Meet Mike

Mike Lee is running to be the next Attorney General of Arkansas. The Hot Springs native has led an accomplished career that’s led to ushering in safety standards for children’s products at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. 


Mike’s purpose driven path from a plant safety specialist at an aluminum smelting operation to a vaunted consumer watchdog has given him the opportunity to protect Arkansans from all walks of life. As Mike often says, “my whole career has been standing up for people that need help.”


Mike is first and foremost a family man. His values and faith have helped steer him to where he is today. Mike is blessed with a loving and enduring marriage to his high school sweetheart Suzanne, his two sons, and nine grandchildren. Thankfully they're closer to home too. They were all born and raised in Arkansas.

Early Life & Career

Mike grew up the oldest of four children in Hot Springs. His father was a retired Navy Chief and a letter carrier. His mother worked at Pfiefer-Blass as a clerk and at Arkansas Louisiana Gas Company. His parents provided a fun and secure upbringing, “I’m very grateful for what they gave us.”


Mike took advantage of the great opportunities he had growing up in Garland County. He went to Hot Springs High School. While there he played a little football, something he'd continue to do in college, and picked up a life-long interest in running.


Mike also had the good fortune of meeting his future wife Suzanne. The high school sweethearts would later get married. It's a bond that's lasted for more than 50 years.


The stable, family-driven life that his parents provided him served as a model for his own family. He's tried to live up those family values for more than 50 years with Suzanne and the kids. He and Suzanne have two sons, David and Tom, and nine grandchildren.


Before Mike raised his family he attended the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. While there he played intercollegiate football, ran track, and sparred in the boxing ring. 


After two years at the Academy, Mike moved back home to Arkansas to marry Suzanne. He went on to graduate from the University of Arkansas in 1969 with a degree in industrial engineering. He completed his military service in the Naval Reserve.


At the start of his career, he dedicated 10 years to Reynolds Metal Company in Jones Mill, near Magnet Cove and Malvern. Throughout his time as a production engineer his reputation as a hard worker with a keen mind was recognized. He kept workers safe as they labored around 1600 degree molten metal. Mike traveled the world with the company to help operations. The skills he picked up safeguarding aluminum production facilities would serve him well as he earned his law degree in the evenings. 

Legal Career

Mike has the distinction of being recognized by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. He earned the NTBA certification by meeting high standards and the approval of his peers.


To earn the honor a lawyer must try 40-plus jury trials, have two letters of recommendation from judges, have two letters of recommendation from opposing counsel, pass an exhaustive exam, and meet continued performance and educational standards. Mike is proud to have sought and earned the NTBA distinction from 1996-2012.


Mike graduated from the University of Arkansas Bowen School of Law and joined Gary Eubanks and Associates in 1984 as a trial attorney, “I wasn’t representing insurance companies or big corporations,” says Mike, “I was representing people. That was important to me.”


Through his cases in the Little Rock-based law firm, Mike addressed the safety of a number of consumer products such as three-wheeled all-terrain vehicles, faulty tires, and farm equipment.


Mike spent a lot of time with his head buried in law books, learning to love the law. But the law wasn't something abstract to him. Mike's head is in the real world.  He's used his legal skills to improve the safety of tractor roll bars, machine guarding for hay balers, and forklifts.


In 2005, Mike opened a private practice with offices in Little Rock and Hot Springs. He also continued his passion for education.


Throughout his career, Mike has taken the time to continue his passion for education, by teaching. He's taught a course at Catholic High School, history and statistics classes at National Park College, and at UA-Little Rock's Bowen School of Law.

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

In 2010, Mike accepted the call to work in the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, as a compliance officer. It didn’t take long before Mike helped craft the first real standards for items as essential as baby cribs. He spearheaded an effort to ban unsafe, Chinese-made, drop-side cribs.


Mike and Suzanne had purchased one for their grandchild, but thankfully learned before its use that it had fatal design flaws. The front, drop-side gate would fall on infants, entangling, trapping, and sometimes suffocating them. Upon learning this, Mike and Suzanne kicked the crib to the curb, then dismantled it with a hammer and a saw so that no one else would be fooled by the dangerous product. 


Then Mike, in a trademark display of tenancy, didn’t rest until he personally joined in the effort to get those dangerous cribs pulled from U.S. shelves.


Mike and his team worked together to get the cribs pulled from store shelves. Saving children's lives and giving parents peace of mind is what Mike's time at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission was all about.


While there, Mike specialized in toy safety and was recognized with a Distinguished Service Award for his service. He helped get children's products that presented choking hazards or contained lead-based paint from China off the market.

  

Looking home once more, Mike moved back to Arkansas in 2016. He continued his legal work and also returned to the classroom. It was a special honor to teach at his alma mater, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Bowen School of Law. There he taught Products Liability and Product Safety. 


Mike Lee is proud to have the chance to serve as attorney general and to bring the focus of the office back to serving the people of Arkansas.