Courtney F. Kissel


Perhaps the best way to describe Courtney Kissel is an outside general counsel for regulatory and legislative issues. Private and public sector clients rely on her heightened ability to simplify and navigate complicated government policies, state constitutions, and administrative regulations while accomplishing the client's goals.

Much of Courtney's practice is devoted to guiding K-12 schools, universities, utilities, insurance companies, and other clients through the complex regulations that govern their operations.

Because of her keen understanding of regulatory and legislative processes, she drafts proposed legislation, helps implement compliance procedures, and interprets complicated statutory and constitutional issues. But when unfair and unworkable rules pose structural or even existential threats to her clients, she advocates for rule changes through negotiation, administrative proceedings, or courtroom litigation.

Courtney's storytelling skills make her an effective and persuasive advocate. She describes problems and risks in ways that resonate with clients, policymakers, and judges and enable them to see the merit of her proposed solutions.

Constitutional issues are Courtney's forte. She enjoys delving into clauses affecting institutions of higher education, including funding, autonomy, and academic freedom, and analyzing Open Meetings Act and Freedom of Information Act provisions for other clients. Governors in four states have retained her in various matters, including tribal gaming and tribal sovereignty, and The Legal 500 US 2022 recognized Courtney as a key lawyer with a “track record for advising governors on jurisdictional issues.”

In the public finance area, Courtney has been bond counsel and underwriter's counsel to several state and local issuers. She also handles appeals for various companies and nonprofits in forums such as the Michigan Court of Appeals, the Michigan Supreme Court, the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Courtney has played vital roles in developing younger lawyers and ensuring the overall safety of the firm. She received Dykema's first-ever "mentor of the year" award, and she served as the COVID Executive Order point person, tracking executive orders and restrictions in real-time and advising clients and firm leadership on appropriate protocols.

Clients don't see me only as 'the lawyer.' I'm an actual person to them, like they are to me.
    • University of Wisconsin Law School, J.D., magna cum laude, Law Review, Note & Comment Editor
    • University of Michigan, A.B., with highest distinction
  • Bar Admissions

    • Michigan, 2010
    • Wisconsin, 2010
  • Court Admissions

    • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
    • U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan
    • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® for Energy Law, 2023 and 2024

    • Recognized by The Legal 500 United States as a Key Lawyer for Native American Law, 2022

    • Named to Oakland County Executive’s Elite 40 Under 40 Class of 2020
    • Recognized in Michigan Super Lawyers® as a Rising Star in Government Relations, Appellate and Constitutional Law, 2017-2020
    • Recipient of the 2015 Distinguished Brief Award, Thomas M. Cooley Law Review, for Brief of Amicus Curiae Michigan Chamber of Commerce, Michigan Supreme Court Docket No. 147700 (regarding the applicability of Michigan's freedom-to-work law to state employees under the Michigan Constitution)
    • Award for Academic Excellence in Substantive Criminal Law, Secured Transactions, and Constitutional Law II
    • State Bar of Michigan
    • State Bar of Wisconsin
    • Ingham County Bar Association
    • Federal Bar Association
    • Women Lawyers Association of Michigan
    • Detroit Economic Club, Young Leader Member
    • Advancing Women in Energy

Latest News and Insights

Press Releases8.17.23

194 Dykema Lawyers Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® 2024 and Best Lawyers “Ones to Watch”

Dykema, a leading national law firm, announced today that 194 of its attorneys, in multiple practice…

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Michigan Wants to Reach 100% Clean Energy by 2035 - Here's Their Plan

A new bill package from state senators would move Michigan to 100% clean energy by 2035. Richard…

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Press Releases8.18.22

180 Dykema Lawyers Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© 2023 and Best Lawyers “Ones to Watch”

Dykema, a leading national law firm, announced today that 180 of its attorneys, in multiple practice…

Read More