Double duty: Wayne Law student interns with federal and state judges

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By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

While working as a legal assistant for more than three years at Dunn Counsel PLC in Troy, Susan Gleich earned the nickname "Eagle Eyes" for her meticulous attention to detail. She brings those same skills to her studies at Wayne Law, where she will head into her 2L year this fall.

This summer, Gleich is working in Judge Avern Cohn's chambers at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan in Detroit.

"Judge Cohn is a legend in the legal community-I still can't believe I get to learn from him," she says.

She also is interning in Judge Jennifer Faunce's chambers at the Macomb County Circuit Court in Mount Clemens. Gleich already was familiar with the judge, after job-shadowing her for a day in high school.

"When I contacted Judge Faunce, seven years later, she remembered me," she says. "Interning in her chambers this summer is both a practical experience and an honor. Judge Faunce is one of my greatest role models."

Witnessing sentencing proceedings has been both difficult and reflective for Gleich.

"I'll always remember the maxim 'justice tempered with mercy,'" she says. "Interning with both a state and federal judge this summer is a tremendous opportunity."

According to Gleich, her integrity and problem-solving skills are the cornerstones of her success.

"Rarely have I been in a conflict which I was not able to resolve both amicably and fairly," she says. "I approach people with a respectful, open mind. Considering the fair, evenhanded approach I take toward my own life, I think I will contribute to the metro Detroit legal community in meaningful ways."

While Gleich has not yet decided what type of law she would eventually like to practice, she received high grades in property and contracts courses this semester and found both courses very enjoyable. She would like to continue this summer's experience by becoming a law clerk to a judge.

Always been a high achiever, Gleich graduated summa cum laude with a 4.0 GPA from Cousino High School in Warren, then earned her undergrad degree in English, magna cum laude, from Oakland University, where she was vice president of Sigma Tau Delta (English Honor Society), and vice president of the American Studies Student Group.

"I'll be the first lawyer in my family, but I come from a long line of hardworking, courageous individuals," she says. "I find tremendous satisfaction in working hard to achieve personal goals."

She appreciates the community of fellow students and faculty at Wayne Law.

"My classmates are all very bright and sociable, and I think I've made a few friendships that will last a lifetime," she says. "Wayne has a wonderful staff, especially in the career services office. Many of the professors have been at Wayne for decades during several interviews, interviewers have commented they had the same professors 30 years ago. I hope to have a profound, positive influence on Wayne Law as so many people before me have."

Gleich plans in the future to start a scholarship to honor her father, who died during her freshman year at Oakland University.

"I had always valued my education, but after my dad's passing, I realized I needed to work even harder and find a meaningful career to support myself," she says. "I cherish the wonderful memories I have of my dad. Once I complete law school, I hope to start a scholarship foundation in my dad's beloved honor to be awarded to a Wayne law student who has lost a parent."

A Warren native who now makes her home in Sterling Heights, Gleich relaxes by boating, snowmobiling, running, playing trumpet, helping out with fellowship activities at her church, and spending time with family in northern Michigan.

Pleased to see the comeback of the Motor City, she enjoys visiting the Auto Show, Grand Prix, Tigers' and Red Wings' games, and strolling through Campus Martius during lunch.

"Midtown is rich with artistic value and history-it's a privilege to go to law school here," she says.

Gleich's ancestors came from Poland in the late 19th century; some homesteaded in Boyne Falls while others were entrepreneurs who built many of the storefronts in Detroit.

"My grandparents built Detroit and I'm determined to rebuild it," she says. "I'm proud of my heritage and am grateful to be part of a wonderful family."

Published: Thu, Jun 23, 2016