Before his retirement in 2024, Michael Jones had a national trial practice that ranged from New York to Hawaii. A Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, Michael tried high profile cases that were the focus of national media attention. For a number of years he taught trial advocacy at Georgetown University Law Center. Copies of his opening statements have been used as a teaching aid in a number of law schools.

In 1991, Michael became Kirkland’s first African American partner. From 2009 to 2020, he led the Firm’s longest, most historic pro bono case on behalf of the four Historically Black Colleges and Universities in Maryland challenging the state’s discriminatory treatment of HBCUs. Michael led two trials in the federal district court, an appeal to the 4th Circuit and hearings before the Maryland legislature. The case resulted in a settlement of $577 million dollars and a restructuring of Maryland’s academic program approval, paving the way for the HBCUs to receive high-demand, cutting-edge academic programs.

Michael has received a number of awards and recognition for his work on the case including, Legal Times Champion of Justice, Reuters Legal News Pro Bono Hero, American Lawyer Lawyer of The Year Finalist, Lawyers of Color Lawyer of the Year and HBCU Pre-law Hall of Fame. The case was also featured in Kirkland’s 2020 American Lawyer Litigation Department of the Year Award.

Michael’s work on behalf of commercial clients has been featured in a number of media outlets, including The National Law Journal’s Defense Verdicts of the Year, The American Lawyer’s Big Suits section and Lawyers Weekly USA. His winning record with dispositive motions has been noted by Corporate Counsel magazine, and his experience in defending against punitive damages has been noted by The National Law Journal. In 37 years, he never lost a punitive damages case.

He has regularly been listed as one of the nation’s leading litigators, including by the National Law Journal, the Legal Times and other publications.


Thought Leadership


"Opinion: Ruling on Black Colleges Presents Maryland with Stark Choice," Afro, January 29, 2014

"Md. Fails to Keep Its Promise to HBCUs," The Baltimore Sun, December 28, 2011

"Shirley Sherrod and Lessons for Trial Lawyers," The National Law Journal, August 9, 2010

"When Laughter Is The Best Defense," Legal Times, April 13, 2009

"Litigators' Oratory:  Learn from Obama," The National Law Journal, February 2, 2009

"The Opening Statement: Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You," Automobile Law Committee Newsletter, Fall 2004

"Old Assumptions Die Hard," The National Law Journal, December 2, 2002


Presentations have included topics from punitive damages to expert testimony before a variety of organizations, including seminars sponsored by the American Bar Association, Defense Research Institute (DRI), and Andrews Automotive Litigation Reporter.

Author of CD that is used in a number of law school trial advocacy programs. The CD is entitled: “Getting Juries To Listen: Creating Memorable Stories and Images.”

Press Mentions

“Spotlight on ACTL Distinguished Pro Bono Fellow Michael D. Jones,” The American College of Trial Lawyers, Summer 2022

“Flush with pro bono fees, Latham, Kirkland and Cravath take the high road,” Reuters, March 17, 2022 

“Who’s Who in Law 2021,” Baltimore Business Journal, May 14, 2021


Recognized in Lawdragon’s “500 Leading Litigators,” 2024

Recognized as “Black Attorney of the Year,” Lawyers of Color, 2022

Recognized as “Litigator of the Week,” The American Lawyer Litigation Daily, 2021

Top Rated General Litigation Attorney in Washington, DC, Super Lawyers, 2007–2016

Fellow, The American College of Trial Lawyers

Recipient, Georgetown University Law Center's Paul R. Dean Award (presented to outstanding alumni)

Memberships & Affiliations

Adjunct Professor of Trial Advocacy, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.

Board Member, Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights

Board Member, Dillard University, New Orleans, LA 

Board Member, D.C. Council for Court Excellence

Board Member, Equal Justice Works

Product Liability Advisory Council (PLAC)


Admissions & Qualifications

  • 1986, Georgia (inactive)
  • 1989, District of Columbia


  • Georgetown University Law CenterJ.D.cum laude1985

    Thurgood Marshall Award

    Notes and Comments Editor, Georgetown University Law Journal

  • Dillard UniversityB.A.summa cum laude1982

    First in Class

    Luard Scholar

    Samuel Dubois Cook/Benjamin E. Mayes Most Outstanding Student Award