Jennifer L. Johnsen

Jenny was born and raised in Bear Lake, Michigan, a small town located just southwest of Traverse City. She received her undergraduate degree from Michigan State University in 1999 (Honors College). Following her graduation, Jenny moved to Detroit and attended law school at Wayne State University, where she received her Juris Doctorate in 2003.

Jenny began her legal career as a Staff Attorney with Legal Services of South Central Michigan in Battle Creek. She focused her work on representing victims of domestic violence and low-income community members. In addition to representing clients facing particularly challenging circumstances, Jenny spearheaded the successful establishment of a divorce clinic for victims of domestic violence. She was also a member of the Calhoun County Domestic Violence Coordinated Community Response Team and Secretary of the Calhoun County Bar Association.

In August 2006, Jenny, along with Erica Wikander (now Auster), opened the boutique family law firm, Johnsen Wikander P.C., in downtown Grand Rapids and has been in practice with Erica ever since. In March 2019, after having qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) drafting an unofficial subpart of Jenny’s practice for approximately five years within her firm, Jenny and Erica formed RAPID QDRO, PLLC, a company that focuses on drafting QDROs expeditiously and accurately. Jenny co-authored the chapter regarding retirement benefits of the 2021 Lexis Nexis Family Law Practice Guide.

In 2016, Jenny was elected to the Michigan State Bar’s Family Law Council, and she continues as a Councilmember and Co-Chair of the Court Rules and Professional Ethics Committee today.
Jenny’s recognitions include 2012 Rising Star, Grand Rapids Magazine’s 2020 – 2023 Top Lawyers (Family Law), and 2020 – 2022 Michigan Super Lawyers. Jenny has also presented on third-party custody matters and QDROs at the State Bar’s Family Law Section Midsummer Conference and presented at an NBI seminar regarding preparing a divorce case for settlement and trial, as well as on QDRO drafting and tips for paralegals in assisting attorneys in these areas.

In 2020, Jenny ran for an open 17th Circuit Court judicial position in Kent County and fell just shy of being elected. Jenny is now seeking to get on the ballot for another opening in the Family Division of the 17th Circuit Court to be filled by election in November 2024.

Jenny’s spare time is spent as a mom to her kids, Scarlett (age 13) and Tristan (age 7), stepmom to Brett (age 30) and Hailey (age 25), and grandmother to Everett (age 4), the roles of which bring her the most joy in life.

About Jennifer Johnsen