Michelle Cornell-Davis is an associate in the Los Angeles office of Latham & Watkins and a member of the firm’s Environment, Land & Resources Practice.

Ms. Cornell-Davis focuses her practice on major infrastructure improvements and California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) litigation, governmental and administrative law as well as matters involving local and state administrative and legislative decision-making. She assists landowners and developers through all stages of a project, providing counsel to clients on local planning and zoning regulations as well as approvals and related litigation.

Ms. Cornell-Davis advises clients on matters involving CEQA, the California Coastal Act, the Subdivision Map Act, and the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act as well as local planning, zoning, public utility law, and historic preservation laws. She has represented clients in actions throughout California before local agencies and state administrative bodies such as the California Coastal Commission and the California Public Utilities Commission. As an experienced litigator, she has successfully defended and prosecuted numerous land use, property, and environmental disputes in trial and appellate courts.

Ms. Cornell-Davis is also active in the firm’s pro bono program. She successfully assisted an affordable housing developer receive entitlements for a low-income housing project within the coastal zone in the City of Los Angeles.

Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Cornell-Davis served as a judicial law clerk to Judge Richard C. Tallman of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. She graduated first in her class at Loyola Law School, where she served as a note and comment editor of the Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review, participated in the Project for the Innocent and Ninth Circuit clinics, and served as a judicial extern to Judge R. Gary Klausner of the United States District Court for the Central District of California.

Thought Leadership

  • “CEQA Case Report: 2021 Year in Review,” LW Environment, Land and Resources (2021)
  • “CEQA Case Report: 2020 Year in Review,” LW Environment, Land and Resources (2020)

Bar Qualification

  • California


  • JD, Loyola Law School, 2018
    summa cum laude
  • BS, Abilene Christian University, 2013
    summa cum laude