McGiffert to join legal publication’s diversity webinar panel

Plunkett Cooney’s Director of Diversity & Inclusion, Laurel F. McGiffert, will serve as a panelist for a half-day diversity and inclusion webinar on Oct. 12 sponsored by Michigan Lawyers Weekly (MLW).

Titled: “The Way Forward: A Plan for Boosting Diversity and Inclusion in Law Firms,” the webinar, which will take place from 8:15 a.m. to noon, will feature two sessions moderated by city of Detroit Corporation Counsel Lawrence Garcia.

The first session will focus on the Mansfield Rule, an innovative approach to improving law firm diversity through the adoption of a formal agreement focusing on metrics. McGiffert will then join four colleagues from other metro Detroit law firms to discuss “Racial Justice and Equality, and How to Realize that Commitment” during the webinar’s second session.

“This is a very important discussion that needs to take place in our community,” said McGiffert, a partner in Plunkett Cooney’s Detroit office. “I’m looking forward to this discussion with a group of people capable of bringing about significant change in their firms.”

McGiffert and her fellow panelists are members of the African American Partners Collaborative, a group of partners from major metro Detroit law firms seeking to advance opportunities for African American attorneys in the legal industry. The panelists will describe the progress their firms have made with respect to improving diversity and inclusion, and they will share practical recommendations for advancing the goals and initiatives of attendees.

A leading publication covering news in Michigan’s legal industry, MLW is making this virtual event available for free to all members of the bar and the business community. Simply click here to register online. To view the full agenda, click here.

Since 2002, Plunkett Cooney has had in place a Diversity & Inclusion Committee focused on the recruitment and retention of minority attorneys. Committee members also work to advance diversity training, mentoring of young attorneys, female attorney leadership opportunities and community outreach that provides financial support and encourages employee volunteerism to positively impact race relations in our communities.

Established in 1913, Plunkett Cooney is a leading provider of business and litigation services to clients in the private and public sectors. The firm employs approximately 150 attorneys in seven Michigan cities, Chicago, Illinois, Indianapolis, Indiana and Columbus, Ohio. Plunkett Cooney has achieved the highest rating (AV) awarded by Martindale-Hubbell, a leading, international directory of law firms. The firm was also selected by Crain’s Detroit Business as its inaugural Law Firm of the Year.

For more information about Laurel McGiffert’s participation in the MLW Diversity and Inclusion webinar on Oct. 20, contact the firm’s Director of Marketing & Business Development John Cornwell at (248) 901-4008;


McGiffert Joins Firm’s Management Team as First Director of Diversity

Laurel F. McGiffert, a partner at Plunkett Cooney – one of the Midwest’s oldest and largest law firms – has been appointed as the firm’s first ever Director of Diversity & Inclusion.

Plunkett Cooney President & CEO Thomas P. Vincent announced the appointment yesterday, indicating that McGiffert, who is a founding member of the firm’s Diversity Committee and a member of the Detroit office, will join his administration immediately.

“Laurel is an outstanding trial attorney who has been dedicated to improving diversity and inclusion within our firm and the Metro Detroit legal community for years,” Vincent said. “She understands our firm well and has great ideas about how we can continue to advance our efforts internally and on behalf of our clients.”

In her new role, McGiffert will be responsible for leading the firm’s efforts to create a more diverse and inclusive workforce. She will work alongside the firm’s management team, diversity committee members and administrative department leaders to accomplish this goal.

“I’m honored and excited to have been given this opportunity by Tom and the firm to focus on an issue about which I’m truly passionate,” said McGiffert, who is a member of several organizations focused on diversity, including the African American Partners Collaborative. “Plunkett Cooney has been a leader on diversity in the legal community for years. This new position will allow me to focus on helping to take that work to the next level.”

McGiffert, who graduated from Vassar College in 1970 and Wayne State University Law School in 1980, joined the firm in 1989 and became a partner in 1991. Her practice includes the defense of clients in civil litigation involving employment law, medical malpractice, general liability and municipal liability.

A member of the firm’s Medical Litigation, Employment Law and Governmental Law practice groups, she is active in several bar organizations, including the Wolverine Bar Association, Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association, State Bar of Michigan and American Board of Trial Advocates. She also serves as a member of the boards of directors for the Oakland Mediation Center and Power Company Kids Club.

