Assistant U.S. Attorney
U.S. Department of Justice
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
Industry: Government/Public Service
Field: Civil Litigation
“We don’t represent just anybody, we represent the United States,” says Agnes Kempker-Cloyd, assistant U.S. attorney for the U.S. Attorneys’ Office of the U.S. Department of Justice. “If you are going to govern, you have to govern fairly.” For the past 35 years, Ms. Kempker-Cloyd has held fast to this philosophy, always searching for a resolution that best meets the needs of both parties. When it comes to litigations and settlements, you should “try to build a bridge instead of creating more tension,” she says.
Throughout her career in law, Ms. Kempker-Cloyd has gained experience in many different areas of the field, including criminal law, which is where she spent her first decade, and cases regarding bankruptcy — she is one of only two or three individuals who have experience in this area in her office. Although she has more than three decades of experience and has become skilled in civil litigation, it was no easy task for her to go into the field of law. When she first entered law school, women were given a hard time because it was not a common field for them to pursue a career in. However, she was persistent in obtaining her law degree and graduated from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law with a JD.
A seasoned professional, Ms. Kempker-Cloyd understands that when working with her clients, it takes time, experience and maturity to be able to make a reasonable offer. “You have to try to remember that even though you may think that the case is small, to the person involved, it’s a big deal.” The most gratifying aspect of her career is when she is able to litigate a case successfully. In order to keep herself fresh, she is an avider reader of the Michigan Bar Journal. She also supports many charitable organizations, including Circle Theater, Home Repair Services, Senior Neighbors, the Fair Housing Center of Greater Grand Rapids, the Grand Rapids Community Foundation and Sierra Club.
Ms. Kempker-Cloyd originally wanted to pursue a career as a buyer and maintains her hobby of fashion design. When she needs a break, she is able to bring out her creative side, working as an independent fashion consultant for Jockey Person to Person. Continue reading