May 1, 2021 is the 25th anniversary of Willey & Chamberlain LLP. Founding members Chip Chamberlain and Larry Willey, along with our legal secretary Tracy Evans, started the firm in May 1996.
Larry went to the University of Michigan for his undergraduate degree and for law school. He clerked for the Honorable Martin Pence in the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii after law school. Larry then worked for the United States Attorney’s office in Washington, D.C. and did some other work in the public sector before returning to Michigan and settling into private practice in 1980.
Chip went to Duke University for his undergraduate degree and the College of William and Mary for law school. He clerked for the Honorable Wendell Miles in the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan following law school. Then he worked in the western district’s United States Attorney’s office before moving into private practice in 1987.
Tracy received her paralegal degree from Oakland University in 1987. Chip and Tracy began working together at Farr, Oosterhouse & Krissoff in 1992.
Chip, Larry and Tracy joined forces to form Willey & Chamberlain LLP in 1996. The practice was located on the 9th floor of the Trust Building at 40 Pearl Street, N.W. in Grand Rapids for many years. The practice had a number of other lawyers and staff in it at various times and office space was shared with other small practices.
Britt Cobb joined the practice in 2007. Peter VanGelderen joined the practice in 2011. And the firm moved to a new location, 300 Ottawa Avenue, N.W., Suite 810 in 2015. Julia Kelly joined the firm in 2018.
Chip, Larry and Tracy have always been the nucleus. The practice has always been focused on criminal defense and providing the highest quality representation. The reputations of Chip and Larry are second to none and you can visit their biographical pages to read about their long list of accomplishments and leadership roles. We look forward to sharing with you over the next several months more about the history of Willey & Chamberlain LLP.