Firm History



Baird & Zulakis, P.C., Attorneys at Law, was established in Lansing, Michigan, in 1980 by Laura L. Baird (Thomas M. Cooley 1979) and George Zulakis (Thomas M. Cooley 1978), and relocated in 1986 to its current offices at Eastbrook Plaza, 4127 Okemos Road, Okemos, Michigan.

The firm initially concentrated its services in the area of criminal law, family law, and general personal injury. The Principals' previous experience included Ms. Baird's tenure as an associate with James R. Phillips, Family Law Clinic, while Mr. Zulakis gained valuable experience with Zeff and Zeff, a personal injury firm in Detroit, Michigan, and with Dunn and Zulakis, P.C., of Lansing.

The firm now focuses its interests and legal concentrations in criminal defense, juvenile law (including child abuse and neglect), school law (expulsions and suspensions) and traffic matters. Baird & Zulakis, P.C. serves the Tri-County area in all aspects of its practice and has handled various matters throughout the state of Michigan.

The firm's philosophy emanates from Ms. Baird's and Mr. Zulakis's keen interest in protecting individuals when they interface with government, large corporations, or other bureaucracies which include the criminal justice system, invasion of the state into the lives of families (child abuse and neglect), school districts, and government services.

In 2000, the Honorable Laura L. Baird retired from the Firm upon her election to the Ingham County Circuit Court. Her father, the Hon. Boyd C. Baird, a retired Probate Judge, who served in Otsego County, having been appointed to that seat in the mid 1950s as one of the youngest judges in the state's history, joined the firm as Of Counsel from 1985 until his retirement from that role in 2000. Boyd C. Baird passed away on October 5, 2008.


Mr. Zulakis' primary areas of concentration at this time include criminal law, juvenile law, child abuse and neglect law, school law (expulsions and suspensions) and traffic matters. He has represented clients successfully in criminal, juvenile, child abuse and neglect, traffic and education matters for over 30 years. He is one of the most experienced defense attorneys in mid-Michigan and is considered a leader in the criminal defense community by his peers. He has helped guide hundreds of young people through the juvenile/criminal justice system with discretion and results:

  • Drug possession or use (marijuana, cocaine, all drugs) case dismissed, no conviction
  • Minor in possession of alcohol case dismissed, no conviction
  • Drunk driving case dismissed, no conviction
  • Domestic assault case dismissed, no conviction
  • Assault and battery case dismissed, no conviction
  • Child abuse and neglect (numerous broken bones) case dismissed, no findings of abuse or neglect
  • Malicious destruction of property case dismissed, no conviction
  • Retail fraud (shoplifting) case dismissed, no conviction
  • Resisting arrest case dismissed, no conviction
  • Sex crimes (criminal sexual conduct) case dismissed, no conviction
  • School suspensions/expulsions proceedings terminated, client returned to school
  • Traffic tickets case dismissed or reduced to zero point violation
  • Client not incarcerated for embezzling in excess of $60,000

Mr. Zulakis has had considerable trial experience in criminal and juvenile matters, beginning with an acquittal in his first felony jury trial in 1980 and including acquittals (not guilty verdicts) in cases of murder, robbery, assault with intent to commit murder, larceny, assault with intent to do great bodily harm, assault with a dangerous weapon, breaking and entering (home invasion), criminal sexual conduct, drug possession/delivery, assault and battery, shoplifting, child neglect and abuse, and many other criminal matters as well.

Clients of the Firm have included prosecutors, police officers, physicians, lawyers, teachers and other professionals, state employees, auto workers, executives and persons from all walks of life facing or potentially facing criminal charges. The Firm has represented numerous MSU students and hundreds of area high school and middle school students facing the possibility of criminal or juvenile punishments, including the possibility of prison, jail, detention, registration on the Sex Offenders Registration List, loss of driver's license, school sanctions, forfeiture of property, fines, and costs.

Mr. Zulakis has been recognized by his peers and the community for his skills as a Trial Lawyer and for his commitment to the delivery of the very best criminal and juvenile defense services. He is respected by judges, prosecutors and by fellow defense counsel. He is a former President, Vice-President, and Treasurer of the Ingham County Bar Association, and he co-chaired the Ingham County Bar Association Criminal Law Section from 1999 to 2004. He currently serves as President of the Ingham County Bar Foundation, the charitable arm of the Ingham County Bar Association, of which he is a founding member, having served as its Vice-President from 2001 until 2009.

The State Bar of Michigan recognized Mr. Zulakis by naming him a Fellow in 2003 and by appointing him to the position of Attorney Discipline Hearing Panelist with the Attorney Discipline Board in 2001. Ingham County Bar recognitions include his appointment to the Judicial Candidate Qualification Committee from 2002 to 2005, and his being named Chair in 2004. He was reappointed to the Committee as Chair in 2008. In 2004, Mr. Zulakis was appointed by the Honorable Jennifer Granholm, Governor, as the Criminal Defense Lawyer Designee to the State Community Corrections Board and reappointed in 2008 for a second term; serving until April 2012.

Other service has included an appointment by the Michigan Judicial Institute to the Advisory Committee in connection with the formulation and publication of the Child Protective Proceedings Bench Book, published in 1999.

Martindale and Hubbell, which rates attorneys based upon confidential input from their peers, has given Mr. Zulakis an AV rating, the highest rating available, effective 1999 to the present. He has been included in the Best Lawyers Consumers Guide in 2001 and selected by his peers for inclusion in the Best Lawyers in America for the specialty of DUI/DWI defense in the 2009 - 2016 Editions. He is a member of the Michigan Association of OWI Attorneys. He has been admitted to the National Registry of Who's Who in 1998 as a life member for service to the consumer and the profession; the National Registers Who's Who in Executives and Professionals as an honored professional in the 2001-2002 Edition; as a life member in the Kingston's National Registry of Who's Who for contributions to the profession and the community, 2003 Edition, and has been selected for listing in the 2010 Edition of Princeton Who's Who of Executives, Professionals and Entrepreneurs. Mr. Zulakis was also selected by his peers for inclusion in Michigan's LEADING LAWYERS publication in 2014 and 2015. Finally, Mr. Zulakis achieved Lead Counsel Rating for state level crimes in 2015.