Monday Profile: Susan Brown

Chelsea family law attorney Susan Brown was born and raised in the Detroit area. She practiced law in Detroit and Grosse Pointe prior to moving her family to Chelsea in 2005.

Brown is a member of the Family Law Section of the Washtenaw County Bar Association; a member of the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan; and is on the boards of the WCBA, Chelsea Rotary and the Chelsea District Library.

She is the mother of two daughters, Abigail,20, who is working in the modeling industry, and Amelia, 18, a freshman at the University of Michigan.

What would surprise people about your job?

How much I appreciate working in the Washtenaw and Jackson County legal communities.

What would be your ideal job?

Being in a rock and roll band or being on the US Ski Team.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Standing at the top of the mountain, ready to descend, fresh powder, and all the other skiers are still in bed. Or, bottom of the ninth, Comerica Park, walk off home run, playoff bound.

Which living person do you most admire? Aung San Suu Kyi.

What is the trait you hate most in yourself?

My sometime inability to see things the way they are rather than how I want them to be.

What is the trait you hate most in others? The absence of kindness.

If you suddenly had an extra room in your house, what would you do with it? I do suddenly have an empty room! My youngest daughter is moving to college. She is leaving her turntable and I plan on hanging out in her room listening to all my vinyl from the 70's and 80's.

What is your most treasured possession? Two things: my autographed Mark Fidrych photo (1976 Rookie of the Year) given to me by daughter Amelia for my birthday last year; and a painting of a mom fish and two baby fish painted by my daughter Abigail and given to me on Mother's Day a few years ago.

If you could do one thing professionally ...

I would work for the World Court.

What are your favorite websites?

My favorites are all sites I use for life--banking, weather, box scores, Sirius, recipes, trail maps, Wikipedia.

The cause I'm most passionate about is ... