Jon Michael is a partner with Thompson Burton. Jon advises clients on land use, real estate development, zoning matters, private-public partnerships, government relations, and municipal law.
Prior to joining Thompson Burton, Jon spent 15 years as an attorney for the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County. For six years, Jon practiced at the Metro Codes Department, rising to the position of the Metro Zoning Administrator. In that role, Jon oversaw the issuance of all building permits, interpretations of the Metro Zoning Code, and oversight of the work of the Board of Zoning Appeals as well as the Short Term Rental Board of Appeals. During the last year of that work, Jon’s team issued building permits for over $5.2 billion of new construction in Nashville.
During his years at the Metro Legal Department, Jon served as counsel for numerous agencies, departments, and commissions. That work generated key relationships within the Metro Planning, Metro Codes, Metro Water, and Metro Public Works Departments as well as extensive work with the Metro Council. Further, Jon’s experience with the Metro Board of Zoning Appeals, Metro Planning Commission, and Historic Zoning Commission helps arm his clients with insight and strategy for the best approaches and best results in front of those bodies.
Before practicing law, Jon worked in the startup days of the internet industry in Los Angeles. There he developed a heart for the innovators who seek creative solutions to the problems that face fast-changing business landscapes. Additionally, Jon worked on political staff for Senator Lamar Alexander’s campaign and witnessed daily the truth that all politics is local. Jon also completed the Honors Internship Program with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, at its headquarters in Washington D.C. There, he learned how to respect strict confidentiality. Each of those diverse experiences help shaped Jon’s approach to his current practice of law.
Jon and his wife Holly live in Nashville with their two daughters, Adeen and Josephine.
Lipscomb University, B.A., cum laude, 1997
- Political Science, Communications
- Student Body President
Pepperdine University, Master’s in Public Policy, 1999
- International Relations and Economic Policy
University of Tennessee College of Law, 2004
- Advocacy Concentration
- Adjunct Professor, Lipscomb University’s Fred D. Gray Institute for Law Justice and Society
- Nashville Bar Association, CLE Instructor
- Tennessee Bar Association, CLE Instructor
- Healing Hands International, Volunteer
- Safe Haven, Inc., Volunteer
- Urban Land Institute, Member