Get to Know Daniel Hilf


Criminal defense attorney Daniel Hilf and his wife, attorney Sufen Hilf, are partners of the Hilf & Hilf, PLC, which specializes in immigration law and criminal defense.

Hilf completed his undergraduate studies from the University of Michigan and became licensed as an attorney in Michigan in 1996 after graduating from the Detroit College of Law and passing the Michigan bar exam.

During law school, he served with distinction as the chief judicial law clerk for the Honorable Steven N. Andrews of the 6th Circuit Court of Michigan.

Hilf handles cases ranging from misdemeanor offenses such as traffic offenses, retail fraud, and domestic violence to life maximum felony offenses such as armed robbery, criminal sexual conduct, and major controlled substance violations. He has appeared before district, circuit, juvenile, family, and appellate court judges throughout the state of Michigan. He is also admitted to and practices before the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, and in immigration courts.

The Hilfs married in 2002 and have two daughters.

By Jo Mathis
Legal News

What is your proudest moment as a lawyer? I have had many great moments, but as a lawyer my focus is always on my current clients.  Nothing is more important than whomever I am currently representing. When the file is closed, I have to move forward.  Maybe if I ever retire I can dwell on this type of question.

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received? When my wife agreed to marry me over 15 years ago. 

What would surprise people about your job?
A lot of people say to me, “I could never work in the same office as my spouse.” It really is not difficult, but sometimes it has its moments. We are very like-minded, but we each can be a little stubborn. It’s nice being able to have lunch together and have someone to discuss my files with. The fact that she practices Immigration law exclusively, and my primary area of practice is criminal defense, may also be a factor in having a pleasant work and home life.

What is the best advice you ever received?
My late Uncle Allen Hilf always said to me: “Keep your eyes open, ears open, mouth shut.” On the surface, it might sound like something I would tell a client and that it would not apply to a lawyer. However, oftentimes I see in court circumstances when a lawyer should look, listen, and process what is heard without talking. As a lawyer, words are our greatest resource. They are precise and impactful—if properly used. When used improperly, words can be destructive or can lessen the impact of what is relevant or persuasive. Knowing when to remain silent is just as important as knowing when and what to speak.

What is your happiest childhood memory? Tackle football, riding a bicycle without a helmet, riding in the bed of my father’s pickup truck—all the things they don’t let kids do anymore because society decided that it is too dangerous.

What is the question you most ask yourself?
Will I ever get the chance to retire?

What is the most awe-inspiring place you ever been?

When you were considering law school, what was Plan B?
Law school was Plan A, Plan B, Plan C.  There was nothing else on my mind.

Any advice for someone considering law school?
It is a big investment of time and money. You have to decide if it’s right for you. If you want to learn a lot about yourself, it’s a good place to learn.

What were you doing in your last selfie?
Hiking in Sedona, Ariz.