Partner Profile: Giffen & Kaminski, LLC
April, 2011 — When Karen L. Giffen and Kerin Lyn Kaminski founded Giffen & Kaminski in 2004, their vision of a women-owned firm specializing in business litigation merited articles in “Crain’s Cleveland Business” and “Lawyers Weekly.”
Ms. Kaminski dreamt of becoming an attorney since fourth grade. She didn’t know any attorneys personally, but she was a history buff who observed that many people “who seemed to make a difference” throughout history were lawyers. Ms. Giffen developed an interest in law while working as an investigator of unfair labor practices at the National Labor Relations Board. Both graduated from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. They met while working at Cavitch, Familo & Durkin.
After working together at Cavitch, the attorneys decided to launch a women-owned law firm with a focus on Fortune 500 companies. The attorneys wanted to leverage those relationships to create a client base for their new firm. Their original focus on business litigation has since evolved into a full-service model for clients. Giffen & Kaminski employs attorneys with expertise in contract disputes, real estate, employment and labor, and other fields.
Giffen & Kaminski’s commitment to community service has made the firm a valuable partner in Legal Aid’s mission. The firm gives credit to its lawyers for pro bono volunteer hours and participates in regular clinics. Ms. Giffen serves on board committees for Legal Aid, and pledges to do “whatever necessary” to ensure the organization’s long-term security.
Ms. Kaminski became familiar with Legal Aid through her 2007-2008 term as president of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association. She is currently spearheading a fundraising effort to support Legal Aid staff leadership development: “We want Legal Aid staff to go out and find comrades and share ideas. That’s part of leadership.” Ms. Kaminski’s fundraising efforts will help Legal Aid staff participate in Cleveland Bridge Builders, Leadership Cleveland, and regional and national conferences – which will give Legal Aid attorneys an opportunity to demonstrate impressive expertise. She adds, “Legal services is not just a duty for lawyers. It’s society’s duty as well.”