For the third year, DBusiness honors six young lawyers as nominated by our readers and their peers.
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Ebony L. Duff
Shareholder | Garan Lucow Miller, Detroit
Wayne State University Law School
Total Lawyers: 87
Ebony L. Duff spent most of her childhood in Oak Park, where she gradually developed an interest in law and urban affairs. Little did she know she would one day represent the city as a municipal attorney for Garan Lucow Miller in Detroit.
“I grew up in Oak Park going to the parks, the schools, and generally discovering life in that little city,” Duff says. “To have the City of Oak Park as a client, and to be working in the community where my parents still live, has been a very sentimental experience.”
Following graduation from the University of Michigan in 1997, Duff took a full-time position as a legal secretary for a law firm in metro Detroit. “Before I put all that time and money toward law school, I wanted to see what it was that lawyers did all day,” she says. “I started as a legal secretary, absolutely loved it, and never looked back.”
Before and after graduating from Wayne State University Law School, Duff temped at several law firms in the region. She says she used the time to get to know judges, clerks, lawyers, and fellow staff members, so she could gain as much perspective regarding the practice of law as possible. That same year, Duff was assigned to Garan Lucow Miller’s municipal liability practice group. She’s been with the firm ever since.
“I started temping at Garan Lucow Miller while studying for the bar exam,” Duff says. “Working with the firm has allowed me to work with different cities and municipalities, and that’s where I received my entry to municipal law.”
Besides serving as the city attorney for Oak Park, Duff also serves as counsel for Detroit Entertainment LLC, specifically MotorCity Casino. However, she considers her role as general counsel for the Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority, which operates Cobo Center in downtown Detroit, to be the crown jewel of her career.
“The coming together of the regional authority board is the best progression in regional cooperation I have witnessed in metro Detroit,” Duff says. “Seeing the different Detroit area counties come together gives me hope that the city is moving forward in the right direction. I always knew I wanted to do something great for the city and the metro Detroit area. It has been such an honor being a part of that group.”