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Lateral Attorneys

Nearly 50 percent of our shareholders were attracted to Foster Swift from other firms. These experienced attorneys were drawn here by the opportunity to work on challenging and sophisticated matters in a culture where people are team players. In addition to the high-quality work the firm produces, joining Foster Swift also includes experienced administrative and legal staff as well as a number of other fringe benefits, such as a business development account and payment of certain dues and seminar expenses. These benefits allow firm attorneys to more easily manage their practices.


After owning his own business for a number of years, Dave Russell transitioned into private practice with a small Lansing firm. As his practice developed, he determined he needed a larger firm with additional resources to help grow his practice. In 2010, he joined Foster Swift as an associate attorney, where he received the mentoring and resources he needed to thrive. Dave is now a shareholder and co-leads the firm’s litigation practice group.

Julie Fershtman fostered a successful equine law practice both as a solo practitioner and as part of a small Detroit firm prior to joining Foster Swift. After many years of service to the Bar, she was elected to be President of the State Bar of Michigan (2011-2012). With this additional responsibility, she knew she needed the support of a larger law firm with the resources to help her continue to succeed in her practice and handle the additional responsibilities of her new role. Julie was impressed with all of the administrative staff’s ability and willingness to assist in these goals. Julie is a shareholder and previously participated in the firm’s Diversity, Executive and Marketing Committees.

Mindi Johnson joined the firm in 2010 as an associate attorney when her prior firm merged with Foster Swift. Her initial focus was in health care law, but soon saw an opportunity to pursue a related, but different practice area: employee benefits. Mindi took advantage of the firm’s career coaching benefit and started working with an outside coach who offered advice for transitioning to the new practice area along with members of the practice group. Through mentorship combined with her skill and determination, she successfully navigated the internal and external opportunities and challenges of developing a new practice. Mindi was elected a shareholder in 2014 and leads the Employee Benefits Sub-Group and co-leads the Business & Tax practice group.

Ray Littleton joined Foster Swift as an associate attorney in 2011. He had worked at both larger and smaller firms and developed an appreciation for the benefits of both. He sought a pleasant working environment where attorneys really collaborated on projects and genuinely liked each other. He found both at Foster Swift. Ray was elected a shareholder in 2016 and sits on the firm’s Diversity Committee.