Press Releases


Firm welcomes Class of 2020 Summer Associates Mortley, Siacon


Despite the popularity of working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, Plunkett Cooney resisted the idea of turning its 2020 Summer Associate program into a virtual world like the one depicted in the 1999 sci-fi movie classic “The Matrix.”

2020 Summer Associates Mortley and SaiconWhile the movie’s main character Neo can’t tell the difference between the real world versus the virtual one around him, that certainly won’t be the case for Plunkett Cooney’s 2020 Summer Associate program, which includes outstanding 3L and 2L Summer Associates, Malcolm Mortley and Aleanna Siacon from Howard University School of Law and Wayne State University Law School, respectively.

Unlike many firms that canceled their 2020 Summer Associate programs or are relying heavily on virtual encounters, Plunkett Cooney has managed to move forward with its in-person program after working hard to prepare a safe work environment in the firm’s Bloomfield Hills headquarters.  The firm is practicing enhanced cleaning, robust social distancing and remote work schedules for firm members, providing an environment that responsibly limits contact with attorneys and support staff participating in the Summer Associate program.

“We have created a program that is safe, but very real and quite busy for Malcolm and Aleanna,” said Laurel McGiffert, who is Plunkett Cooney’s Director of Diversity & Inclusion and co-coordinator of the 2020 Summer Associate program along with her partner Robert Marzano. “We will intersperse some virtual, as well as some in-person, meetings and court proceedings; our goal is to give Malcolm and Aleanna as normal an experience as possible.”

Mortley and Siacon will receive a variety of assignments from across the firm to provide them with opportunities to sample various practice areas as they work toward career path choices within the practice of law. Plunkett Cooney is a full-service law firm, so Mortley and Siacon will have the ability to tackle real life assignments in litigation and various areas of business and transaction law. 

Of course, any Summer Associate program can’t be all work and no play, so even before the official start of the program, Mortley and Siacon participated in a virtual Happy Hour to welcome them into the firm. Participating in the online event were current Plunkett Cooney associates and partners.

In addition to his studies at Howard University School of Law, Mortley was a member of this year’s Charles Hamilton Houston National Moot Court Team. Prior to joining the firm, he worked as an administrative assistant for the New York-based law firm Garson & Jakub. Mortley worked in Washington, D.C. as an intern for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security and in the Juvenile Unit of the D.C. Department of Corrections – Correctional Training Facility. Mortley received his undergraduate degree, cum laude, from Howard University in 2017, and he is scheduled to receive his law degree in May 2021.

Siacon has also been extremely busy during her time at Wayne State University Law School. She has been involved with numerous organizations, including serving as a Women’s Law Caucus 1L representative and a member of the Wayne Health Law Society, the Asian-Pacific American Law, and the Wolverine and American bar associations. Siacon, who received her undergraduate degree summa cum laude in 2019 from the Irvin D. Reid Honors College at Wayne State University, is scheduled to receive her law degree in May 2022.

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 140 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 Plunkett Cooney’s 2020 Summer Associate Class, contact the firm’s Director of Marketing and Business Development, John Cornwell, at (248) 901-4008;