Brown Law Group Re-Ups in Comerica Bank Building

When Janice Brown established the Brown Law Group in 2003, she settled Downtown because of its competitive leasing rates. Since then she’s discovered many other reasons why the choice was a good one.

Brown’s law firm occupies half of the 16th floor of the Comerica Bank building on B Street. Instead of driving to court, which she used to do daily with the Vantage Law Group in University Towne Centre, she now walks. A member of the American Bar Association’s House of Delegates, Brown has frequent business at the San Diego County Bar Association building. It’s a block away.

"And there’s a ton of places to eat," says Brown, who has three lawyer associates, a paralegal and three staff people working for her. "I’m also close by many of my colleagues in the profession."

Brown and her husband, David Fenell, a Marine Corps major, live in Kensington, close enough to her work that she can’t complain anymore about commuting headaches.

The law offices contain about 3,500 square feet and Brown says there are opportunities for expansion. She is, in fact, planning to hire another attorney right away and to grow the firm to eight attorneys. She’s so comfortable in the building that she signed a lease renewal for four years.

The law firm specializes in employment law and business litigation. Clients range from insurance, residential and commercial construction companies to banks and finance companies.

Brown received an undergraduate degree in journalism and graduated from the University of Montana in 1981. She graduated from Gonzaga Law School in two years and joined the Justice Department’s honors program in 1984. She was the Department of Justice "Outstanding Trial Attorney" in 1987 and in 1995 was honored as the "Lawyer of the Year" by the California Association of Black Lawyers.

Janice Brown selected the furnishings and art work for her Comerica Bank building offices.

In 2003, Brown was recognized by the San Diego County Bar Association for commitment to diversity in the legal profession. She is a past president and treasurer of the Earl B. Gilliam Bar Association. She was elected to the American Bar Association’s Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section Council for a three-year term beginning in August.

Brown was a founder of Vantage Law Group in 1999, which had its offices in the Northern Trust building in UTC. She left the firm to go on her own. Sharing her Downtown office are senior associate Stacy L. Fode, a graduate of the University of Oregon School of Law, associate Shana W. Sechrist, a Harvard Law School graduate, and Laura H. Roppé, graduate of the University of San Diego Law School.

Brown turned 47 last month. "I earned this age," she says. "I hope I don’t look it."

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