Mike graduated from Antioch College in 1977 and from the University of North Carolina Law School, with honors, in 1980. At the law school he was selected as the James O. Bowman Scholar, served on the Law Review, and received the Order of the Coif Award for Legal Writing. Before entering private practice, he was a law clerk to the Honorable J. Dickson Phillips of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and worked as a litigation attorney in the Appellate Court Branch of the Enforcement Division of the National Labor Relations Board in Washington.
Mike represents unions and individuals across North Carolina. He serves as general counsel to the North Carolina State AFL-CIO, has been Chair of the Labor and Employment Section of the North Carolina Bar Association and served on the Board of Directors of the Lawyers Coordinating Committee, the national organization of union attorneys, and on the Executive Board of the National Employment Lawyers Association, the national organization of attorneys representing employees. He has served on the North Carolina Commission on Workforce Development and numerous state legislative study commissions and consulted for the ABA and the Free Trade Union Institute in Belarus, Lithuania, and Russia and commented on the labor codes of Albania, Armenia, Belarus, Bulgaria and Croatia.
Mike teaches labor law at the Wake Forest University School of Law. He is listed in The Best Lawyers in America, in Business North Carolina's Legal Elite, and in North Carolina Superlawyers published by Law and Politics Magazine. Mike is one of two North Carolina lawyers -- and the only representing unions or individuals -- to be elected a Fellow of the national College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. His work has been honored by, among others, the A. Philip Randolph Institute, The North Carolina State AFL-CIO, the North Carolina Occupational Safety and Health Project, The North Carolina Justice Center, The North Carolina Association of Retired Americans, The Triangle Native American Association, and Southerners for Economic Justice. His practice focuses on labor and employment law. Before entering law school, he was an ironworker, working out of Local 63.