Joumana Kayrouz is the founder and owner of the Michigan Center for Personal Injury and the Law Offices of Joumana Kayrouz PLLC. Kayrouz’ firm is now recognized as one of the most respected and largest personal injury law firms in Michigan.
Kayrouz is one of the most recognized attorneys in Michigan with her picture having graced for several years the covers of hundreds of buses, billboards, and television, and is the only woman attorney to own a major personal-injury law firm in the state. She built her career on a combination of legal savvy, hard work and a sincere empathy for the financial, physical and psychological needs of accident victims.
Ms. Kayrouz is as a pioneer in her field, effectively breaking down barriers to reach out to those in need of her services and growing an immensely successful enterprise with approximately 70 employees, .
Since earning her Doctorate in Juris Doctor degree in 1997, she has recovered tens of millions of dollars for her clients. Her law firm is growing constantly, adding highly qualified attorneys and legal staff who treat each client with skill and compassion.
After earning her law degree, Kayrouz worked at Philo, Atkinson, et al. Known as the “father of personal injury law,” Harry Philo was a valuable and much-loved mentor. After four months, she was offered a partnership in the firm. After Philo’s retirement, she left the firm. Since then, the Kayrouz Law Firm has grown by leaps and bounds. The firm currently occupies much of the eighth floor of the Southfield Town Center in Southfield, Michigan.
Kayrouz was born in Lebanon where she experienced the ravages of war from an early age. This awakened her acute sense of justice. She began college at the American University of Beirut (AUB) as a pre-medical student. Emigrating from Lebanon at the age of 22, she finished her undergraduate studies Master’s degree from Yale in Ethics, with a concentration in Medical Ethics.
Kayrouz, who is fluent in four languages — several dialects of Arabic, French, Italian, and English — feels her job involves more than helping people recoup money owed to them by insurance companies.
“When you graduate, they call you ‘lawyer and counselor.’ I never understood the ‘counselor’ part until I became a practitioner,” she says.
“Then I understood that when people come to you they are, quite often, very wounded, not just physically, but also emotionally. And you have to really become a healer.
“You’re dealing not just with the economic loss and the physical limitations that people might have from their accidents, but also with their depression, their personal relationships, and their daily struggles. Suddenly you find yourself offering advice, both legal and psychological; guiding them and being a role model to them; reminding them also of their faith as well as in the power of the mind.”
In addition to managing her successful law practice, Kayrouz also maintains a most energetic role in community and social activism. Throughout the years, she has helped and lent her support to multiple organizations, charities, and causes.
Kayrouz served as the national president of Auxilia, a premier Lebanese charitable organization, raising millions of dollars of aid to families in her native country.
Kayrouz served on the Arab American Political Action Committee (AAPAC) and was an honorary adviser to the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC). Having gained the esteem of her peers, she became an Executive Board Member of the Michigan Association for Justice (MAJ) and the Minority Delegate from the State of Michigan to the American Association for Justice (AAJ).
In March of 2012, Kayrouz was appointed President of the Board of Directors for the Miss Lebanon Emigrants USA by the Lebanese government’s Ministry of Tourism. As President of the organization in the United States, Kayrouz was the official representative of the Lebanese Ministry of Tourism in the United States and in everything related to Lebanese events.
Kayrouz helped direct the Miss Lebanon Emigrants – USA 2012 pageant which was held in Michigan. The event attracted celebrities from around the world. The jury was headed by former Miss Universe Georgina Risk and the event hosted the Lebanese Minister of Tourism and other high ranking officials.
For over 13 years, Kayrouz hosted her own Arabic language program on WNKZ 690 AM radio, where she offered much needed legal advice to her Middle-Eastern community, most of whom only spoke Arabic. She also appears as a weekly guest WNZK.
