Michigan Lawyers Weekly Names Raisa Medvinsky to the 2021 Class of “Unsung Legal Hero”
According to Lawyers Weekly, Unsung Legal Heroes are law firm employees who consistently go above and beyond the call of duty, often behind the scenes. The honor is reserved for the most talented and dedicated legal support professionals in the state.
Below are the words founding partner R. Jamison Williams, Jr. wrote in support of Raisa’s nomination:
Raisa Medvinsky has devoted more than 40 years of her life to Williams Williams Rattner & Plunkett, not only helping to maintain an efficient, productive, and client-oriented culture but also to ensure every individual is valued and honored.
Arriving in the U.S. from the Soviet Union in 1980, Raisa came highly educated with a master’s in economics but no job prospects or local references. The late James A. Williams, one of the firm’s co-founders and then the managing partner, took a chance on this bright, motivated, and eager young woman, hiring her as the office administrator (the same title she holds today) and bringing her into the firm’s family.
In those days, Raisa issued checks manually and provided ledger cards to an outside company to process invoices to WWRP clients. As computers, the internet, and other innovations became fixtures, Raisa immersed herself in each, believing she had to fully understand the technology to effectively manage and motivate others to master it, too.
Until his passing in 2007, Jim Williams continued to teach Raisa about business, the business of law, and the importance of the people at the firm. Simultaneously, I sought to instill in her the fundamental belief that everyone should be treated equally, regardless of title, education, or differences. Raisa feels her greatest achievement is building a team—a family—with a unique synergy.
You’ve probably noticed the “family” theme here. The concept of family is a core principle of Raisa’s management style. As Raisa explains, “We work together, celebrate weddings and babies, share our problems, and mourn one another’s losses. We even have a WWRP Thanksgiving every November.”
Like a family, Raisa relishes the chance to help her colleagues grow. She is not a micromanager or taskmaster; instead, she empowers people, trusts them to do their jobs, and lets them run with the ball. As a result, individuals perform better, contribute to the organization’s success, and stay longer, despite opportunities elsewhere. That’s Raisa’s story, too – despite several offers over the years to take her talents elsewhere, she has turned them all down, a testament to her fierce loyalty to the firm that has given her so much.
Raisa’s passion for helping people develop and grow isn’t limited to the WWRP community. She established a co-op program with a local high school to give real-world experience and course credit to students interested in law. She later expanded the program to students at the University of Michigan – Dearborn, many of whom, like her, come from all over the world to explore and pursue new opportunities.
A great day at work for Raisa is when everything runs smoothly like a well-oiled machine. Although COVID certainly challenged her and the firm, Raisa will proudly tell you they didn’t skip a beat. People quickly transitioned from the office to work from home, hallway conversations became Zoom and Skype meetings, and anniversaries, birthdays, and other celebrations happened as before, albeit virtually. A designated “essential worker,” Raisa went to the office every day, like a field general directing operations from a command center.
Another important family in Raisa’s life is the Detroit Chapter of the Association of Legal Administrators. One of its charter members, she is an active participant and valued colleague and has formed many close relationships. She has served as chair of the Diversity Committee, yet another means for her to treat all people equally and provide opportunities to those who might often get them.
For over four decades, Raisa has been a friend, advisor, confidante, and “silent partner” to everyone at the firm. We owe so much of our success to her. Just as she feels blessed by the people around her here, we have been blessed to have her – a vital part of the firm and our Unsung Hero – in the WWRP family.
We are delighted that Raisa has been honored with this well-deserved recognition. Please join us in congratulating her!