Get to Know Ben Muth

prev
next

Tell us a bit about yourself: 

I was born in Ann Arbor to two wonderful parents, one of whom is attorney Andrew (Andy) Muth. 

After graduating from Pioneer High in 2003, I finally graduated with a double major in Journalism and Anthropology from Arizona State University in 2009. Sometime in Arizona I decided to enter law school with a focus on environmental law, which took me to Vermont Law School. 

Following my graduation in 2012, I returned home to Ann Arbor and started practicing with Andy in Ypsilanti. I’ve been lucky to be involved in this local community and Bar for the past decade (I can’t believe it’s been 10 years) and wouldn’t change a thing.

While I dreamed of practicing environmental law, I found myself practicing plaintiff ’s personal injury litigation, and donating my time and services to environmental causes. I’ve sat on, and chaired, the Elizabeth Dean Trust Fund Committee for the City of Ann Arbor (which has a budget for planting and maintaining trees within the City), served on the Environmental Commission for the City, donated time and effort for the National Wildlife Federation, and am currently serving on the Board of Directors for the non-profit FLOW (For Love of Water), whose mission is to use the Public Trust Doctrine to ensure the waters of the Great Lakes Basin are healthy, public, and protected for all.

By Teresa Killeen
Washtenaw County Bar Association

Did you always know you wanted to be an attorney?  

I did not want to be a lawyer growing up. I was an unmotivated student, but a great arguer with a sharp tongue, much to my parents’ and teachers’ dismay. Getting through law school and the bar exam was an academic hurdle, and I’m proud that I got it done. Now on the “other side,” being a practicing attorney is such a joy, as personal interaction is a fundamental part of representing clients through litigation.

What jobs did you have before you became an attorney?

My first job in high school was a dishwasher at Zingerman’s Deli in Ann Arbor. At ASU I was an all-star delivery driver for Dave’s Dog House, serving up coney dogs and sliders to the weary and hungry of Tempe, Arizona at all hours of the night. I then had a brief stint as a pizza chef in Phoenix, but the manager heard I was going to law school in the fall and that was the end of my pizza career. 

My last pre-law school job was a data entry job at a mortgage foreclosure servicing firm. The year was 2008-2009, and I was very busy. I made just enough money to take my then-girlfriend to Mexico, quit the job and head to Vermont for law school.

What area of the law do you like the best and why?

I wouldn’t say that I like any area of the law itself, but rather the impact it can have on people. I like any area of law that allows me to get a glimpse into someone else’s life and make it a little better. Personal injury litigation grants me that privilege, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. Sometimes that means answering a simple question on the phone, and sometimes that means getting involved in litigation.

Tell us a little about your family.

I married my beautiful wife Elizabeth Lillard in October of 2021, and I’m looking forward to a bright and happy future. My parents still live in Ann Arbor, and I have an older brother in Seattle.

Any words of wisdom to pass on to new lawyers?

Find a mentor. Someone you respect and look up to. I was lucky to have my dad and a dedicated handful of local attorneys and judges always willing to give me a helping hand and two cents of wisdom.

Law school, I decided, is not designed to find the best lawyers, but designed to find the best judges. It’s a contest of who can sit down and read and write for twelve hours a day for six days a week. That’s not what lawyers do. That’s what judges do (and very well). I tell young lawyers and law students that law school is like learning how to farm by reading about the history of English farming, a 60-page manual for a John Deere tractor, the chemical composition of fertilizer, fruit tree morphology, best practices for nutrient control, etc., but never, ever, going to a farm and putting a shovel in the dirt.

What is your favorite movie or book?

My favorite book is “100 Years of Solitude” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and my favorite movie is “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.”

Describe a perfect day off.

French press coffee and a game of cribbage with my wife for breakfast, followed by golf, boating, grilling on a deck, and bed by 10 p.m.

What are some of your favorite places that you have visited?

I’ve been blessed to travel and see many beautiful places. Some notables are the Swiss Alps, Machu Picchu, Napa wine country, the Sea of Cortez, and many National Parks. The clear top favorites are: (1) Northern Michigan in the summer. It’s the best place on Earth; and (2) Rome, Italy, with all its loud, smelly, smoky dirty traffic filled streets.

–––––––––––––

Reprinted with permission from the  Washtenaw County Bar Association newsletter,  Res Ipsa Loquitur



––––––––––––––––––––
Subscribe to the Legal News!
http://legalnews.com/subscriptions
Full access to public notices, articles, columns, archives, statistics, calendar and more
Day Pass Only $4.95!
One-County $80/year
Three-County & Full Pass also available