About Us


Lorenger & Carnell PLC was founded in 2007 in order to provide employers with top-notch legal services at small-firm rates. Since its inception, the firm’s practice has been focused on representing employers in both litigation and counseling.

Before striking out on their own, Susan Carnell and Mike Lorenger served as partners in the Labor & Employment Group of the Washington, D.C. law firm of Hogan & Hartson LLP (now Hogan Lovells), where they represented national and international companies in all aspects of labor and employment litigation, counseling and training. Over the course of their “big firm” practice, Susan and Mike found that the ever-increasing cost of legal services limited the preventative advice companies sought and made it cost-prohibitive to defend against even meritless claims. In response to these changing market forces, they opened a small boutique law firm dedicated solely to the representation of employers in employment-related matters and disputes.  Christine Burke came to the firm in 2015 from Hogan Lovells, where she herself had spent over a decade in the firm’s Labor & Employment Group, first as an Associate and then as Counsel. 

Drawing on over fifty years of combined experience, acquired in representing employers ranging in size from a few employees to a few hundred thousand, Lorenger & Carnell provides its clients with the same capable training, practical advice, and aggressive litigation defense offered by the largest law firms, but at a fraction of the cost.  Our clients are located both in the Washington, DC area and nationwide, in almost every industry, including hospitality, energy, aerospace, construction, media and broadcasting, defense, sports, information technology, and education.


Chambers USA, Labor & Employment, Recognised Practitioner

  • Michael J. Lorenger, Band 2
  • Susan Carnell, Band 3

Super Lawyers, Labor & Employment

  • Michael J. Lorenger, 2012-2020
  • Susan Carnell, 2012-2020
  • Christine M. Burke, 2019-2020
    • “Rising Star,” 2012-2014

Bisnow, Washington DC’s “Top 40 Lawyers Under 40”

  • Christine M. Burke, 2016

Virginia Business, “Legal Elite,” Labor/Employment

  • Christine M. Burke, 2014

Lorenger & Carnell is the exclusive Virginia member firm of the Worklaw® Network, an international association of top-rated law firms whose primary focus is representing employers/management in labor and employment law matters.  The firm’s association with the Worklaw® Network provides a significant resource to our clients. With attorneys in law firms throughout the United States and beyond, the network helps us provide important information about the local legal and business communities where our clients have operations and employees.