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Paula K. Manis

Senior Attorney
313 South Washington Square
Lansing, MI 48933-2114
T 517.371.8290


Paula Manis is a full-time and highly sought-after facilitative mediator and arbitrator in Michigan. Over the last 20 years she has conducted almost 3,000 facilitative mediations, including public policy facilitations and class actions.

With the exception of domestic relations, Paula mediates all types of civil matters, including medical malpractice, legal malpractice, employment, environmental, probate matters, civil rights, no fault, and federal crop insurance. Within the medical malpractice arena, she has extensive experience with global mediations and settlements, settling multiple similar cases all at the same time against a medical provider.

Paula completes about 150 mediations each year, with a significant success rate and a vast referral network of return users including attorneys in private practice, in-house counsel, other business professionals, and various government agencies. 

Although the majority of her mediations are conducted via Zoom, she facilitates in-person mediations when appropriate and efficiently mediates cases in every part of the state. She has also served on arbitration panels in Michigan, New York, and Minnesota.

With a solid business and legal foundation built in the oil and gas industry, first as a field landman for Amoco in Michigan and then with a successful oil and gas legal practice for 20+ years, Paula’s ability to see disputes from all sides sometimes surprises parties. She has been referred to as compassionate and understanding, qualities well suited to resolving particularly sensitive cases involving personal loss.       

She has participated in hundreds of hours of advanced mediation training, including 40 hours of training at the Strauss Institute at Pepperdine Law School. She is a member of the State Bar of Michigan’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Section and a former member of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Council (former chair of the Government Task Force). She was formerly a part of a mediation training team at Cooley Law School and MSU College of Law.

Honors & Recognitions

The National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals, Member

Best Lawyers in America, Oil and Gas Law (2008-2019, 2022 and 2023)

Best Lawyers in America, Alternative Dispute Resolution (2009-2013)

Best Lawyers in America, Arbitration/Mediation (2014-2019, 2022 and 2023)

Best Lawyers in America, "Lansing Lawyer of the Year" Lansing, Oil and Gas Law (2020 and 2021)

Best Lawyers in America, "Lansing Lawyer of the Year" Lansing, Arbitration (2016)

Best Lawyers in America, "Lansing Lawyer of the Year" Lansing, Mediation (2014, 2019 and 2022)

Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers of 2013 (Awarded by LexisNexis and Martindale Hubbell) – This award is exclusive to women lawyers who have achieved the highest possible rating in both legal ability and ethical standards.

AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell

Leading Lawyer (2015, 2017-2023)


Memberships & Affiliations

Legal Affiliations:

  • The National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals 
    • Member
  • State of Michigan Attorney Discipline Board
    • Hearing Panelist
  • State Bar of Michigan
    • Member 
    • Former Chair, Oil, Gas & Natural Resources Committee, Real Property Section
    • Member, Environmental Law Section
    • Member, Alternate Dispute Resolution Section
    • Former Member, Alternate Dispute Resolution Council
    • Former Chair, ADR Council Government Task Force subcommittee
  • Ingham County Bar Association
    • Member 
    • Member, Real Property Section
  • Michigan Oil & Gas Association
    • Member (1981 – Present) 
    • Former Chair, Legislative Liaison Committee
    • Member, Legal & Legislative Committee
    • Former Member, Public Relations Committee
  • Michigan Association of Petroleum Landmen 
    • Member, (1981 – Present)
  • Ohio Oil and Gas Association
    • Member
  • Dispute Resolution Center of Central Michigan
    • Board Member, (2001 – 2010)
  • Dispute Resolution Center of Central Michigan 
    • Co-President, (2005 – 2006)
  • American Arbitration Association (2006 – Present)
  • Ingham County Circuit Court ADR Oversight Committee
    • Member, (2003 – 2012)

News & Events


Practice Areas


Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School, J.D., 1979

Michigan State University, Post-Graduate Studies, 1975

Michigan State University, B.A. Social Science Multi-Discipline Program, 1973

Bar and Court Admissions