Cooley honors General Motors Tax Counsel Daniel M. Houlf


 Pictured (left to right) are: Gina Torielli, director of Cooley’s Graduate Tax Program; Daniel M. Houlf; Joni Larson, assistant director of Cooley’s Graduate Tax Program; and Cathy McCollum, director of Cooley’s Graduate and Extended Programs.


Daniel M. Houlf, director of the U.S. Tax Counsel Group at General Motors Corp., was chosen as the 2013 recipient of the Frederick J. Griffith III Adjunct Faculty Award at Cooley Law School March 4.  Houlf, an adjunct faculty member since 2005, teaches Accounting for Lawyers, State and Local Taxation, Tax Accounting, and Tax Practice and Procedure.

“Professor Houlf's teaching abilities are incomparable.  The tax expertise, enthusiasm, and patience he brings to every class have made his courses... loved by the students,” said Joni Larson, assistant director of Cooley’s Graduate Tax Program. “In addition, through Professor Houlf, the students are given the opportunity to not only get a great tax background, but also learn about its practical application." 

At General Motors, Houlf is responsible for tax planning, federal and state tax controversies, providing tax advice to the business, and managing the federal and state tax environment. Before joining GM, Houlf served as a trial attorney with the Tax Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.

“I am extremely honored to be chosen as the recipient of the Frederick J. Griffith III Adjunct Faculty Award,” Houlf said. “I embrace Cooley’s high standards for graduating practice-ready attorneys and recognize the need to not only educate students to these standards, but to lead by example so the next generation of attorneys understands the value in shaping the profession through ethics and professionalism.”

In the classroom, Houlf continually receives high ratings from student evaluations, with comments ranging from, “He makes it fun,” to “I loved it.” The popular website, which is a ranking based on student feedback, also gives Houlf a perfect score in the areas of helpfulness, clarity and overall quality.


“Professor Houlf is a shining example of Cooley’s adjunct professors,” said Emeritus Professor Otto Stockmeyer, who presented the award. “Our adjunct faculty members interrupt their busy days and give up their evening and weekend hours to share their expertise. In addition to providing doctrinal instruction and developing practical skills, they provide our students with valuable insights into the demands and rewards of their specialized practices.”


Established in 1997, the award is named for the late Rick Griffith, who was a Michigan Supreme Court Commissioner and adjunct professor at Cooley until his death at age 52.