In March of 2013, Kayrouz launched the Joumana Kayrouz Foundation with a $50,000 starting endowment that provided health and medical assistance to individuals in need in Lebanon. Since then, the Foundation has taken on numerous projects in the United States as well as in Lebanon. In 2014, Kayrouz served as the official Sponsor of the St Jude Children’s Research hospital’s 50th anniversary with a $50,000.00 donation. In Lebanon, among the notable projects the Foundation has undertaken, was the complete overhaul and rebuilding of the Emergency Room of Tel Chiha hospital in Zahle, Lebanon, as well as the creation of an ENT clinic with assistance of the Second Lady of Lebanon, Randa Berri. The clinic is one of twenty-nine clinics founded by Mrs. Berri and serves the needs of 39,000 Lebanese handicapped children in Sarafand in the south region of Lebanon. Currently The Foundation is also in the midst of various other projects both in the United States as well as in Lebanon.
In 2013, recognizing the need to curb efforts by unscrupulous ambulance chasers who recently pursue car accident victims for financial gain, Kayrouz wrote compellingly to the Michigan Legislature, urging them to pass anti-ambulance chasing laws and imposing stiff penalties against violators. In December of 2013, Kayrouz was invited by Michigan’s Governor, Rick Snyder, and stood by his side at the ceremonial signing of the two Public acts, 218 and 219, for supporting two new laws that protect accident victims from unscrupulous parties. The law became known as the “anti-ambulance chasing law.”
Worth noting is also Kayrouz’ significant support to Garden City Hospital in Garden City, Michigan. The hospital opened the doors to a new birthing center in March 2014; after months of renovations to their oldest wing. Hospital president and CEO Gary Ley cited the “substantial” support of Kayrouz and her donation for future families at Garden City.
HONORS AND RECOGNITIONS
In 2012, Joumana Kayrouz was named “Top Lawyer of the Year” in a survey of more than 18,000 Michigan lawyers. Kayrouz also received the prestigious 2012 American Arab Chamber of Commerce (AACC) “Economic Bridge Builder of the Year Award”. That same year, Kayrouz also received the “Trailblazer Award” in recognition of her trailblazing achievements in the legal field, a field heavily dominated by males.
In 2013, Kayrouz received the Humanitarian of the Year Award from Life for Relief and Development at their 20th Anniversary dinner.
In 2014, Kayrouz was featured on the cover of Metro Times with 1.4 million copies printed, accompanied with a 10-page article written by writer Drew Philp, who shadowed Kayrouz for weeks to get a glimpse of the woman “behind the billboard.” The article entitled “Citizen Kayrouz” drew huge acclaim for the writer and great interest about Kayrouz. For the first time, readers got an intimate glimpse of the life and struggles of the woman who face has covered for years 150 billboards and 750 buses.
Again in 2014, Kayrouz was named by the prestigious Crain’s Detroit Business as the “American Dreamer.” This recognition cites highly successful men and women of Metro Detroit and their road to accomplishment in the face of adversity.
In 2015, Kayrouz, alongside fifteen other women who have excelled in their fields and became an inspiration to other women, received the prestigious “Esteemed Women of Michigan” award.
Ms. Kayrouz has been invited as a guest speaker and lecturer many times over the years. She was the keynote speaker for the University of Michigan Arab Student Association Gala benefiting St. Jude Children's Hospital in 2014. She was a guest lecturer at Wayne State University Law School in November of 2014 along with Michigan Supreme Court Justice Marilyn Kelly’
Kayrouz’ contributions to the political arena are far too long to name. Kayrouz holds numerous fundraisers at her home for various candidates running for political office such as for US Congress. She has also hosted at her home the former Minister of Tourism, Fadi Abboud, as well as the current Minister of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants, Gebran Bassil. Kayrouz has and continues to serve on several sitting judges’ campaign committees in their re-election bids as well as on some candidates seeking a judicial seat.
Kayrouz is a devoted mother to her two daughters, Stephanie and Nathalie. She is somewhat of a fanatic about her pet dogs, Pierre-Louis and Genevieve-Madeleine, both French Bulldogs. She loves to travel, but, except for occasionally longer trips to Lebanon, a typical vacation usually runs from Friday through Sunday.