McGiffert is the recipient of numerous accolades, including the 2017 Earl J. Cline/Sherwin Schreier Award for Excellence presented by the Negligence Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan and the 2012 Respected Advocate Award from the Michigan Association for Justice. She is an AV-preeminent rated attorney by Martindale-Hubbell, and she has been named for several years as a Best Lawyer in America, a Michigan Super Lawyer and a Dbusiness magazine Top Lawyer. Crain’s Detroit Business named McGiffert to its 2017 list of Michigan’s Notable Women in the Law, and she was named by Michigan Lawyers Weekly to its class of Women in the Law for 2015.

Established in 1913, Plunkett Cooney employs nearly 300 employees, including approximately 150 attorneys in eight Michigan cities, as well as in Chicago, Illinois, Columbus, Ohio and Indianapolis, Indiana. The firm, which provides a range of transactional and litigation services, has achieved the highest rating (AV) awarded by Martindale-Hubbell. Fortune magazine has also named Plunkett Cooney among the top commercial firms in the United States.

For more information about Laurel McGiffert’s appointment as Plunkett Cooney’s first Director of Diversity & Inclusion, contact the firm’s Director of Marketing & Business Development John Cornwell at (248) 901-4008 or


McGiffert among legal publication’s 2015 ‘Women in the Law’

BLOOMFIELD HILLS, MI – September 11, 2015 – Laurel F. McGiffert, a partner in the Detroit office of Plunkett Cooney, one of the Midwest’s oldest and largest law firms, was recently selected as one of Michigan Lawyers Weekly’s “2015 Women in the Law.”

“Laurel is truly deserving of this award,” said Henry B. Cooney, Plunkett Cooney’s President and CEO. “She’s an outstanding trial attorney and a leader in our firm.”

The honorees were recognized in a special section of Michigan Lawyers Weekly and were honored yesterday at the sixth annual Women in the Law luncheon at the Detroit Marriott in Troy.

A Lawyers Weekly editorial panel selected this year’s honorees, considering a number of criteria, including each nominee’s commitment to excellence in the practice of law; inspiration and accomplishment as leaders in the profession; mentorship other women; and significant contribution of time and effort to volunteerism and/or pro bono service.

A senior trial attorney in the public and private sectors, McGiffert concentrates her practice primarily in the areas of medical liability, labor and employment law, municipal law, civil rights and general litigation. In addition to her successful trial practice, McGiffert has extensive experience representing clients involved in Michigan’s Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) system. She also has the distinction of serving as an independent arbitrator and mediator in ADR hearings.

McGiffert is a founding member of Plunkett Cooney’s Diversity Committee and a former member of the firm’s Board of Directors. Her involvement in professional organizations includes the State Bar of Michigan, the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association, the Wolverine Bar Association, the American Board of Trial Advocates and the Michigan Defense Trial Counsel. McGiffert also serves on the Board of Directors for the Oakland Mediation Center and the Power Company Kids Club.

Listed among the Best Lawyers in America® for Medical Malpractice Law, McGiffert has received Martindale-Hubbell’s highest rating-AV Preeminent™ Peer Review rating and she received the Michigan Association for Justice Respected Advocate Award in 2012.

McGiffert received her law degree from Wayne State University Law School in 1980 and her undergraduate degree from Vassar College in 1970.

Plunkett Cooney’s Torts & Litigation Practice focuses on the defense of civil litigation, including claims involving municipal law, construction disputes, employment law, motor vehicle negligence, liquor liability, product liability, toxic torts and premises liability, including slip and falls, trip and falls and open and obvious dangers.

Established in 1913, Plunkett Cooney employs 150 attorneys in nine Michigan cities, Columbus, Ohio and Indianapolis, Indiana. The firm, which provides a range of transactional, coverage and litigation services, has achieved the highest rating (AV) awarded by Martindale-Hubbell and is listed among the U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” for 2015.

For more information about Laurel F. McGiffert’s selection as one of Michigan Lawyers Weekly’s “2015 Women in the Law,” contact the firm’s Director of Marketing and Business Development, John Cornwell, at (248) 901-4008;