Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Getting to Know Dickinson Wright Attorney Colleen Shevnock

You can usually group lawyers into two types of categories: Transactional and Litigators. Litigators are the ones most of us know about, thanks to television shows like Law & Order while transactional lawyers tend to stay behind the scenes. What may surprise you is that transactional lawyers are involved in every nook and cranny in the business and financial world and more often than not, they are at the forefront of some of the biggest challenges that impact our country on a day-to-day basis.

For example, Dickinson Wright Attorney Colleen Shevnock had a front row seat to the financial crisis in 2008 as she helped her clients weather the storm. As a banking and finance lawyer, Colleen generally works on documenting and negotiating commercial loan transactions; lending money to businesses. 

“In 2008, when the economy took a nose dive, we were dealing with more work-outs because borrowers were violating financial covenants that were in their loan agreements. Banks were not making many new loans but were retrenching and dealing with problems” says Colleen. “We had to bring everyone back to the table and negotiate a solution. Banks were working with their clients to get through the rough patches and it was my job to help both parties come to equitable agreements.” As the economy has stabilized, she is back to working on front-end transactions, representing both banks and borrowers.

Colleen decided to become a lawyer when she was an undergraduate at Michigan State University. In her second year of law school, she was a summer associate with Dickinson Wright and it was at that point that she had to make the choice between litigator and transactional lawyer.

“My favorite thing about being a lawyer is that when you are a corporate/transactional lawyer, everybody wants to get to the same place compared to litigators, whose cases tend to be completely adversarial,” says Colleen. “I like the challenge of working with a team of people representing different parties but all working toward the same goal. You problem solve all day.”

Colleen works with commercial lenders at various banks in and outside of Michigan. She also works with borrowers on the other side of the loan transaction.  “My job is really to assist my clients in getting from point A to point B, while protecting their interests along the way” says Colleen.

Her ability to work with large scale teams of people and the results she produces, has led Colleen to be recognized by several leading publications including Chambers USA, Michigan Super Lawyers, and DBusiness Top Lawyers. Colleen continues to impress her clients with her ability to solve their problems in the increasingly compressed time frames that have been forced upon the economy.

Outside of the office, she loves to spend time with her family, gardening and taking Pilates classes. Her son is involved in a local youth musical theatre program in Ann Arbor and Colleen enjoys supporting his passion. “I enjoy spending time with the theater kids and I’ve learned so much about musical theatre through his involvement,” says Colleen with a smile.
To learn more about Colleen's practice, please click here.