More About Mike

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As for everyone, my interests begin with my family.

My grandfather was a Jeep mechanic in the European front in World War II and a lifelong member of the proofreaders’ union at the New York Times, who lost part of a finger in an industrial accident as a young man.  My grandmother organized seamstresses on her factory floor in New York City and later worked as a secretary at the New School. 

I learned from them the values of hard work and self-improvement and social justice.

My parents are both journalists; my father was a reporter and editor at the Chicago Daily News and the Washington Post, and my mother was Communications Director of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice and President of the Virginia chapter of the National Organization for Women. 

I learned from them the power of pursuing the truth and of listening to people's stories.

I have always been proud to BE surrounded by strong, independent women

That includes my mom, my three younger sisters, and, most importantly, my wife Emily Blout, who I met in 2008 on the Obama campaign.

I attended majority-minority public schools in Arlington, Virginia, where I was a varsity athlete in several sports, including wrestling and crew.  I graduated from Princeton University, where I worked my way through school.  After graduation, I worked for then-Delegate Creigh Deeds as Legislative Assistant in Richmond.  After earning a Ph.D. in political science at U.C., Berkeley, I returned to Virginia to earn a law degree at the University of Virginia.  At UVA, I served as President of the Law Democrats and co-founded the Law School’s chapter of the American Constitution Society.

I had a profound experience with social justice in 2003.

In the spring of 2003, a racially motivated attack occurred on a minority undergraduate student. In the wake of outrage that followed, I started an organization called the Coalition for Progress on Race (UVA CPR), which organized the Grounds response.  It was important to me to try and use the pain for something constructive. Even though UVA was the South’s top law school, there were no formal programs addressing race. We worked with the administration to create the Center for the Study of Race and Law, which is prospering today.

Soon after law school, I worked as Virginia's Voter Protection Director for the 2004 presidential election.  I have since helped to protect thousands of voters' rights, helping to run seven other Virginia voter protection programs.

life in Charlottesville.

In 2005, I returned to Charlottesville to take a job as counsel to Governor Mark Warner, where I advised him on issues including FOIA requests, restoration of rights petitions, National Guard and Reserve policy, and death penalty appeals.  I bought the house where my family now lives in Fifeville and commuted to Richmond every day. After his administration ended, I worked as in-house counsel to a technology start-up in Charlottesville.

Today, I practice corporate and regulatory law with Madison Law & Strategy Group, PLLC, where my clients have included alternative investors, early-stage technology companies, government contractors, and artists and entertainment companies. I am a member of the Virginia and Washington, D.C. Bars and the Charlottesville-Albemarle Bar Association. I have lectured on corporate law to the Community Investment Collaborative (CIC) and the iLab.  I am also a member of the Virginia State Bar's Access to Legal Services Committee.

I also am a published author and a teacher.  My second book, Becoming Madison: The Extraordinary Origins of the Least Likely Founding Father, was released in March 2015 to positive reviews in outlets including The Wall Street Journal, The Richmond Times-Dispatch, Library Journal, Kirkus, and the Daily Beast. I frequently write such as The Atlantic, the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the New Republic, and the Daily Beast and I regularly speak before universities, nonprofits, and business associations.  

I am dedicated to serving our local community.  I am President of the Fifeville Neighborhood Association, where I recruited a diverse new Executive Committee, dramatically increased meeting attendance, and worked with our community on projects including expanding community and relational policing, increasing public safety on the West Main Street corridor, and beautifying Cherry Avenue.  I am co-founder (with my wife Emily) of the Charlottesville Sparkles neighborhood clean-up program, which organizes monthly clean-ups with City support in the Fifeville neighborhood.  I’m also Chair of the Emergency Food Bank on Harris Street, which provides a three-day supply of emergency food about 15,000 times a year for Charlottesville and Albemarle residents, and where I have instituted a new fresh food program and helped increase our funding.  I am also Co-Chair of the Business Law Section of the Charlottesville-Albemarle Bar Association, which organizes events and learning opportunities for business lawyers in the area.  I have also taught leadership at the University of Virginia.

I’m equally at home in C’ville riding my beloved 2003 Honda Shadow motorcycle, puttering in my garden, cooking for my wife and boys, debating issues with friends over coffee or a local beer, shopping at the Farmer’s Market, devouring barbecue and grass-fed burgers, hiking along the Rivanna Trail, and running along our beautiful streets. 


Current EXPERIENCE

Founder and Managing Principal, Madison Law & Strategy Group, PLLC

Author, Becoming Madison: The Extraordinary Origins of the Least Likely Founding Father and Demagogue: The Fight to Save Democracy from Its Worst Enemies

President, Fifeville Neighborhood Association

Chair, Emergency Food Network

Co-Chair, Business Law Section, Charlottesville-Albemarle Bar Association

Graduate, Charlottesville Citizen’s Police Academy

Committee of 100, Charlottesville Democratic Committee

Steering Committee, West Main Redevelopment Committee

Co-Founder, Charlottesville Sparkles Neighborhood Clean-Up

 

Previous EXPERIENCE

Counsel to Governor Mark Warner, Richmond

Legislative Aide to then-Delegate Creigh Deeds, Richmond

 Chair, Democratic Coordinated City Council Campaign

Voter Protection Director, Tom Perriello for Congress (2010)

Senior Strategist, Tom Perriello for Congress (2008)

Charlottesville Voter Protection Director, Tim Kaine for Governor

Charlottesville Voter Protection Director, Jim Webb for Senate

Democratic Chair, Tonsler Precinct

Co-Founder, Left of Center

President, UVA Law Democrats

Co-Founder, UVA Center for the Study on Race and Law

Founder and Chair, UVA Coalition for Progress on Race

 

EDUCATION

J.D., University of Virginia School of Law

Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley

B.A., Princeton University

Proud graduate of Virginia public elementary, junior, and high schools

 

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