Bio

Former Speaker of the Michigan House of Representatives Tom Leonard is a partner in Plunkett Cooney's East Lansing office who serves as the firm’s Government Relations, Public Policy and Regulatory Practice Group Leader.

Mr. Leonard leads a team of Plunkett Cooney attorneys who share his passion for public affairs, solving problems and tackling cutting edge issues. Members of the group focus on policy development, strategic collaboration, building relationships and coalitions, legislative monitoring, and bill tracking. 

Mr. Leonard served three terms in the Michigan House of Representatives from 2013-2018. In his third and final term, his colleagues unanimously selected him to serve as the state’s 75th House Speaker. Mr. Leonard earned a reputation as a straight shooter who often worked across the aisle to solve complex problems. Reforming Michigan’s teacher pension fund, creating a bi-partisan task force to tackle Michigan’s broken mental health system, updating “Kevin’s Law,” ending driver’s responsibility fees, modernizing the state’s health insurance code, and re-writing the state’s preliminary exam law are just some of his signature achievements during his tenure.

Prior to running for public office, Mr. Leonard served as an assistant attorney general for the state of Michigan and as a prosecutor in Genesee County, where he was assigned to the Special Crimes Division. Mr. Leonard graduated from Michigan State University College of Law in 2007 and earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan in 2004.

Public Service

  • Unanimously selected as Michigan’s 75th Speaker of the House and the second-youngest Speaker in the nation
  • Led the efforts on major policy initiatives that included reforming Michigan’s Public School Employee Retirement System (MPSERS), which faced a debt of more than $30 billion; eliminating Driver Responsibility Fees (DRFs), which prevented more than 300,000 Michigan citizens from lawfully obtaining a driver’s license; passing two structurally sound state budgets months ahead of schedule; and creating a bi-partisan task force to reform Michigan’s broken mental health system
  • Nearly 20 Public Acts signed into law, including a comprehensive re-write of Michigan’s healthcare law and a comprehensive reform of Michigan’s criminal preliminary examination system
  • Served on the Law Revision Commission, Michigan Competitiveness Committee, Judiciary Committee, Oversight Committee and Chaired the House Insurance Committee

Representative Client Work

  • Partners with companies, associations and industry and community advocates committed to making Michigan a “top-10” state

Professional Affiliations

  • State Bar of Michigan

Community & Professional

  • The Michigan Law Revision Commission (2013-2014)
  • St. Johns Kiwanis Club (2012-present)
  • Clinton County Farm Bureau (2010-present)
  • DeWitt Lions Club (2008-present)
  • Sweet Savour Ministries (1999-present)

Credentials

Education

  • Michigan State University College of Law, J.D., 2007
  • University of Michigan, B.A., 2004

Admissions

  • Michigan, 2007
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, 2010
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan, 2010
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, 2011

Honors/Awards

Honors & Recognitions

  • Legislator of the Year, Associated Builders and Contractors of Michigan, 2018
  • Outstanding Young Michigander Award, JCI Michigan, 2018
  • State Leadership Award, Arab American and Chaldean Council, 2017
  • Legislator of the Year, Michigan Manufacturers Association, 2017
  • Eugene Farnum Legislator of the Year Award, Michigan Association of Health Plans, 2017
  • Friend of Optometry Award, Michigan Optometric Association, 2017
  • Public Service Award, Lansing Economic Area Partnership, 2016
  • Pinnacle Award, Michigan Council of Professional Investigators, 2016
  • Legislative Leadership Award, Michigan Soft Drink Association, 2015
  • Champion of Free Enterprise Award, Michigan Chamber of Commerce, 2014
  • Michigan State University College of Law, Class President
  • Ralph M. Freeman Scholarship, awarded to the student who most exemplifies the rules of professional conduct by treating others with dignity and respect, Michigan State University College of Law, 2007

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