first dollar? Babysitting at the age of 12 and delivering newspapers.

What is your most treasured material possession? My German Shepherd/yellow Lab mix, Emma.

Favorite local hangouts:  Trippers Comedy Club, the R Club, City Limits Bowling Alley, NCG and Celebration Cinemas, and Soaring Eagle and Firekeepers casinos.

Favorite websites: and

What do you wish someone would invent?  Cures for diabetes and for brain cancer.

Who is on your guest list for the ideal dinner party?  My family.

If you could trade places with someone for a day, who would that be?  A dancer.

What’s the most awe-inspiring place you’ve ever been? Mackinac Island.

Who inspires you, and why? My parents, because they are the best role models I know.

What do you do to relax?  Spend a weekend visiting up north with my parents near Torch Lake, playing a hearts card game on the computer or reading.

What is one thing you would like to learn to do?  Salsa dancing.

What is something most people don't know about you? That church and God are first and foremost in my life, and that I feel happiest in this life helping people who need financial help, as well as helping abused or stray dogs.

What is the best advice you ever received? Don’t put off getting your degrees or certifications because later in life, you won’t ever do it.

If you can help it, where will you never return?  The hospital.

Favorite place to spend money: Casinos or on vacation.

What is your motto?  Everything happens for a reason.


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