Michael R. Dorfman Learning Curve

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Michael R. Dorfman was inspired to pursue the field of law because he takes pleasure in the fact that he gets to help individuals and businesses on a daily basis. So when something in particular hit rather close to home, it was only natural for Dorfman to reach out to others in need.

Dorfman, a principal in the Demorest Law Firm, PLLC in Royal Oak, who specializes in litigation, special education law and business law, clearly welcomes the challenging aspects of his profession.

“I enjoy looking at the cases like a chess match and predicting my opponent’s next three moves,” he says.

In his spare time, the 39-year-old University of Detroit Mercy School of Law graduate is a true family man.

“I enjoy watching and playing sports, reading and any activity with my wife and kids,” says Dorfman, who resides in West Bloomfield.

“I have been married to my wife, Wendy, for 12 wonderful years,” he adds.

The couple has three children: son Hayden, 9; daughter Lindsey, 5; and daughter Kendall, who is 8 months.   

When their eldest child was diagnosed with Central Auditory Processing Disorder and Sensory Processing Disorder, Dorfman decided to develop a special education practice.
“The special education practice that I am developing is a personal passion for me because of my son Hayden,” he says. 

In a nutshell, he says, “His senses don’t work the way yours and mine do. Hayden learns differently than neurotypical children and so I have been involved in the educational process and therapies since he was in preschool. My goal is to help children and their families secure the necessary services from the school systems so they can thrive in an educational program tailored to their needs.”

The current economy only makes matters worse.

“With the budget cuts to schools, our children, especially those in special education, are not receiving the services they need or to which they are legally entitled,” Dorfman says. “It is extremely rewarding to be the voice for those children who otherwise don’t have one.” 

As Dorfman explains, his ultimate goal for the program is to secure for every special education or special needs student the services they need and require to thrive to the best of their abilities.

“This usually involves litigation in a circuit court or in front of an administrative law judge,” he says. “I am more than happy to help any student or family who is having issues with any Michigan school or school district because of a lack of necessary services or other inhibitors,” Dorfman says.

Dave Nykanen, who is also a principal in Demorest Law Firm, has tremendous admiration for his colleague and friend.

“What makes the practice very unique is that there are obviously not a lot of people who have focused on it,” he says. “People are not fully aware of their rights and they have been afraid to challenge the school districts. He did this not only for his son, but because he saw that other parents weren’t receiving the care that they’re entitled to.”

Dorfman can relate to others because he knows what they’re going through.

“He has a level of empathy for his clients due to his experience that other attorneys may not have because they haven’t experienced the same thing,” Nykanen says. “This is more than a business niche for him. It’s personal.”
 

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