Susan F. Reed will receive SBM Representative Assembly Unsung Hero Award on Sept. 18 in Grand Rapids


Susan Reed has a difficult job.

In her role as a criminal defense attorney who gets most of her work from state and federal-appointed felony cases, Reed routinely draws the toughest clients the court system has to offer—those accused of murder, rape, and child molestation.

Of course, it's one thing to have a difficult job. It's an entirely different thing to excel at it.

A profile of Reed that appeared in the Detroit Free Press in 2012 called her "a veteran of a chilling parade of high-profile and ghastly cases." In that same article, Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Timothy Kenny said Reed is often assigned troubled or troubling clients who have burned through one or more lawyers and does an excellent job in those challenging situations.

"When I meet someone, I tell them I represent murderers, rapists, and child molesters," Reed said in that 2012 article. "I've had some I truly didn't like as a person. I'm careful not to let that interfere with my work."

The Detroit native attended Mumford High, earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan, and then went to Wayne State University, where she earned a master's degree in secondary education. From there, she got a job as a teacher at Nichols Elementary in Detroit but eventually went back to Wayne State to study law, following her older brother's lead in moving from education to legal profession.

Reed has been praised for her leadership and commitment to quality criminal defense legal services by the defense bar in southeast Michigan. The current president of the Wayne County Criminal Defense Bar Association, she has been active in the organization for years.

Story by Mike Eidelbes


More information about the Annual Meeting can be found in the SBM Annual Meeting Media Kit