Photo of John Schlinker

John Schlinker

Senior Counsel

Phone (231) 557-1603


John C. Schlinker is a proud graduate of the University of Notre Dame Law School and practices in the areas of automobile and premises negligence as well as civil rights claims. John started his career working for a circuit court judge in Kalamazoo. He then represented working people and several labor unions in West Michigan including United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW Local 951), Grand Rapids Employees Independent Union (GREIU), Michigan Education Association, and United Brotherhood of Teamsters. John’s aggressive legal litigation on behalf of organized labor and its members resulted in several significant legal victories including creating new law on the wearing of a union button during an organizing campaign. Meijer v NLRB, 130 Fd 1209 (6th Cir 1997).  And, defending worker’s rights to collective bargaining.  UFCW v Meijer, 1994 WL 782239 (W D Mich 1994).

John also practices in the area of civil rights claims, particularly claims related to the work-place.  He has written several articles on the topic and was an adjunct professor of law at WMU Cooley Law School and MSU Law School where he taught Employment Discrimination.

John Schlinker has litigated cases in courts throughout the State of Michigan and in Federal Courts, including every circuit court in lower Michigan (and four in the Upper Peninsula). John is also one of a handful of Michigan lawyers that have had multiple cases before the Supreme Court of the United States. Price v. Vincent, 538 US 634 (2003). 

John was appointed Chief Deputy Prosecutor in Genesee County and Chief Deputy Treasurer in Ingham County.  In 2007, he was appointed by the Governor to serve on the Michigan Parole Board. John is well respected by judges and attorneys throughout the state of Michigan.


John is admitted to practice in two states: the State Bar of Michigan and the State Bar of Wisconsin. He is admitted to and has actually practiced in the Michigan Court of Claims, US Court of Claims, Western District of Michigan federal court, Eastern District of Michigan federal court, Sixth Circuit federal Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court.

In addition to his practice, John has taught appellate advocacy at Western Michigan University Cooley Law School and Employment Law at both WMU and the Michigan State University Law School. John is a former member of the Prosecuting Attorney’s Association of Michigan and former board member of the local Notre Dame Alumni Association.


University of Notre Dame Law School Juris Doctor

Western Michigan University Bachelor of Arts cum laude
D.C. Shilling Award for the Outstanding Senior Political Science Student (awarded by the faculty)

Flint Public Schools (Flint Northern High School)

Continued Legal Education

  • National Advocacy Center; Columbia, South Carolina; U.S. Department of Justice
  • Georgetown Law School; Washington, D.C.; Employment Litigation
  • DePaul Law School; Chicago, Illinois; Litigation