Deborah Brouwer named to Michigan Lawyers Weekly Women in the Law Class of 2018
Detroit-based management side labor and employment law firm Nemeth Law, P.C., is pleased to announce that Deborah Brouwer, a partner in the firm, has been included in the legal trade publication Michigan Lawyers Weekly Women in the Law Class of 2018. Women in the Law recognizes women attorneys who have a commitment to excellence in the law, are inspiring and accomplished leaders in the profession, serve as a mentor to other women and contribute time and effort to volunteerism and pro-bono activities. All honorees will be recognized at a luncheon event on September 20 at the Detroit Marriott -Troy.
Brouwer’s practice at Nemeth Law focuses exclusively in labor and employment law, with particular experience in the defense of lawsuits against employers, including claims of race, age, religion, national origin, gender and disability discrimination, harassment and retaliation, as well as FLSA, FMLA and non-competition suits. She also provides harassment training and conducts discrimination and harassment investigations for employers. Brouwer has extensive experience in appearing before administrative agencies, including the EEOC, MDCR, MIOSHA, OSHA and the NLRB and also appears frequently before the Michigan Court of Appeals and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. She is a sought after speaker on legal issues impacting employers and insurers.
Brouwer is active in professional and civic activities. As Chair of the Board of Directors for Assured Family Services, she recently led the search for a new CEO following the retirement of the agency’s long-term CEO. She is also Board Treasurer of the Hannan Center, which provides services to senior citizens, and was recently elected Secretary of the Board of Directors for the Michigan Defense Trial Counsel.
Brouwer set her sights on becoming a lawyer at an early age. For a junior high school assignment, she had to prepare a career notebook and interview someone in her chosen field. She interviewed a male attorney in her hometown of Midland, Michigan, who shared disheartening news—that as a woman, if Brouwer went into law, the only area she in which she had a chance of being successful would be divorce, and even then, only women would hire her. Because it was 1966, Brouwer believed him and abandoned her goal because she didn’t want to limit herself to one legal practice area before even getting started. Ten years later, after college and graduate school, she realized that this attorney had been wrong; with new determination, Brouwer headed to law school.
A seasoned litigator now, Brouwer was struck early on in her law career by how few female litigators she saw in court, especially given the relatively high numbers of women in law school even 35 years ago. She assumed the situation would change over time, and while it has to a degree, trial work remains heavily male dominated. While there were a few meaningful female mentor relationships along her early path, Brouwer had to learn how to navigate the legal environment largely on her own. When she joined Nemeth Law in 2004, Brouwer found new mentors at the woman-owned firm – even though she was then decades into her career – and continues to actively mentor the female (and male!) attorneys and clerks in the firm by bringing them to court with her, working on briefs and motions together, an engaging them in challenging conversations. The mentoring of which she is most proud, though, is that of her 25-year-old son, who interned for Nemeth Law while in college and went on to Georgetown Law School. He is now practicing law in Washington, D.C. and tells his mom he regularly holds her up to his friends and colleagues as an example of a successful litigator who also happens to be a woman - and his mother!
Brouwer holds a Juris Doctor from Wayne State University School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts, with distinction, and Master of Arts, both from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She is a resident of Huntington Woods.
About Nemeth Law, P.C.
Established in 1992, Nemeth Law specializes in workplace investigations, employment litigation, traditional labor law, management consultation/training for private and public sector employers, and arbitration and mediation. It is the largest woman-owned law firm in Michigan to exclusively represent management in the prevention, resolution and litigation of labor and employment disputes.