Michael W. Hawkins


Mike has extensive experience in all aspects of labor, employment law and ERISA litigation and appellate practice. He has argued two cases in the U.S. Supreme Court and many in-state and federal courts of appeals. He has been selected by Best Lawyers as a top Labor and Employment lawyer every year since 1989. Mike is an arbitrator and mediator on the AAA panel.


  • University of Kentucky College of Law  (J.D., 1972)
    • Order of the Coif
    • Lead articles editor
  • University of Kentucky  (B.A., 1969)

Bar Admissions

  • Ohio
  • Kentucky

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky


  • ALFA International Global Legal Network, past chair emeritus
  • American Arbitration Association, Labor & Employment Law Panel, mediator and arbitrator 
  • Kentucky Bar Association, Labor & Employment Law Committee
  • American Bar Association
    • Labor & Employment Committee 
    • Alternative Disputes Resolution Committee
    • Litigation Section
  • Federal Bar Association
  • Cincinnati Bar Association, past president and past board member
    • Labor & Employment Law Committee, past chair
  • Ohio State Bar Association, Labor & Employment Law Committee
  • American Red Cross, Greater Cincinnati Area Chapter, past chapter chair and board member
  • Cincinnati Human Relations Commission, Board of Commissioners, vice chair and past chair
  • American National Red Cross, Board of Governors, vice chair and International Services Committee
  • National Conference for Community Justice, past chair of the board
  • United Way and Community Chest, vice president and board member
  • American Society for International Law (ASIL), Lieber Society and Dispute Resolution
  • Refugees International, Board of Directors, secretary and board member
  • Foreign Policy Leadership Council of Greater Cincinnati
  • Diversity Law Institute
  • College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, fellow
  • The Trial Law Institute
  • Montgomery Citizens' Leadership Academy (2011) 
  • Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)
  • World Services Group, North American Council, chair


  • Certified as Civil Rights Investigator through the Association of Title IX Administrators (2017)
  • AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated AV in Martindale-Hubbell
  • Best Lawyers® 
    • Arbitration, Employment Law - Management, Labor Law - Management, Litigation - Labor and Employment, Mediation (1989 - 2024)
  • Leading Lawyers In The USA (2023)
  • Ohio Super Lawyers® (2017, 2020)
    • For Employment and Labor (2021)
  • Chambers USA®: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, Labor & Employment 
  • Leadership Cincinnati Distinguished Alumni Award
  • Cincinnati Bar Association's John W. Warrington Community Service Award (2011)
  • Cincy Magazine
    • Cincy Leading Lawyer
    • Leading Lawyers Power 100 (2021) 
  • Who's Who in Greater Cincinnati Law
  • Trial Lawyer Honorary Society
  • American Jewish Committee's Judge Learned Hand Award