Sarah Stempky-Kime promoted to Managing Partner of Christensen Law
Kime was currently serving as the Managing Attorney, a leadership role that she assumed in 2017. “We have been growing as a firm, and she’s always had a strong hand in decisions on how things might be improved,” says founder Dave Christensen, “It was a natural progression that made perfect sense for the firm’s future.” With this promotion, Sarah becomes the first partner of the firm.
On making the announcement to the firm, Dave lauded her dedication over the years, “Sarah has changed mine and Leslie’s lives, and those of our entire team. Since day one, she has been 110% invested in the success of the firm, and I couldn’t ask for a better person to be my first partner.”
Sarah has long demonstrated her ability to serve as a strategic, resilient, and decisive leader. “An integral part of our continuity and succession planning is identifying and empowering leaders who will ensure we continue our goal of delivering the highest quality legal counsel well into the future,” says Dave.
“I’m very honored to be the first partner – and female partner – to help lead, support, and serve a group of such highly talented people as we continue to build on the progress made in our foundational years,” says Sarah. She is committed to ensuring the success of every person in the firm, an ethos that was at the heart of the establishment of the company and that remains a top priority.
Sarah first joined Dave’s team at a large, high volume personal injury firm back in 2009, while she was still in law school. Five years later, they set out to launch Christensen Law – in part to create a firm with a goal of not only providing the best legal services possible, but also to build a positive, healthy work environment with equal opportunities for development and advancement. As with any new venture, there were growing pains, Sarah recalls. They had made assumptions about what that ideal workplace meant but learned as they grew about the varied needs of employees, especially single, working mothers. Sarah credits the generosity of co-founders Dave and Leslie with setting the right tone and responding creatively to ensure everyone has an opportunity to succeed, without obstacles.
During her tenure at Christensen Law, Sarah has earned the respect of many in her field, with multiple million-dollar verdicts, including a $17.8 million jury award which, at the time, was the highest amount awarded in the state of Michigan, as well as numerous industry awards for her legal prowess. “Sarah is a tenacious and talented litigator who has an uncanny ability to relate to our clients and powerfully convey their stories in court,” says firm co-founder Leslie Christensen, noting her empathy, competitive nature, and personal experience as factors in her success.
A member of the Executive Board of the Michigan Association for Justice, Sarah serves the local community in multiple roles involving supporting children and families recovering from brain injury and epilepsy. She has also recently launched a women’s networking group for female attorneys and paralegals in Michigan.
There are few female partners in personal injury firms in Michigan, placing Sarah again at the forefront of her profession. When asked what advice she might offer to upcoming women attorneys, she posits that it can be challenging in a traditionally male-dominated industry. “But you don’t have to work so hard on proving yourself or adopting a persona when presenting in court. Just put in the work, be genuine, and don’t cater to others’ expectations of what you should or shouldn’t be.” What you do need to work hard on, she says, is finding – or creating – the work environment you desire, one that supports your needs and aligns with your own values. And at Christensen Law, Sarah has found just that.
The legal entity’s corporate name was changed to Christensen & Kime, PLLC, to reflect the new partnership, but the company will continue to do business under the brand name Christensen Law for the time being.
ABOUT CHRISTENSEN LAW
Christensen Law is a preeminent Michigan law firm specializing in personal injury, traumatic brain injury (TBI), wrongful death, truck, car, and motorcycle accidents. With offices in Detroit, Southfield, Ann Arbor, and Grand Rapids, the firm’s experienced trial attorneys have secured record-setting settlements and verdicts for accident victims throughout the state. The firm’s ethos is rooted in empathy, as demonstrated by its commitment to compassionate client care and the support of local communities and charities. Christensen Law has received a First Tier ranking in Detroit in Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs by U.S. News – Best Lawyers® for the 2022 Edition of “Best Law Firms.” The firm is also recognized as a Martindale Hubbell AV Preeminent Law Firm.