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Crain’s Detroit Business names McGiffert among its 2023 Notable Leaders in DEI


Plunkett Cooney’s Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI), Laurel F. McGiffert, was recently named by Crain’s Detroit Business as one of their 2023 Notable Leaders in DEI.

The publication’s Notable Leaders in DEI feature is included in today’s print edition of Crain’s Detroit Business, as well as online at The editorial recognizes McGiffert and the other top DEI leaders in Michigan.

Crain’s Detroit Business selected McGiffert and the other honorees for spearheading their organization’s DEI efforts, including coordinating discussions, implementing creative and effective training and focusing on equity and justice in the community.

McGiffert was appointed the firm’s first Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in 2018 by Plunkett Cooney President & CEO Thomas P. Vincent. She is responsible for helping create a more diverse and inclusive workforce at the firm. The firm’s efforts include, but are not limited to, recruiting and hiring of more diverse candidates, and implementing strategies to retain our talented professionals and support staff. 

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. Prior to undertaking her current role, her nearly 40-year legal career included the defense of clients in civil litigation involving employment law, medical malpractice, municipal liability and general liability.

A member of the firm’s Medical Litigation, Employment Law and Governmental Law practice groups, McGiffert remains active in various bar and professional organizations, including the State Bar of Michigan, the American Board of Trial Advocates and the Wolverine, Detroit Metropolitan and Oakland County bar associations. She also serves as a member of the board of directors for the Power Company Kids Club. Having recently served nine years on the board of directors of the Oakland Mediation Center (OMC), McGiffert was recently elected to OMC’s Advisory Board.

McGiffert is the recipient of numerous accolades, including the 2017 Earl J. Cline/Sherwin Schreier Award for Excellence from the Negligence Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan and the 2012 Respected Advocate Award from the Michigan Association for Justice. McGiffert is an AV-preeminent rated attorney by Martindale-Hubbell, and she has been named for multiple 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 Notable Women in the Law in Michigan, and she received “Hall of Fame” and “Women in the Law” honors from Michigan Lawyers Weekly in 2021 and 2015, respectively. She was also named one of the “2022 Most Influential Black Lawyers” by Savoy magazine.

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 recently received Mansfield Rule Certification for midsize law firms, which recognizes leaders in diversity, equity and inclusion within the legal industry.

For more information about Laurel McGiffert’s selection as a Crain’s DEI Notable Leader, contact the firm’s Director of Marketing & Business Development John Cornwell at (248) 901-4008 or via email at