Monday Profile: Stephen Schultz

Stephen O. Schultz is a founding partner of Fahey Schultz Burzych Rhodes PLC and served as its president until the end of 2015. For more than 35 years, he has represented municipalities and employers across the state of Michigan.

He was admitted to the Michigan Bar in 1978 after attending Wayne State University Law School. Prior to attending Wayne State, he received a bachelor’s degree from Oakland University and a master’s degree in public administration from Michigan State University.

Schultz serves as a city attorney, township attorney, library attorney, and counsel to trade associations such as the Michigan Library Association and NACUFS, a national association of university food service operations. As a labor attorney, he is heavily involved in the negotiation of collective bargaining agreements and in the defense of employers in civil rights, unfair labor practice, and contract claims.

Schultz is also a frequent speaker and writer. Several times each year, he presents seminar sessions on topics relevant to municipalities and to employers. Over the years, he has served as the chair of the Public Corporation Law Section of the State Bar and as editor of the “Public Corporation Law Quarterly.” He has also served as an instructor of Local Government Administrative Law for the masters of public administration program at Oakland University in Rochester.

He has been recognized by “The Best Lawyers in America” and “Michigan Super Lawyers” for many years as an expert labor and employment law attorney. In 2012 and 2016, Best Lawyers named him mid-Michigan’s “Lawyer of the Year” in management labor and employment law.

Schultz and his wife Jane love spending their spare time with their three sons. He also enjoys a round of golf or roaring downhill on a pair of skis.

By Jo Mathis
Legal News

Currently reading: “Arc of Justice” by Kevin Boyle (for the second time); “Traction” by Gino Wickman.

What is your most treasured material possession? My wedding ring.

What advice do you have for someone considering law school? 
Watch “The Paper Chase.” Professor Kingsfield: “When you’re done with law school, your brain will be like a steel trap, with the bloody foot of law inside it.”

Favorite websites:,,

What is your happiest childhood memory? Weeks at my grandmother’s cabin at Higgins Lake.

Which things do you not like to do? Wear a tie; come home from vacation.

What would surprise people about your job?
I still love it after 38 years, but I’m no longer a fan of litigation. 

What do you wish someone would invent?
Faster travel from here to there.

What has been your favorite year so far?
There isn’t just one. 1985: got married; 1988 and 1992: the kids arrived; and I know it’s not a year, but for an MSU fan, August 30, 2013 through January 1, 2014 was pretty special. Go Green!

What’s your most typical mood? Happy. I’ve been blessed.

If you could trade places with someone for a day, who would that be? My wife. I’ve always wondered how it is to live with me.

What are the most awe-inspiring places you’ve ever been?
The rim of the Grand Canyon; Machu Pichu; New Zealand.

What would you say to your 16-year-old self? Don’t let the little things spoil the ride. It’s a great ride.

What one thing do you wish people knew about your work?
That it’s not that easy.

What’s your proudest moment as a lawyer?
When a client says, “Thank you.”

What do you do to relax? Spend family time at our cabin at Higgins Lake.

How would you describe your home? Happy and a great hangout.

If you were starting over again and couldn’t go into law, what career path would you choose?
Municipal government or politics.  Public service is a worthy career and is highly underrated.

What’s your biggest regret? Other than spending a little too much time at the office in the 1990s, I don’t have one. I have really enjoyed my family and career.

What word do you overuse?

What’s one thing you would like to learn to do? Play piano.

What is something most people don't know about you?
I’m a dead ringer for Brad Pitt.

If you could have dinner with three people, living or dead, who would they be? My father and mother, then Barack Obama or George H. W. Bush.

Can’t-live-without technology:
There isn’t any. The best times are when the cellphone and internet are off. Being untethered is great.

What’s the best advice you ever received?  Larry Lindemer (former Michigan Supreme Court Justice, former partner at Foster, Lindemer, Swift & Collins in the 1970s) was general counsel at Consumers Power in 1977 and offered me a job out of law school.  He offered a nice starting salary, but when he found out I had an offer from Foster, Swift, but for less money, he said, “Take it. You’ll have a great career and the money means little in the long run.”

If you can help it, where will you never return?  The hospital.

What do you drive? A Chevrolet Impala.

What would you drive if money were no object? A Chevrolet Impala as long as I have clients.

What is your motto? Never regret what you can’t change.

Where would you like to be when you're 90? Anywhere topside so long as I can enjoy it. On a sailboat in the Bight at Norman Island would be nice.

What would you like carved onto your tombstone?
  “You just can’t teach that shot!”

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