Michael E. Flowers

Director of Diversity and Inclusion / Member
Michael E. Flowers


Mike Flowers is a trusted business advisor, as well as a persistent advocate for diversity and inclusion within the legal profession. His focus on diversity issues led to him being named the Director of Diversity & Inclusion for the firm. In that role, Mike works with the Diversity & Inclusion Committee and firm leadership to develop, implement, and execute the firm’s aggressive initiatives around diversity and inclusion. Mike champions policies that impact attorney and staff recruiting, increase attorney retention and engagement, and create an inclusive and welcoming culture. Mike works with clients and prospects to learn about their diversity initiatives and develops strategies to work side by side to further the missions of both organizations.

Mike helps business owners and entrepreneurs work to advance their enterprises and he is often in the room when his clients consider significant events in the life cycle of their business. They trust him to help them develop and implement strategies for business structure,  succession planning, and acquisition and divestitures. Additionally, Mike helps clients secure debt and equity financing and negotiate and finalize major vendor contracts. His clients include publicly traded manufacturing companies, private equity funds, regional public and private non-profits, regional and national real estate developers, and higher education institutions.

Mike served for 12 years as a member of the Columbus State Community College Board and is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of Bucknell University. He is a member of the Minority Development Financing Advisory Board, appointed by its Ohio Governor. He served on the Small Business Advisory Council where he advised the former Ohio Lieutenant Governor on the Common Sense Initiative, aimed at reducing the potential adverse impact of various government rules and regulations on small businesses.

On the national level, Mike is a former chair of the 50,000-member Section of Business Law of the American Bar Association (ABA) and is a former member of the Board of Governors of the ABA. On behalf of the ABA, Mike has worked on legal reform projects in 6 countries in Africa and he now serves as a special advisor to the Board of the ABA’s Rule of Law Initiative which operates legal reform projects in more than 50 countries around the world.

Mike is also an elected member of The American Law Institute which for nearly a century has been dedicated to clarifying and improving the law.

Representative Experience

  • Negotiated and drafted the closing legal opinion needed for a university to secure funding for constructing a multi-million dollar health and wellness complex.
  • Review and negotiate a major shipping contract with an international carrier for a publicly traded lawn and garden product manufacturer
  • Negotiated contract terms between a lawn and garden manufacturer and an insolvent major national retailer that was operating under the protection of Chapter 11 Bankruptcy
  • Organized a county-wide land trust in Ohio as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, including crafting governing documents and recommended management structure
  • Crafted and negotiated agreements with developers in Ohio to construct affordable housing within the boundaries of the county-wide land trust
  • Assisted in exploring alternative financing options for a county-wide land trust in order to create additional affordable housing
  • Negotiated business reorganization for multi-family housing developer, including change in ownership
  • Reviewed, revised, and negotiated lease contracts between a private higher education institution and a tenant
  • Developed governing documents for a higher education institution to operate an off-campus pharmacy
  • Documented and closed a multi-million dollar secured convertible debt loan, with warrants, on behalf of a private equity lender
  • Served as lead counsel for all aspects of transactions for numerous developers including the formation of the ownership entity, negotiation and drafting of master development agreements, prepared contracts and agreements with architects, engineers, and other service providers, resolved real estate title issues, supervised document due diligence review, drafted and negotiated tenant leases, supervised work of outside law firms, and prepared required closing legal opinions
  • Managed all legal aspects of a multi-state real estate development firm with projects valued in the aggregate in excess of $500 million dollars
  • Experienced in corporate governance, corporate financing, mergers and acquisitions, leveraged buyouts, formation of business entities, venture capital financing, and federal and state securities law

Licensed In

  • Ohio


  • J.D. The Ohio State University Michael E. Moritz College of Law
  • B.S.B.A. Bucknell University


  • Member, Minority Development Financing Advisory Board (Appointed by Ohio Governor 2019-2026)
  • Board of Trustees, Columbus State Community College (2005 – 2017, Chair, 2015-2017)
  • Member, Board of Trustees, Bucknell University (Chair, Audit & Risk Management Committee)
  • Member, Board of Trustees, National Church Residences (Chair, Housing Subsidiary Committee)
  • Member, Ohio Small Business Advisory Council (Appointed by Ohio Lt. Governor 2010-2018)
  • Leadership Council, UNCF (Central Ohio Region)
  • President’s Advisory Council, Elon University, Elon, NC (2011-2015)
  • Board of Trustees, Mount Carmel Health System (2002-2010, Chair, 2009-2010)
  • Chair, Section of Business Law, American Bar Association (1999-2000)
  • Peer Review Rated AV by Martindale-Hubbell
  • The Business Journal Influencers: Law, 2019
  • Board of Governors, American Bar Association (2012-2015)
  • Member, American Law Institute
  • Special Advisor, Rule of Law Initiative, American Bar Association
  • Member, Board of Trustees, Ohio State Bar Foundation (Received Ritter Award for Professionalism in 2005), 2010-2012


  • BTI Consulting Client Service All-Star, 2023
  • The John Mercer Langston Bar Association Distinguished Leader Award, 2006
  • Best Lawyers® 2020 Columbus, OH Commercial Finance Law, Lawyer of the Year
  • The Best Lawyers in America®, Commercial Finance Law (2018-Present), Corporate Law (2006-Present), Mergers and Acquisition Law (2019-Present), Real Estate Law (2020-Present)
  • The Ohio State University Alumni Association Professional Achievement Award, 2006
  • America’s Top Black Lawyers, Black Enterprise Magazine, 2003
  • The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law Distinguished Alumni Award, 2000

Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, “DE&I Efforts as an Invaluable Strategy Within the Legal Industry” Podcast, Employment Law Alliance (ELA), June 2023
  • Moderator, The Impact of Diversity and Inclusion in the Legal Profession, Social Inequity and Corporate Social Responsibility, November 2020
  • “Opportunity Zones-An Overview,” Columbus Rotary Club, January 2020
  • Moderator of Presidential Panel for AICUO 2019 Higher Education Conference, June 2019
  • “Introduction to Opportunity Zones,” Central City Developers Roundtable, May 2019
  • “Introduction to Opportunity Zones,” Central Ohio Investment Network (COIN), April 2019
  • “Why Rule of Law is an Imperative,” Columbus Business First, 2016
  • “Common Sense Initiative Improving Ohio’s Business Environment,” Columbus Business First, 2015
  • “How Magna Carta has Flexed an Enduring Legacy in our Nation,” Columbus Business First, 2015
  • “Legal Services Needs Full Funding to Meet Rising Demands of Poor,” Columbus Business First, 2015
  • “How Ohioans Win if They Know About Their Judiciary,” Columbus Business First, 2015
  • “Rising Tide of Cyber Attacks Puts U.S. Businesses on Legal Defensive,” Columbus Business First, 2014
  • “Why the Jury System Helps to Preserve America’s Democracy,” Columbus Business First, 2014

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