517.484.8000 | East Lansing
248.533.0741 | Novi
616.588.7700 | West Michigan

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History & Contributions

Thrun Law Firm provides legal services to public school districts and municipalities throughout Michigan. Our history and background best illustrate what sets us apart from other law firms that practice law in the public sector. It is the firm’s history of almost exclusively representing school districts for over 70 years that benefits our school clients through effective and efficient legal representation, comprehensive and knowledgeable legal analysis of issues facing public education, and fair and cost-effective billing practices.


The firm is a successor to the original firm founded by Fred M. Thrun in 1946, which originally focused on public finance, school law, and municipal charters. Caroline M. Thrun, Fred's wife, joined the firm in 1955 after leaving her 20-year post as Assistant Attorney General.

Mrs. Thrun had also served as staff legal advisor to the Superintendent of Public Instruction for ten years, responsible for educational matters throughout Michigan. The Thrun's had primary responsibility for drafting the School Code of 1955, and Mrs. Thrun drafted its 1976 revision.

Second Generation

Robert M. Thrun joined the firm in 1959. He collaborated with his father to draft the Community College Act of 1966. This legislation established the system of community colleges in Michigan. Together with Jim Maatsch and Tom Nordberg, Robert Thrun continued his parents' legacy in developing the firm’s state-wide reputation for being the premier school law firm, unmatched in its expertise of education law. Robert Thrun retired from the firm as of December 31, 2008, consummating an accomplished career in law that spanned half a century.


The firm's attorneys provided technical advice to the Governor and the Michigan Legislature on amendments to the Public Employment Relations Act. In 1996, the firm devoted a substantial amount of its resources to provide technical advice to the Legislature when it made significant revisions to the School Code. This service was provided at no cost to the school districts or the Legislature. In addition, Jim Maatsch previously served as President of the National Council of School Attorneys. Kevin Harty, Michele Eaddy, Lisa Swem, Christopher Iamarino, and Katherine Wolf Broaddus served as President of the Michigan Council of School Attorneys in 1996-97, 1998-99, 2003-04, 2010-11, and 2013-14, respectively.

While the firm’s history is important for defining who we are as a law firm, it also demonstrates that this firm continues to set the standard for legal representation of Michigan districts.

Thrun Law Firm Today

Today, Thrun Law Firm has attorneys staffing offices in East Lansing, Novi, and Grand Rapids. Our support staff, some of whom have worked for the firm for over 40 years, are an integral part of our success in promptly addressing client needs. We presently have on annual retainer over 500 local and intermediate school districts, public school academies, colleges, and municipalities to whom we provide a variety of legal services.

Thrun Law Firm's attorneys represent over 500 years of legal experience in school law. Because of this expertise and the number of school and municipal clients it represents, the firm is unmatched in its ability to address all legal matters facing school districts and local governments in a cost-effective and efficient manner.