A firm believer in giving 'hand up'

Susie Cannell is a specialist in complex commercial litigation and employment law with Hooper, Hathaway, Price, Beuche & Wallace in Ann Arbor, where she has worked for 16 years.

After graduating from Wayne State Law School with honors and as a member of Order of the Coif, she clerked for the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Michigan and spent several years with Miller Canfield.

Since joining Hooper Hathaway in 1993, Cannell has been primary author of the firm's trial court and appellate briefs, resulting in a continuous track record of summary judgment and successful appellate decisions in Michigan state courts and federal courts throughout the United States.

In addition to her litigation practice, she provides employment law advice to the firm's local and national corporate clients.

Like her co-workers, she contributes extensive time to local nonprofit organizations.

"I think we all feel that we're fortunate to be able to practice law in a town like Ann Arbor and we want to contribute to the organizations and institutions that directly serve the community," she says.

Cannell's background gives her an affinity for Habitat for Humanity's approach of giving a "hand up" rather than a "hand out," she says.

When she was in her late 20s and her undergraduate college career at Wayne State University was entering its second decade, one of her professors, Sue Levy, took her under her wing, encouraging her to go to law school and offering to help her financially.

"Having struggled through college off and on for years while working full time, Sue's offer made me feel like Cinderella and I was game to try anything she thought was a good idea," Cannell says. "Sue passed away just before I started law school but her husband, Dr. Stanley Levy, graciously paid my tuition for all three years, for which I will be forever grateful."

Published: Wed, Dec 23, 2009