Attorney recognized for helping military families

When May 2011 Wayne State University Law School graduate Kimberly Grover's son Glenn, a U.S. Marine, deployed to Iraq in 2007, she knew she couldn't just sit back home and hope he was doing all right. She had to get involved.

Through the website, she found information, support and new group of close friends. And though she had just enrolled at Wayne Law that same year, she volunteered to moderate the chat room for his unit and, two years later, offered to moderate the message boards, making sure the posts comply with OPSEC (operational security).

This past April, Grover was given a President's Volunteer Service Award from the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation for her work with the website.

"From March 15, 2010, until the end of the year I logged over 400 hours in support of my fellow Marine families," she said. "Some days were very difficult, especially when the casualties and injuries were pouring in, and other days it was crazy, watching parents figure out how much they could pack in a flat rate box and what kind of silly thing they could find to amuse their Marines. It was always a pleasure and a labor of love."

Commitment to others has always been important to Grover. After she received her bachelor's degree in economics from WSU in 1984, she wanted to go to law school, but her family was her priority. "My daughter, Jennifer, was born in 1985 and then my son in 1988, and I got divorced in 1988 as well," she said. And though she was focused on raising her kids as a single mother, she didn't hesitate to take in her son's friend, Rudy, after he lost both of his parents to drug overdoses. "He needed someone to champion him," she said. Legal issues surrounding that situation rekindled her desire to go to law school.

"When the boys graduated from high school I decided to pursue a law degree so that I could help other single parents and children with legal issues. I wanted to have the legal foundation to be able to do more," she said.

Grover's decision to attend Wayne Law was an easy one. "I loved being downtown when I pursued my undergraduate degree," she said. "I liked that a variety of students from all walks of life came to WSU. I liked the diversity."

While at Wayne Law, Grover interned at the Free Legal Aid Clinic, where she still volunteers. She also interned for Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Eric W. Cholack, Family Division, Domestic. She hopes now to practice family law so that she can help families going through divorce.

Despite her non-traditional path to law school, Grover encourages others not to give up on their goals. "My mantra, as an older student, has been to 'live the dream,'" she said. "Time is going to continue to pass and we are all going to continue to age. Think about what you love and find a career that will allow you to do it. Don't be afraid. Have confidence."

She also believes volunteering is very important and cites her own experience. "When I took Rudy in, I was a single mom. Both my kids were willing to share whatever time and money I spent on them with him and the community jumped in to help," she said. "He is now graduating from college with a double major in accounting and human resources and will sit for the CPA this summer. I expect he will be president some day. You never know what small thing you do will have an impact on someone else. Even if you think you can't do something, do it anyway. You'd be surprised who may help you along the way."

Published: Tue, Jul 5, 2011