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Experienced, Compassionate, and Committed to Access to Justice

Kerene’s reputation stems from years of hard work advocating to remove barriers to accessing the court system. As noted in her bio, she is reputed for her legal expertise, and known for her tireless advocacy both on the ground in the community and in the courtroom. She:

  • Leads innocence, clemency, resentencing, and expungement services at the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office

  • Has represented over 1,000 low-income Michigan residents at Legal Services of S. Central Michigan, including obtaining legal status for over 60 immigrant crime victims

  • Has managed cases at the MI Department of Civil Rights, and as a Judicial Attorney and Juvenile Referee at the Washtenaw County Trial Court

Honors and Awards

  • National Judicial College Scholarship Recipient, NJC · October 2023

  • MLK I Have A Dream Award, Washtenaw County Bar Association · Oct 2019

  • Kevin E. Kennedy Pro Bono Award, Outlaws at the University of Michigan Law School · Nov 2017

  • Outstanding Advocate Award, Michigan Advocacy Program · Jan 2013

  • University of Michigan Honorary Lavender Degree, University of Michigan Spectrum Center · Oct 2017

  • Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40 – Class of 2016, National LGBT Bar Association · Aug 2016

Community Activities

  • Ann Arbor District Library Board of Trustees, Exec. Cmte. (2018-2022)

  • Ann Arbor Human Rights Commission (2016-2019)

  • Assistant Prosecutors Association –AFT/AFL-CIO (2023-Present)

  • Equality Michigan Board of Directors (2015-2018)

  • First United Unitarian Congregation of Ann Arbor, Board of Trustees (2022-Present)

  • Jim Toy Community Center, Exec. Cmte. (2013-2019)

  • Neutral Zone Board of Directors (2022-Present)

  • Outreach with Michigan Law's Outlaws Founder and Sup. Attorney (2014-present)

  • State Bar LGBTQ+ Section, Chair-Elect (2021-Present)

  • State Bar Character and Fitness Committee, District G (Dec. 2022-Present)

  • UAW Local 2320 – AFL-CIO/NOLSW (2009-2016)

  • Woman Lawyers Association of MI, Journal Editorial Board (2022-Present)

  • Vanzetti Hamilton (2021-Present)

Publications and Speaking Engagements 

Kerene has also served as faculty at local, regional, and national legal trainings, and as a guest lecturer in classrooms and at community events. She strives to engage a new generation of attorneys and community members. Be it teaching constitutional law to middle school students or training judges on how SCOTUS decisions impact Michigan family law, she uses her voice to bring attention to issues that matter to everyday people and those most vulnerable in the community. Throughout the years, she has brought attention to issues related to domestic violence, interactions with law enforcement, fair housing, poverty law, disability rights, immigrant rights, and LGBTQ legal issues. She has most frequently served as faculty for the Michigan Poverty Law Program’s regional training, the national Lavender Law Conference, and the Michigan ICLE Family Law Institute.

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