City Attorney Anita Hitchcock
Anita graduated from Ottawa Hills High School, attended the University of Michigan and graduated from Aquinas College earning a Bachelor of Arts Degree. Anita continued her education graduating from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing where she earned a Juris Doctorate. She is currently licensed and in good standing to practice law in the State of Michigan.
She has worked for the City of Grand Rapids in the City Attorney’s office since 2002. Grand Rapids is the second largest Michigan city with a metro area population of 1.3 million. After a countrywide search, Anita was appointed Grand Rapids City Attorney on July 12, 2016 to provide professional legal work and direction over all legal matters of the City. She is committed to a community of nearly 200,000 citizens in which her organization serves and where she grew up. She and her legal team provide exemplary legal service to an organization of 28+ departments encompassing 1500 employees while maintaining a high level of integrity, diversity and awesome customer service.
Anita oversees a law department of 17 attorneys and administrative staff, which requires good problem solving skills while using sound judgment and an ability to be patient while honing a great skill of multi-tasking. She has daily interaction with a diverse group of people from a vast array of backgrounds. In addition to legal skills, Anita manages a 2 million dollar budget in running the City’s in-house law firm. She is currently overseeing the Police Policy and Procedure Task Force, with the aid of 21 Century Policing LLC whose company principal facilitated the Presidential Policing Task Force established by President Barack Obama. The Task Force’s objective being to ensure bias-free policing and healthy community-police relations in Grand Rapids.
Prior to being appointed City Attorney, she held the titles of Assistant City Attorney then Director of Criminal Enforcement giving her nearly 14 years of criminal litigation experience. Anita prosecuted law violations under the Grand Rapids City Ordinance Code for the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Grand Rapids. She was successful in prosecuting cases including criminal misdemeanor ordinance violations, housing and zoning code violations and tax enforcement violations while striving on a daily basis for fairness and justice for all parties involved. Anita managed the Criminal Enforcement Division and supervised the Division’s attorneys and administrative staff. Her relative experience includes trial litigation, negotiations, problem solving, legal research, legal writing and a variety of tasks customarily performed in a legal environment. She had numerous contacts with various people in the legal community, governmental and local community settings which include but not limited to police personnel, community leaders, defense attorneys, other prosecuting attorneys, judges, administrators, probation officers and adult and juvenile defendants. Good management and organizational skills while multitasking a variety of people and tasks daily was a must.
Anita’s summary of the various facets of her job:
- As a public servant, she is in contact with people from various races, economic levels, ages and temperaments while making an effort to secure fair and just resolutions.
- As a public attorney, it is not blatantly clear who the client is because she and her team represent the municipality but we also represent the citizens creating the needed ability to balance interests meaning what is fair and just for the citizen, the city as a whole and the city as a corporation.
- As a litigator, she has learned to think fast on my feet yet also master taking time in analyzing a massive amount of information and simplifying it in a form that most everyone can understand through good analytical thinking skills, written skills and sound judgment.
- As a manager of a busy office with the complexities of staff and labor relations issues, she has to exhibit good managing skills while prioritizing tasks and making deadlines.
- As a supervisor she has learned the skills of patience, good listening, and sound judgment and dispute resolution
From 2009-2013 Anita taught and supervised law students in the Public Sector Law Clinic at Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Grand Rapids where they provided legal services to government agencies including but not limited to Kent County, City of Grand Rapids, City of Wayland, Gun Lake Charter Township and the 61st District Court. Projects included legal issues involving water shut off by a municipally owned utility company, the Library Privacy Act, the maintenance of foreclosed properties, landlord/tenant issues, Freedom of Information Act, CCW applicants and many more. She also contributed to the legal community by teaching and mentoring law school students as they prepare to enter the legal field; contributed to municipalities and judiciaries by providing no-cost superior legal research and advising services; contributed legal and bar study books and materials to law students; and contributed volunteer time for student events.
Professional or Community Awards
2013 The Giants Floyd Skinner Justice Award
In recognition of exemplary leadership and contribution to the greater Grand Rapids Legal Community.
2011 The Legacy Ball Award
For commitment and contribution to the African American Legacy in our community and diligently working to promote diversity within the justice system.
Member of the Michigan State Bar Association
Member of the Grand Rapids Bar Association
Grand Rapids Bar Association Board of Trustee
Former President of the Floyd Skinner Bar Association
Current Vice President of the Floyd Skinner Bar Association
Former Mayor-Appointed Commissioner for the Kentwood Planning Appeals Board
Grand Rapids Bar-Floyd Skinner Bar Minority Clerkship Co-Chairperson
Grand Rapids Bar Judicial Review Committee Member
Grand Rapids Bar Nominating Committee Member
Constitutional Law Day Presenter
2015 Faculty Member for 3Rs - Collaborative between Grand Rapids Bar Association and Grand Rapids Public Schools
Michigan High School Mock Trial Tournament Judge
Junior Achievement Reverse Job Shadow Participant
Grand Rapids Elections Commissioner
Chairperson for the Delinquency Control Committee
Legal Advisor for Local Officers Compensation Commission
Legal Advisor for Fiscal Committee
Legal Advisor for Committee of the Whole
Legal Advisor for Economic Development Committee
Legal Advisor for Retiree Health Care Trust Funds Oversight Committee
Member of Public Safety Committee