Fieger Law was founded more than 50 years ago by Geoffrey Fieger’s father, Bernard Fieger, who set the stage for the firm’s continued commitment to civil rights. Bernard “Bernie” Fieger was born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y. He attended Harvard Law School on the G.I. Bill where he met his future wife, June.
Bernie and June got married in 1948 and moved to her hometown of Detroit, where they raised three children — Geoffrey, Doug (the late lead singer of “The Knack”) and Beth (now a TV writer in Los Angeles).
In 1950, Bernard partnered with attorney George Lee to establish Fieger & Lee in the Lawyer’s Building in Detroit, the second interracial law firm in Michigan. Seven years later, the firm moved to the First National Bank building in downtown Detroit.
In 1964, Bernie and state Senator Roger Craig renovated a home on 10 Mile Road in Southfield to house the law offices of Craig & Fieger, where Fieger Law remains to this day, although the building has been greatly expanded.
Over the years, Fieger & Craig included attorneys Joe Golden, Mark Cousens and Gail Boesky. Together, they battled conservative forces on behalf of teachers’ unions, post office employees and oil and chemical workers.
During the height of the civil rights movement, Bernie and Roger Craig joined the “Freedom Riders” and traveled frequently to Mississippi, registering African-Americans to vote and trying cases pro bono. They helped defeat the crippling poll tax, a fee frequently waived for white voters but not blacks.
Meanwhile, June became a prominent activist in her own right, becoming the first female organizer for the Michigan Federation of Teachers in 1964 and leading the nation’s first teacher’s strike in Hamtramck.
In 1979, upon graduating from law school, Geoffrey Fieger joined his father’s firm and won $1 million in his very first trial. The father-son team worked side-by-side until Bernie’s retirement.
In 1988, Bernard Fieger passed away, but his name and spirit continue to drive the firm’s values to this day.