GM attorney receives Cooley Adjunct Faculty Award


– Photo courtesy of Cooley Law

Cooley Law School Emeritus Professor Otto Stockmeyer (right) presents the 2013 Frederick J. Griffith III Adjunct Faculty Award to Daniel M. Houlf (left) who is also the director of the U.S. Tax Counsel Group at General Motors Corp.


Daniel M. Houlf, director of the U.S. Tax Counsel Group at General Motors Corp., was honored recently by Cooley Law School as recipient of the Frederick J. Griffith III Adjunct Faculty Award.

Houlf, a Cooley adjunct faculty member since 2005, teaches accounting for lawyers, state and local taxation, tax accounting, and tax practice and procedure.

Joni Larson, assistant director of Cooley’s Graduate Tax Program, says Houlf’s teaching abilities “are incomparable.”

“The tax expertise, enthusiasm and patience he brings to every class have made his courses in high demand and loved by the students,” she said. “In addition, through Professor Houlf, the students are given the opportunity to not only get a great tax background, but also learn about its practical application.”

At GM, Houlf is responsible for tax planning, federal and state tax controversies, providing tax advice to the business and managing the federal and state tax environment.

Before joining GM, he worked as a state and local tax attorney at Ford Motor Co. Houlf also served as a trial attorney with the Tax Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, and as a litigation associate with the Dykema law firm. Houlf in addition served on the State Bar of Michigan Taxation Section’s Council, working on student outreach. During that time, he coordinated donations from law and accounting firms for hundreds of scholarships that were awarded to law and accounting students to attend Michigan’s largest tax conference. 

“Professor Houlf embodies the connection between practice and academics,” said Gina Torielli, director of Cooley’s Graduate Tax Program. “Cooley has long been a leader in graduating practice-ready attorneys who are educated by attorneys with experience practicing law.”

Houlf said he was honored to be selected for the award.

“I embrace Cooley’s high standards for graduating practice-ready attorneys and recognize the need to not only educate students to these standards,” he said, “but to lead by example so the next generation of attorneys understands the value in shaping the profession through ethics and professionalism.”

Emeritus Professor Otto Stockmeyer, who presented the award during a ceremony last month, called Houlf “a shining example of Cooley’s adjunct professors.”

“Our adjunct faculty members interrupt their busy days and give up their evening and weekend ,” said Stockmeyer. “In addition to providing doctrinal instruction and developing practical skills, they provide our students with valuable insights into the demands and rewards of their specialized practices.”

Established in 1997, the award is named for the late Rick Griffith who was a Michigan Supreme Court commissioner and adjunct professor at Cooley until his death at age 52.


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