Our Story

By Raquel Salas

During the financial struggles of the year 2010, when people were losing their jobs, businesses were closing, and many major big players in our economy were in bankruptcy proceedings, Robert and I started discussing the possibility of joining forces as business partners. I was intrigued by the fact that both Robert’s and my mission and vision were similar and quite simple: we wanted to assist our clients achieve success by consistently provide a cost-effective high level of legal representation and services.

I met Robert when I was working as an attorney at Warner Norcross & Judd and he sued one of my clients. The story and result of that case depends on who you ask. If you ask me, I won the case. If you ask Robert, he certainly would say that he won the case. The actual truth is that the case was resolved and settled in a way that made both parties happy. Robert generally represents individuals and loves to sue businesses. I generally represent businesses and love to defend them against lawsuits (like the ones Robert files). Thus, the possibility of Robert and I working together was an interesting one. I could see then some sort of a Yin and Yang: complementary opposites that interact within a greater whole, as part of a dynamic system.

With that in mind, Robert pretty much settled our deal by laying out the facts in an email he wrote to me on April 28, 2010. In that email, he wrote in part: “I believe that our diverse experience and connections will make for a great combination in the legal community. Not to get ahead of myself, but I think this is the beginning of a wonderful partnership.” He was dead on.

Shortly thereafter, on May 5, 2010, Avanti Law Group was founded. “Avanti” is an Italian word that means moving “forward.” We chose this name because it was simple, easy to write and pronounce, and it certainly had the potential of avoiding the predictable long arguments about whose last name was to go first if we were to have the standard name format used by most other law firms (“Last name, Last name, Last name & Last name”). We were clear from the very beginning that we wanted to focus on our clients, not on us.

We scored a major coup only weeks after formation. Before I was able to officially join Avanti, we welcomed top immigration attorney Meghan E. Moore as part of our team. Meghan joined us as a Member about a month after our formation and helped us lay the ground work as a co-founder.

While Robert, Meghan, and I come from different walks in life, we have something in common: an unshakable commitment for client service. We know legal services is a client-service business that is built on both trust and relationships, and that our success is to be measured not by how many hours we bill or how many motions we file in a case, but by the results and satisfaction we bring to our clients.

As result of this common foundation, during its first year of existence our firm achieved remarkable success at all levels inside and outside of the court room, including establishing itself as the #1 “Top Women-Owned Law Firm in West Michigan” (Grand Rapids Business Journal, March 2011). Today, our firm has more than 8 full time attorneys serving our clients. Our attorneys are exceptional individuals committed to providing exceptional value to our clients. Our dramatic growth is a direct result of our entrepreneurial spirit and our uncompromising commitment to providing our clients the highest quality legal services at competitive rates and in a prompt, ethical, and efficient manner.

On behalf of my partners and our entire staff, I thank you for visiting our website and we look forward to working with you in the near future. If you are ready to put our unique winning approach to work for you, contact us. We are here to help.

Raquel A. Salas,
Co-Founder & Managing Member

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