- change ups
Raquel Salas builds law firm
Editor’s note: Each issue of the Influential Women enewsletter will feature profiles of the Business Journal’s reigning 50 Most Influential Women in West Michigan. The profile first appeared in the event program.
A well-rounded attorney and a co-founding partner of Avanti Law Group, Raquel Salas is a self-described business-savvy Dominican immigrant with a knack for client development and negotiation.
Together with her partners, she has built a fast-growing law firm with a heart of gold, taking on pro bono legal work and making financial investments in the community.
Salas claims launching and growing Avanti without incurring any debt is her greatest achievement, and impressively, the three-person team has taken Avanti from zero to a multi-million-dollar-per-year business in under three years.
Today, the woman- and minority-owned full-service law firm in Wyoming offers legal representation to businesses and people on a wide range of issues from corporate to family and immigration law. Salas proudly points to the firm’s efforts to successfully end discriminatory practices when county clerks were refusing to issue marriage licenses to immigrants.
In 2011, Avanti was named a top woman-owned law firm in West Michigan, and Salas received a Corp! Magazine award for Outstanding Leadership in Diversity and Multiculturalism in Michigan and was named one of Michigan Super Lawyer’s Rising Stars in 2013.
Her true penchant, however, seems to be starting new organizations.
She co-founded and then served as the first board president of the Michigan State University Hispanic Law Society to enhance the quality of education, extracurricular activities and cultural awareness of law students.
Her latest endeavor is the formation of Super Kids Together, where she's developing a new board to set goals and establish the organization.