DETROIT, Mich. – Butzel Long attorney James H. (Jim) Townsend has been appointed to the Advisory Board of the Levin Center at Wayne State University School of Law. The Center has a goal to educate future attorneys, business leaders, legislators and public servants on their role overseeing public and private institutions and using oversight as an instrument of change.
Recently, Townsend was elected to Wayne State University’s Chapter of the Order of the Coif, the highest honor academic honor accorded to law school graduates nationwide.
Townsend, based in Butzel Long’s Detroit office, is a member of the firm’s Corporate and Real Estate Practice Group. He focuses his practice on business, corporate, and real estate law.
Prior to joining the firm, Townsend represented the 26th District in the Michigan House of Representatives, where he was the House sponsor of legislation that established the Regional Transit Authority for Southeast Michigan. He was named Legislator of the Year in 2013 by the Michigan Municipal League.
Townsend served in Washington, DC as Legislative Director in the Office of U.S. Representative Nita M. Lowey. He also worked for U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg. His private sector experience includes serving as a brand manager at Ford Motor Company; founding and directing the Michigan Suburbs Alliance (now Metro Matters); and, directing the Tourism Economic Development Counsel, a subsidiary of the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau charged with expanding southeast Michigan’s tourism economy.
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) recently appointed Townsend to serve on the Advisory Council of the Redevelopment Ready Communities® program, a statewide initiative to assist communities in strengthening and streamlining their planning, zoning, permitting, and marketing efforts to create a predictable and straightforward experience for investors, businesses and residents working within a community. More than 100 communities in Michigan are currently seeking RRC certification. As a nonprofit executive, Townsend led the team of development industry experts, city officials and other stakeholders that established the RRC program in 2004. The MEDC acquired the program in 2012.
Townsend earned his BA from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC (1988 ) (Highest Honors in History); his MBA & Master of Public Policy from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (1997); and, his JD from Wayne State University, Detroit, MI (2016) where he received the following recognitions:
- Awarded Silver Key for academic excellence, 2014-15, 2015-16
- Member, Wayne Law Review (2015-16), awarded Best Note by Law Review Board
- Faculty Board (student rep.), Levin Center at Wayne Law (2015-16)
- Board of Governors Scholarship, 2013-14, 2014-15
- Raymond Krell Scholarship, 2014-15
- Izumi Scholarship, 2014-15
- Judge Morcum Scholarship, 2015-16
- George Peck Scholarship for Superior Academic Achievement, 2015-16
- Bruce A. Miller Family Scholarship, 2016
- John Reed Scholarship, 2016
- Justice Marilyn Kelly Public Interest Endowed Scholarship, 2016