Get to Know Dominic N. Hamden


Born and raised in Adrian, Dominic Hamden graduated from Lenawee Christian High School, the University of Michigan, and Thomas M. Cooley Law School. He has lived in Milan, with his family for the last 15 years.

Along with operating his own law office, Hamden also is the Mayor of Milan. He served on City Council for eight years before being elected to his first term as mayor more than two years ago. He is currently on his second mayoral term.

He has a general practice law firm, however, his practice primarily focuses on three areas: domestic; estate planning and administration; and business litigation.

By Teresa A. Killeen
Washtenaw County Bar Association

Did you always know you wanted to be an attorney? After graduating from U-M, I very much wanted to work in public service. I went to law school with the hope of furthering that career goal. However, after working as a lawyer in Ann Arbor for a few years, I really began to enjoy practicing law. I am fortunate now that I get to enjoy both of my passions.

What jobs did you have before you became an attorney? I did get a brief stint investigating theft for a retail establishment. That was quite entertaining.

What area of the law do you like the best and why? My primary areas of practice are domestic, estate planning, and commercial litigation. I worked in domestic law for the last 14 years and am fortunate to have worked for a wonderful domestic practitioner out of law school. I learned a lot. I came into my commercial litigation practice on my own. I have a few large corporate clients – one of which flies me throughout the country.

Tell us a little about your family. I have a wonderful wife. We have been married for almost 18 years. I have two sons, ages 15 and 12. They are both honor roll students who also play travel hockey. They have skated since they were about three years old. I enjoy vacationing with them as often as we can and finding new things to do. In the last few years we have gone parasailing, zip lining, snorkeling, off roading, horse back riding, submarining in the Caribbean, and visited about eight different islands.

What is the biggest challenge facing you as an attorney today? Finding the appropriate balance. My city work and my work as an attorney keep me busy about 80 hours a week. Nevertheless, my family always has priority.

What would your second career choice have been? I would have gone into public service – which I also do currently. Third career choice? Probably a whitewater rafting guide.

Any words of wisdom for new lawyers? Work, work, work. I have met with a few new lawyers who were looking for advice. I have always asked them: what does your typical day look like to you? A few answered, “I get to work at 9 a.m., and I am home by 5 p.m.” This is not the career for those hours if you want to be successful. There is always work to be done.

What is your favorite movie or book? “Meet Joe Black” and “Portrait of a Senator.”

Describe a perfect day off: In the Caribbean with my family, with no Internet connection and no cellphone.

What are some favorite places you have visited? St. Thomas, Caymans, Aruba, San Juan.

When you have a little extra money, where do you like to spend it? My wife does that. . . I kid, I kid. Ice hockey is very fun but expensive. I also collect coins.

What do you like to do in your spare time? What’s spare time? Lol. I am usually at a hockey rink. But, when I have time for my hobby, I enjoy collecting coins. I have a penny from 1796. I am also a long distance runner and enjoy running with my wife.

Why do you choose to be a member of the Washtenaw County Bar Association? What is the greatest benefit? I enjoy networking with other lawyers. I honestly believe lawyers need other lawyers for therapy sometimes. And we have great war stories.

Reprinted with permission from the Washtenaw County Bar Association’s newsletter, Res Ipsa Loquitur.


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