Evolving field: Attorney trains his focus on public utility matters


 By Sheila Pursglove

Legal News
Always interested in human evolution, attorney Mike Rampe earned his undergrad degree in anthropology – and later chose a legal field that has undergone its own evolution: public utility law and telecommunications. 
“The changes have been enormous,” explains Rampe, a principal in Miller Canfield’s Lansing office. “On the telecommunications side, I started out representing telephone companies that provided what the industry calls ‘plain old telephone service.’ Today, those same telephone providers offer sophisticated high-speed broadband services that enable all the voice, video, and data applications that business and residential customers now use routinely. I’ve enjoyed adapting my practice to address the legal issues that have arisen as a result of these technological advancements.
“On the energy side, the regulatory environment is also constantly changing, including the introduction of renewable energy requirements, and I’ve enjoyed working with energy providers to meet new requirements.” 
Rampe represents utilities and telecommunications providers in regulatory and administrative law matters and litigation before state and federal agencies, courts and in appellate matters; and provides counsel on interconnection, tariffs, inter-carrier disputes, licensing, cable television, utility cost recovery filings, and all areas of state and federal law affecting utilities and telecommunication providers.
Rampe felt focusing on this challenging niche would help him succeed in a competitive legal field. 
“Both of these areas are technical and specialized, and I’m very fortunate to do this type of legal work,” he notes.
He earned his J.D., magna cum laude, from Michigan State University College of Law, where he was a member, of the Law Review, and was honored with the Stephen T. Roumell Award for proficiency in the study of Taxation and Jurisprudence Achievement Award, Basic Income Taxation, Evidence. 
“At the time I was considering law school, I didn’t know a single lawyer,” he says. “However, I knew writing and logical reasoning were essential skills for attorneys, and I considered these to be my strengths. I decided to trust my instincts that I had what it took to succeed in law school and professionally. 
“MSU Law was a great fit for me – I received a great education from dedicated and engaging professors who prepared me well for my career.” 
Despite his Spartan education, Rampe’s heart lies in Ann Arbor, where he earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan, with honors, high distinction, and received the James B. Angell Scholar Award. 
“Ann Arbor has great restaurants, cultural activities, and the University of Michigan – the place has it all,” he says. “I’m a Wolverine – Go Blue!”
Fighting words for someone who has lived most of his life in the Lansing area and who currently calls East Lansing home with his wife of 22 years and two sons. 
“The Lansing area is a great place to work and raise a family because it’s just the right size – big enough that there are lots of fun things to do, but small enough that I have a short commute to work,” he says. 
A member of the American Bar Association, State Bar of Michigan, and Ingham County Bar Association, Rampe is past president of the South Lansing Rotary Club, and belongs to the St. Martha Knights of Columbus in Okemos. 
“I’m blessed to live in a great community,” he says. “What I love best about Rotary and the Knights of Columbus are the opportunities to give back to my community.”
In his leisure time, Rampe enjoys golf and running. 
“I’ve run three marathons and look forward to running more,” he says. “Running is a great activity for a lawyer – I’ve worked through many complex legal issues while on a run.”