Legal Practice and Professional Leadership

Richard D. McLellan is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School and was admitted to the bar in Michigan in 1968.

He is also admitted to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and the United States Supreme Court.

McLellan began his legal career as a lawyer in Fowlerville, Michigan where he also served as Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney for Livingston County, Michigan. In 1969 he joined the staff of Michigan Governor William G. Milliken where he served as an administrative assistant for policies and programs until 1973.

In 1973, McLellan launched a private law practice in Lansing, Michigan that grew into the 11-layer firm of McLellan, Schlaybaugh and Whitbeck. The firm combined practices with Dykema, Gossett, Spencer, Goodnow & Trigg (now Dykema Gossett PLLC) in 1982 where McLellan practiced until retiring in 2007. During his tenure at Dykema, McLellan served as head of the firm’s Government Policy & Practice Group and as Managing Member of the firm’s Lansing Office. He also a served a term on the firm’s Executive Committee. He also served as a special assistant attorney general by appointment of Attorney General Frank J. Kelley.

McLellan has also been appointed twice by the Michigan Supreme Court as a Commissioner of the State Bar of Michigan where he also served three years as Co-Chair of the Justice Initiatives Committee. He serves as Second Chair of the Advocates Guild of the Michigan Supreme Court Historical Society.

He has served as Chairman of the Qualifications Review Committee evaluating candidates for federal judges and U.S. attorney for the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Western District and the Eastern District of Michigan.

He served for 10 years as a Trustee of the Michigan State University College of Law during the period of the affiliation of the former Detroit College of Law with MSU.

McLellan serves as a director of the American Justice Partnership, a national organization dedicated to promoting free enterprise and winning legal reform in the states. McLellan formerly served as a  consultant to the Campaign for Justice, a bipartisan coalition supporting adequate funding for constitutionally-mandated funding for criminal indigent defendants. McLellan serves on the board of three public interest law firms: the Native Nations Law Center, the Oxford Foundation Law Center, and the Mackinac Center [Foundation].

In 2010, McLellan served as the Chair of the Transition Team for Michigan Attorney General-elect Bill Schuette.