Photo of Heidi A. Naasko

Heidi A. Naasko Pro Bono and Diversity Counsel

Areas of Practice

Bar Admissions

  • Michigan, 1998

Education

Boston University, J.D., cum laude

University of Michigan, B.A.

Ms. Naasko is Dykema's National Pro Bono and Diversity Counsel. In addition to administering the program and mentoring lawyers in various areas of public interest law, she maintains a substantive poverty law practice. Her case load includes representation of unaccompanied immigrant children who are child victims of human trafficking and have either been victims of crime in their country of origin or in the United States. She also represents domestic violence survivors in divorce, child custody, immigration matters, and personal protection orders.

In her role as Pro Bono Counsel, she leverages the Firm's resources to satisfy the unmet legal needs of the community. In 2008, Michigan-based legal service providers identified a burgeoning crisis of unrepresented and abused or neglected immigrant children. This was because when only a handful of lawyers were skilled to represent these children and none of the children had the resources to hire an attorney. Dykema, under Ms. Naasko's direction, was the first large law firm to volunteer attorneys and coordinate training, and she then called upon other members of the legal community to respond to this unmet need. As a result, in 2010, there are more attorneys ready to accept these cases than there are children needing counsel in Michigan.

In 2009, Ms. Naasko developed, designed and directs the Dykema Free Legal Aid Clinic. Hosted at the Ferndale High School and open to parents and students of the High and Middle schools, the clinic is geared to respond to the unmet legal needs that may impede a student's success. It is the first of its kind in Michigan to be run exclusively by a private law firm.

Ms. Naasko also works closely with Dykema's business clients to create pro bono partnerships with a focus on identifying relevant, succinct and high-profile opportunities. Most recently, as the national economy plummeted, she conceptualized a Crisis Clinic for Detroit-Based Nonprofits, where private attorneys meet with nonprofits to respond or resolve their crises. This initiative was later implemented into a partnership between Dykema, Community Legal Resources and Ford Motor Company Office of the General Counsel. In 2007, the GM Legal Department and Dykema lawyers performed legal audits for fledgling nonprofits in Detroit. Later in 2008, Ms. Naasko launched a second partnership between Dykema, GM, Children's Hospital of Michigan and Legal Aid and Defender Association to provide child patients and their families legal assistance in the areas of landlord/tenant and appeals for Supplemental Social Security Income.

In 2010, the Chief Executive Officer of Dykema appointed Ms. Naasko as Diversity Counsel to the Diversity Committee. In this role, she has been tasked to assist in the implementation of the overall diversity initiatives of the Firm, which include wide-ranging activities from recruiting, retention, mentoring and business development for diverse attorneys of the Firm.

From 1998 until 2002, Ms. Naasko was an associate with the Firm's Corporate Bankruptcy Group.

Experience

Prior to returning to Dykema, Ms. Naasko was a staff attorney at the Women's Survival Center of Oakland County, where she ran a pro se divorce clinic and represented domestic violence survivors in family law matters.

  • People v. Davontae Sanford, Wayne County Circuit Court, 2008 murder convictions of teenager overturned in 2016 by Dykema Pro Bono Team based on innocence

Memberships & Involvement

  • Member, Public Interest Externship Committee, Wayne State University Law School, 2015
  • Member, Board of Directors, Association of Pro Bono Counsel, 2015 
  • Member, State Bar of Michigan Domestic Violence Committee, 2006-2010
  • Member, State Bar of Michigan Pro Bono Initiatives Committee
  • Member, State Bar of Michigan Standing Committee on Justice Initiatives, 2008-2009

Community/Civic Activities

City of Plymouth Planning Commissioner, member of subcommittee for revising Zoning Ordinance, 2002

Board Member, First Step: Western and Downriver Wayne County Project on Domestic and Sexual Violence, 2007-present

Fundraising Committee, First Step: Western and Downriver Wayne County Project on Domestic and Sexual Violence, 2009-present

Recipient of the Washtenaw County Bar Association's 3rd Annual Pro Bono/Public Service Award, February, 2014

Fellow of the Michigan State Bar Foundation, June 2011

Recipient of 2009 Pro Bono Service Award from the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association

James B. Angell Scholar

Hennessey Scholar