Law Department

Coleman A. Young Municipal Center
2 Woodward Avenue - 5th floor
Detroit, MI  48226

Phone: (313) 224-4550 (VM)
Fax: (313) 224-5505
TTY: 711 or (800) 649-3777

View Detroit Zoning Ordinances


Melvin Butch Hollowell
Corporation Counsel

Charles N. Raimi
Deputy Corporation Counsel

Ellen Ha
Chief of Staff

Edward Keelean
Chief Administrative Corporation Counsel

Pamela T. Parrish
Chief Legal Counsel, Transactional & Economic Development

Mission Statement

Our mission at the Office of the Corporation Counsel is to provide the highest quality legal advice and services to our client, the people of the City of Detroit.  To that end, we will zealously defend all claims against the City and its agencies, and we will diligently prosecute violations of City Ordinances, and where applicable, State and Federal law, to protect the people of this City, and to aspire to our goal of equal justice under law.  


On May 4, 1895, the city attorney and city counselor offices were merged to establish a Law Department. The Mayor was given the power to appoint a new corporation counsel, subject to the approval of the City Council. John J. Speed was the first city counselor and corporation counsel, who served until June 30, 1896.