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Release Date: 
Tuesday, March 21, 2023

HawkStrong: HFC alumna Nichole Sadek specializes in small business law

A headshot of Nichole Sadek.
HFC alumna Nichole Sadek is an attorney and principal of Sadek Law, PLC in Grand Rapids. During her time at HFC, she was in the Henry Ford II Honors program and was a member of the HFC volleyball team.

HFC alumna Nichole A. Sadek, who owns her own law firm Sadek Law, PLC, didn’t plan to become an attorney.

“I was planning to work in federal law enforcement,” said Sadek. “I switched to law only after attending law school and enjoying it, but also having an internship in federal law enforcement and finding out that it probably wasn’t the best fit for me.”

Fond memories of HFC

The youngest of two, Sadek is an alumna of Gladwin High School. She earned her associate degree in liberal arts from HFC (then called Henry Ford Community College). Transferring to Grand Valley State University, she earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and criminal justice. She later went on to earn her juris doctor from the Michigan State University College of Law. A practicing attorney since 2016, Sadek lives in Grand Rapids with her husband and their three children.

During her time at HFC, Sadek was a member of the HFC Volleyball team, the Henry Ford II Honors program, and the Full Circle Dance Company. She attended HFC on a volleyball scholarship.

“I was recruited to play volleyball at the College and found between volleyball and the Honors program, most of the cost would be covered,” she recalled. “I loved the honors courses I was required to take. Many of them I would not have taken except for the Honors requirements. They turned out to be really valuable, particularly the Great Works course, where I spent the semester reading many of the classics in quick succession.”

Sadek also completed a directed study in astrophysics under the guidance of HFC astronomy instructor Dr. Michael LoPresto.

“I loved the directed study,” she said. “It was totally outside my normal interests.”

Specializing in small business law

After graduating from law school, Sadek didn’t know what area of law she wanted to practice.

“I did an internship with the federal public defender’s office. While I enjoyed it, it was emotionally taxing,” she said. “I was drawn to my intellectual property classes while in law school, which nudged me in a different direction.”

Sadek began her law career at Eardley Law in Rockford as a law clerk for more than year while still in law school. After passing the bar exam, she worked at Eardley as an associate attorney for a year. From there, she went to Innovative Law Group in Holland, where she learned about small business law, which eventually became her area of specialization.

During her time at Innovative, she began seeing flaws in how small businesses were handled legally. Startups and small businesses had unique needs that were often overlooked. So, she launched her own law firm in Grand Rapids in 2019.

Opening Sadek Law, PLC

“Opening my own law firm was an attempt to create something meaningful that was my own,” she said. “I make a real effort to be relatable and approachable. That is in part because of the market I am serving. My clients aren’t interested in what you typically expect from a law office or an attorney. That works in my favor most often and is also an environment I enjoy.”

Her law firm offers flat fees and alternative billing options. Sadek explained why she decided to go this route.

“The client base I was attracted to and saw as underserved by the legal community needed alternative methods,” she said. “That is why they were underserved. They were not going to hire attorneys under the normal billing methods.”

It seems to be working so far. Sadek, who has been the lone employee at her law firm, plans to expand her team later this year.

Pandemic virtual opportunities, and new work with entrepreneurs

Sadek’s law firm benefitted from the coronavirus pandemic when it struck in 2020, because she saw opportunity in the virtual space.

“Both 2019 and 2020 were growth years,” she explained. “I benefitted from the pandemic because I was aiming at creating a more virtual experience for clients. So the push for everyone to meet virtually met my goals. Many businesses were going through rough times during 2020, so that also had an impact on their needs and ability to get legal help. In 2021, I narrowed my focus, which led to a huge jump in revenue and efficiencies. I’ve been building since then, and I am to the point where I need to expand.”

For Sadek, the best part of her job is the clients.

“My practice attracts entrepreneurs, and they are so much fun to work with. They are spontaneous, passionate, and excited. I love working with them,” she said. “I enjoy being able to take something complicated and scary and make it simple and understandable. At the end of an initial consult, my favorite thing to hear is: ‘I feel much better.’ Even if they don’t hire me, knowing that they feel less afraid to engage with the legal world makes the world a bit better.”