MSU Law alumna makes partner at Honigman before the age of 30

By Brian Cox
Legal News

It’s been a busy decade for Honigman attorney Jessica Herron. She graduated early from James Madison College at Michigan State University, completed a master’s degree in public relations, got married, had three kids, earned her law degree cum laude from MSU, and this month was elected to the Detroit firm’s partnership. All by the age of 30.

Looking back, even she is not exactly sure how she managed to make it all happen. She credits a supportive network of friends for helping her make it through college with a young child.

“I planned my class schedules around my friends’ schedules and my friends and family were extremely supportive and played a big part in making sure I stayed on the path to reaching my goals,” says Herron.

There were times, she admits, when she wondered how she was going to finish law school. She remembers taking her 4-year-old son David to the law library where he would draw while she studied.

Now she is a member of Honigman’s Corporate department where she represents clients in mergers, acquisitions, financings, and private and public securities offerings.

It’s a long way from the young girl who was first inspired to become a lawyer while watching “Murder She Wrote,” “Columbo,” “Matlock,” and “Perry Mason” with her mother.

The youngest of three children, Herron’s mother was a teacher and her father a salesman and entrepreneur. She is a “proud product of the Detroit Public School system,” having attended Bates Academy and being a graduate of Renaissance High School. In school, she considered pursuing a career in engineering, but she decided she wanted work that involved interacting more with people. She was also intrigued by politics and while still a junior in high school assisted with Virgil Smith, Jr.’s campaign for a seat in the Michigan House of Representatives. She acted as a community liaison for his office when he won. Later, in college, she worked in Smith’s state office in Lansing, eventually becoming his campaign manager. In the role, she sharpened her people skills and discovered informal mentors and role models among the staff, but ultimately lost her taste for politics. “Politics is all in the messaging,” says Herron. “When you say it, how you say it, where you say it.”

In her final year of college, Herron’s father died and his loss left her uncertain about her next step, but she eventually turned her attention to obtaining a masters degree in public relations, which she completed early, before concluding her first ambition was her truest option.

“I realized law school was where I wanted to be,” she says.

She gravitated to Corporate Law because it possesses an essence of detachment that she appreciates.

“I like to keep my emotions in my community service and my personal life,” she says. “Corporate law is straight business.”

Married to former NFL linebacker David Herron, Jr., whom she met on her first day at Michigan State, the couple have three children now: David II, 10; Dylan, 5; and Dash, 19-months. She turns to yoga and cooking for stress relief — she does yoga when she can find the time, but she cooks dinner every night. She likes yoga, she says, but she “loves to cook.”

Herron sits on the board of directors for the Wolverine Bar Association and Junior Achievement of Southeastern Michigan. Junior Achievement works to encourage financial literacy, career readiness and entrepreneurism in students.

Herron was involved with the group when she was younger.

“It’s important to me to be involved in the community I was raised in,” says Herron. “And I think it’s important for the kids in the city to understand economics and economic stability and the opportunities among them.”

If the past 10 years have been busy ones for Herron, she’s looking forward to another busy decade.

“Every year you learn more, you do more,” she says.


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