Dana began her legal career as an Assistant Prosecutor in the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office. For over a decade, Dana was assigned to a number of elite units within the office and handled some of Wayne County’s most difficult cases.
In 2005, Dana left the Prosecutor’s Office to start a business by opening her own legal firm. She has become renowned as a staunch defender of constitutional rights. In her criminal practice, Dana vigorously defended the rights of indigent defendants on hundreds of criminal cases, from petty theft to first degree murder.
Dana is recognized as one of the premier litigators of LGBTQ issues in Michigan. In 2010, she brought the matter of Harmon v. Davis, in which a Michigan court, for the first time, held that a non-biological parent in a same-sex couple could establish custodial rights to the couple’s children. Dana also successfully petitioned for the first second-parent adoptions for same-sex couples in Oakland and Wayne Counties. She has defended and acquired exonerations for scores of defendants wrongly targeted for prosecution based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and has represented various clients terminated from employment based upon those classifications.
Dana has received numerous awards for her civil rights initiatives, including the “Champion of Justice” award from the Michigan State Bar Association, “Woman of the Year” from Michigan Lawyers Weekly, the “Treasure of Detroit” award from Wayne State University Law school and most recently, the “Inclusion Award” from City Pulse.
A graduate of the University of Michigan and Wayne State University Law School, Attorney General Nessel live in southeast Michigan with her wife, Alanna Maguire, and her twin sons, Alex and Zach.