With more than 150 attorneys in offices throughout Michigan, Bodman PLC has delivered extraordinary results to our clients for more than 85 years.
Our attorneys provide savvy business counsel to some of the region's most successful companies and individuals on a broad range of issues, and we provide clients with the personal attention of a small firm with the talent and skill expected of the nation’s leading law firms.
With practices in Banking & Financial Services, Corporate/Mergers & Acquisitions, Aviation Law & Finance, Construction, Health Care, Environmental, Enterprise Procurement, Real Estate, Intellectual Property, Data Privacy & Security, Tax, Trusts & Estates, Labor & Employment, Bankruptcy, and Insurance, we work to understand our clients' businesses and the markets in which they operate. This enables us to provide strategic advice and preventative counsel to address potential issues efficiently and discreetly before they become significant and expensive problems that affect their bottom line.
Bodman began its success story with attorneys who played key roles in one of history’s greatest achievements - the birth of the automotive industry.
After working alongside automotive legend Henry Ford on the Ford Motor Company legal staff, Wallace R. Middleton and Clifford B. Longley founded their own firm in 1929. Several years later, Henry E. Bodman, general counsel to the Packard Motor Car Company, joined them. Henry Ford became one of the firm’s first clients, and they were on their way to building a strong reputation for leadership, integrity, and quality.
In 1933, Longley and the firm represented Edsel Ford in the formation of Manufacturers National Bank. From its inception to present day, the Bank, now known as Comerica Bank following a merger in 1992, has remained a Bodman client. Throughout the 1950s, Bodman continued its streak of high-profile clients by beginning the firm’s relationship with the Detroit Lions, who we have continually represented through present day.
In 1976, the firm became the first major tenant of an iconic piece of the Detroit skyline: The Detroit Renaissance Center. Beyond relocating to the Renaissance Center, the firm went through several changes throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s; the Ann Arbor firm of Dobson, Griffin, Austin & Berman joined Bodman in 1988, forming the basis of the firm’s Ann Arbor office, and the firm became known as Bodman, Longley, & Dahling. Shortly after in 1990, a firm called Conboy, Fell, Stack, Lieder & Hanson became Bodman’s Northern Michigan office, located in Cheboygan. The Conboy firm’s solid bank regulatory practice strengthened Bodman’s ties to Michigan’s banking industry. By the end of the millennium, Bodman had over one hundred attorneys and was playing a significant role in the development of Ford Field, the new home of the Detroit Lions.
Soon after, Bodman’s Detroit office made the move from the riverfront Renaissance Center to its new location: Ford Field. In recent years, the firm has made significant changes including the formation of several practice groups to better serve our clients. Today, with Ralph E. McDowell as the firm's chairman, Bodman continues to uphold a strong standard of legal knowledge, professionalism, and client service.
To be the leading Michigan-based law firm, nationally recognized in the industries we serve, through a commitment to exceptional and efficient client service and an enjoyable work environment rooted in collaboration, respect, and diversity.
Our Mission Statement
To serve as trusted advisors to, and build long-term relationships with, our clients while practicing law in a collaborative, energized and success-focused environment.
Our Core Values
We put the interests of our clients and the Firm ahead of our own personal business interests. Our clients are clients of the Firm, and, as a result, we collaborate with one another to ensure that the best of the Firm is brought to every engagement.
We strive to be a diverse law firm with a culture of inclusion where all individuals feel respected, are treated fairly and are provided an opportunity to do their personal best. We value each other’s differences and perspectives. We understand that diversity and a culture of inclusion promote a richer environment and are essential to progressive and creative thinking, which permits us to provide the best legal services.
We adhere to the highest ethical standards and provide honest and objective counsel to our clients. Within the Firm, we communicate with each other respectfully, honestly, and directly.
In every engagement, we do what it takes to exceed client expectations in a cost effective and efficient manner. We pride ourselves on strong work ethic, responsiveness, focus on critical issues, and creative solutions, all designed to achieve client objectives. Conscious of the demands of the legal profession, we recognize the need for our attorneys and staff to maintain their family and personal interests.
We develop and maintain relationships with our clients and colleagues.
We manage the Firm with a focus on long-term stability, profitability, and viability. We all are responsible for attracting, retaining, and expanding clients, and maintaining the position of the Firm in the legal and civic communities.