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Daniel A. Kaufman

Daniel A. Kaufman

  • Partner, Michael Best & Friedrich LLP
  • Instructor, Higher Education Administration and Policy

Research Interests

Litigation avoidance and strategy; retaliation claims; mental disabilities, accommodations and leaves


Colleges, universities, and other clients rely on Dan because of his deep knowledge of higher education law and employment law; exceptional judgment; strategic advice; and litigation success. Dan’s work is regularly honored by regional and national ranking organizations.  He is recognized by Chambers USA as a Leading Labor & Employment Lawyer, holds an AV® (preeminent/highest) rating from Martindale-Hubbell®, and is listed in The Best Lawyers in America (2012- Present), Midwest’s Best Lawyers (2021- Present), Illinois Super Lawyers (2006 – Present) and Chicago’s Top-Rated Lawyers (Chicago Tribune and Wall Street Journal). Dan has represented large and small public and private institutions across the country in a wide variety of matters, including:

  • Discrimination, harassment, retaliation, disability and other litigation;
  • Hiring, disciplining, and terminating employees;
  • Medical leaves, accommodations, and disability matters;
  • Student matters;
  • Litigation avoidance and strategy; and
  • Addressing financial challenges.

Dan is passionate about service, including serving on the Board of the National Association of College and University Attorneys. Dan’s commitment to public service includes serving as a Highland Park, IL City Councilperson (2011-21).

Dan has held various leadership roles at Michael Best, including helping to lead the firm’s Higher Education Group, previously serving on the firm’s Management Committee, as the Managing Partner of the Chicago Office, and as the Chair of the Labor & Employment Relations Group.

After graduating law school, Dan clerked for Justice Charles L. Levin on the Michigan Supreme Court (1986-1987).


  • JD, University of Chicago Law School, 1986
  • BA, Amherst College, 1983