Law school welcomes speaker, presents Integrity Award


WMU-Cooley Assistant Dean Lisa Halushka (left) with attorney Aaron Burrell. 

Photo courtesy of WMU-Cooley

Attorney Aaron Burrell of the Dickinson Wright law firm presented the keynote during Western Michigan University Cooley Law School’s “Integrity in Our Communities” speaker series. Following his March 15 presentation at the Auburn Hills campus, the law school honored him with the Integrity Award. The award is presented to legal professionals who demonstrate the highest integrity in their profession.

Burrell’s presentation to WMU-Cooley law students, faculty and staff described the practice of law as a calling, defined as a strong urge to a particular way of life, as opposed to a career. When lawyers embrace the profession, he said they must rise to this calling as they serve the rule of law, clients, the profession itself and society as a whole.

“Becoming a lawyer is an all-encompassing transformation, it’s the pursuit of a vocation that intertwines itself into all aspects of your life,” said Burrell.

“As lawyers, we are held to a higher standard. We must work diligently to reach that standard.”

At Dickinson Wright, Burrell practices complex commercial litigation, labor and employment law, appellate law and minority business enterprises. He has defended clients in a wide range of discrimination and unfair labor practice claims in state and federal court, as well as before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Michigan Department of Civil Rights and the National Labor Relations Board.

Burrell is an active member of the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association, the Wolverine Bar Association, and the American Bar Association. He serves on the board of directors of the Oakland County Bar Association. He is the immediate past president of the D. Augustus Straker Bar Association, and was an affiliate representative of the National Bar Association. He is also an elected member of the State Bar of Michigan’s Representative Assembly for the 3rd Judicial Circuit, where he chairs the Special Issues Committee and co-chairs the State Bar of Michigan’s Equal Access Initiative.

Burrell has been named by Michigan Lawyers as an Up and Coming Lawyer, a Rising Star by Michigan Super Lawyers and a Top 100 Lawyer in Detroit by Native Detroiter Magazine. He earned his law degree from WMU-Cooley Law School in 2009.