The new year is starting with activity as Grunyk Family Law transitions to Sefton Kelly Family Law. To those at the firm, who have been planning for Danya A. Grunyk’s retirement and this transition for more than a year, this is just a name change. The dedication to clients, focus on Divorce with Dignity, myriad of resources, and relationships with judges and peers all remain. Hilary Sefton and Vicki Kelly with their partner Leah Setzen, as well as their exceptional staff, are excited to announce the start of Sefton Kelly Family Law.
“We have the same amazing team, so the level of service that clients received with Grunyk Family Law is not changing,” Vicki says. “Our motto remains ‘Divorce with Dignity,’ and we will always be team focused. We will continue to represent our clients with compassion, integrity and dignity.”
Hilary notes, “We have all had such a superb work experience at Grunyk Family Law, with the other attorneys and support staff, our wonderful client base and strong ties to Naperville, that we don’t want to use Danya’s retirement to make a change. We want to continue the firm with the same goals, services, compassion and integrity that Danya established when she started the firm. We will continue to provide high-level service for our clients whether their needs are complex or straight forward.”
Meet Hilary and Vicki
Hilary has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan, and she earned a law degree from John Marshall Law School. She was chosen by Super Lawyers magazine as a Rising Star Under 40 attorney from 2012-18. From 2019-22, Hilary was named as a Super Lawyer for Illinois. She also was chosen as a candidate for the America’s Most Honored Professional Award from 2014-22 and named in Chicago magazine as one of the top lawyers in Illinois in 2012, 2014 and 2019.
Hilary came to Grunyk Family Law as a law clerk during law school in 2007 when Danya, her family law class adjunct professor, invited her to work for the firm.
Hilary explains, “I worked at a table in Danya’s office and quickly learned all about family law. Danya took me to court, had me sit in on client meetings and taught me drafting skills. The support staff took me under their wings to teach me all the behind-the-scenes work.”
Vicki, a graduate of Quincy University with a law degree from Northern Illinois University, joined the firm in 2011 after working with a solo practitioner for a few years.
“When I graduated, I never thought I would be a family law attorney, but I quickly was drawn to it,” Vicki remembers. “I found my home when I joined the Grunyk Family Law team.”
Vicki is a guardian ad litem and a trained mediator. She was the 37th president of the DuPage Association of Women Lawyers (DAWL) in 2021. Vicki was a Rising Star Under 40 attorney from 2017-22, won the DuPage County Bar Association’s Board of Directors Award for 2020-21 and was named an Emerging Lawyer for 2019-22. For 2023, Vicki has been named a Super Lawyer for Illinois and will serve her last year as past president of DAWL.
Thank You, Danya
Sefton Kelly Family Law is poised for continued success because of the strong foundation set by Danya. During a successful business career, Danya completed law school and practiced corporate law for a number of years. She worked for a large firm and eventually entered the family law realm.
“After years of career experiences and successes, I was hooked—I loved family law! I was working with real people instead of corporate issues, and I felt like I was making a difference. I found myself peeling back layers of information to get to the big picture and to truly understand clients’ fears and goals. In a divorce, people often are so caught up in the emotional turmoil associated with their divorce, that they may not know what they really want. I saw my job as helping to get them through the process by listening and working as a team to best apply the law to their goals and circumstances.”
Danya passed the New Jersey bar in 1987 and the Illinois bar in 2000 after she moved to Illinois to get married. In 2002, she began teaching family law as an adjunct professor at one of Chicago’s law schools. Within a few years, Danya’s drive created Grunyk Family Law.
“In those early years, I would see attorneys come into court with a huge stack of files,” she remembers. “When a judge asked a question about the number of children or certain circumstances, these attorneys would fumble through the files. They had so many cases that they didn’t take the time to prepare and get to know their clients. I decided early on that I did not want to be that person. Every client was entitled to my attention and care.”
Danya mentored Hilary, Vicki and Leah as they joined the firm. She says they all have an excellent knowledge of law, are leaders in the community, and have a strong relationship with employees, peers and courts.
“These working women with children of their own have shown their dedication to both their careers and their families,” Danya says. “They are outstanding examples for their clients.”
Vicki notes, “Danya mentored me, Hilary and Leah, and she helped shape us into the attorneys we are today. Danya gave us room to grow while guiding us in the right direction, and I will always appreciate the confidence she had in each of her attorneys. I hope to guide lawyers as she guided me in my career. I want Sefton Kelly Family Law to continue with the amazing reputation that Grunyk Family Law earned.”
In retirement, Danya’s focus will shift to spending time with her family, including her husband, children and grandchildren. An avid traveler, Danya and her husband also plan to spend time in their favorite locations and take on new adventures, such as their upcoming trip to Antarctica. She is learning a fourth language, Spanish, adding to her fluent Ukrainian, Portuguese and English. The War in Ukraine has greatly impacted Danya, who is of Ukrainian descent and has family members in Ukraine. Through the United 4 Ukraine program she has sponsored one of her relatives, who is now living with Danya’s family. Danya is working with several foundations and causes to help the people of Ukraine.
Those at Sefton Kelly Family Law know that a divorce can be one of the most difficult periods of a person’s life. A client is not just a file to this team. The firm limits the volume of clients it takes at one time because each client deserves individualized care. The attorneys strive to educate clients about the process so they can guide their clients toward the best possible outcome.
“I am excited and honored to have this next adventure,” Hilary says. “I have the utmost respect for Vicki, and we complement each other with our skillset and desire to grow the firm while maintaining the qualities that make our firm unique, including having a fabulous support staff to help assist the clients too. Vicki and I are honored to continue Danya’s vision and legacy.”
“I’m thrilled to grow the firm with Hilary,” Vicki says. “Hilary is a compassionate advocate. Our goals are inline, and we will do our very best to continue to be a respected firm in our community as we grow the legacy of Grunyk Family Law. I’m honored that our amazing staff has trust in our vision, and I look forward to the future!”