John F. Schaefer

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Family Law Attorney in Birmingham, MI

The Law Firm of John F. Schaefer
 | 380 North Old Woodward Avenue, Suite 320
Birmingham, MI 48009
Phone: 248-642-6655
Fax: 248-642-7878
Selected To Super Lawyers: 2006 - 2021
Licensed Since: 1969
Practice Areas:
  • Family Law (90%),
  • Entertainment & Sports (10%)
    Attorney Profile

    John F. Schaefer, founder of the Law Firm of John F. Schaefer in Birmingham, Michigan, is one of the most respected matrimonial attorneys in America. For more than 40 years, he has focused most of his practice on matrimonial law, but he also represents clients with their entertainment and sports law matters, including contracts. Many of Mr. Schaefer's divorce cases have involved contests between high-profile individuals over millions of dollars.

    After receiving a Bachelor of Arts from Michigan State University in 1965, Mr. Schaefer stayed in East Lansing and enrolled at Michigan State University College of Law. After being awarded his Juris Doctor in 1969 and becoming admitted to practice in Michigan, he received the school's Distinguished Alumni Award and served on its Board of Trustees. In 2010, the law school named the law library after him and dedicated the John F. Schaefer Chair in Matrimonial Law. He spent over 30 years as an adjunct professor of law there as well.

    Highly regarded by his fellow professionals, Mr. Schaefer has been selected for inclusion in the Best Lawyers in America every year since 1983. He has also received an AV Preeminent* peer-review rating through Martindale-Hubbell and a "Superb" peer-review rating through Avvo. Mr. Schaefer has long been an active participant in several legal organizations. A past president of the Michigan Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and a past chairman of the Family Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan, he has also served as an arbitrator on the Michigan Attorney Discipline Board and has sat on the State Bar of Michigan Standing Committee on Character and Fitness. He is also a member of the International Academy of Family Lawyers and is an instructor for the Michigan Judicial Institute.

    *AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished and Martindale-Hubbell Notable are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell® is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rating™ fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.

    Practice Areas
    • 90%Family Law
    • 10%Entertainment & Sports
    Focus Areas

    Alimony & Spousal Support, Child Support, Custody & Visitation, Divorce, Entertainment, Sports & Leisure Law


    Selected to Super Lawyers for 16 yearsbottom-image

    Super Lawyers: 2006 - 2021

    American Academy of Matrimonial LawyersInternational Academy of Family Lawyers

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    About John Schaefer

    Admitted: 1969, Michigan

    Professional Webpage:


    • Endowment of the John F. Schaefer Chair in Matrimonial Law, 2011
    • Named as one of the Top 100 lawyers in America, in any practice area, Worth magazine
    • Distinguished Alumni Award, Michigan State University College of Law
    • Named Lawyer of the Year 2013, Family Law, The Best Lawyers in America
    • Listed in all editions of The Best Lawyers in America
    • Naming of the John F. Schaefer Law Library, 2010
    • The Top Lawyers in Metro Detroit, 2006
    • One of the premier matrimonial lawyers in America, Best Lawyers in America

    Bar/Professional Activity:

    • American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Past President (Michigan Chapter)
    • Oakland County Bar Association, Past President
    • American Bar Association
    • State Bar of Michigan: Family Law Section, Past Chairman
    • International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
    • Attorney Grievance Commission, Arbitrator
    • Committee on Character and Fitness

    Pro bono/Community Service:

    • Detroit College of Law, Trustee
    • Detroit Police Athletic League
    • Michigan State University College of Law, Board of Trustees
    • William Beaumont Hospital, Board of Trustees
    • Michigan State Bar Foundation, Fellow

    Scholarly Lectures/Writings:

    • Adjunct Professor of law, Michigan State University College of Law
    • Instructor, educating hundreds of Michigan circuit court judges in the substance of matrimonial law, Michigan Judicial Institute


    • Nasser v. Nasser, representing the 36 year wife of Jacques Nasser, the CEO of Ford Motor Company
    • Dart v. Dart, a case involving the laws and courts of a foreign jurisdiction and assets in excess of $1 Billion
    • Two cases of Iacocca v. Iacocca, representing two wives of Lee Iacocca, the former CEO of Chrysler Corporation

    Representative Clients:

    • Distinguished Former President of the Chrysler Corporation
    • Members of the Ford family
    • Vice Chairman of General Motors R.A.L.

    Educational Background:

    • University of Notre Dame, Michigan State University
    • Cranbrook School

    Industry Groups

    • Legal
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    Office Location for John F. Schaefer

    380 North Old Woodward Avenue
    Suite 320
    Birmingham, MI 48009

    Phone: 248-642-6655

    Fax: 248-642-7878

    John F. Schaefer:

    Last Updated: 5/27/2020

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