Michael Olcese II
Attorney and Chair of Insurance Division, Weber Olcese
It didn’t take long for Olcese to set himself apart when the editorial selection team sat down to discuss this year’s Phenoms Under 40 candidates. Having received eight submissions, Olcese was the most nominated candidate on this year’s list, with one describing him as “a phenomenal attorney, an innovator, and as an individual who gives back to the legal community by shaping law students into great litigators.”
As a millennial, Olcese is aware of the stereotypes associated with his generation, so it was important to him to carve his own career path even though his father was already a successful attorney with his own firm. So the younger Olcese set off on his own, finding work at various law firms focused on insurance defense. Several years later, Olcese proposed to his father and partner about expanding the firm by adding an insurance defense practice group, which was accepted and he now leads.
In addition to his private practice, Olcese also serves as an adjunct law professor, teaching a hands-on litigation course at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. Each semester, Olcese teams up with a plaintiff’s attorney and divides the class into two firms: defense or plaintiff. From there, they set up a realistic, hypothetical fact pattern for a suit, then provide students with practical approaches for navigating the civil litigation process. This gives the students increasingly rare courtroom experience and a taste of what it’s like to be a litigator, and allows Olcese to give back to his local legal community.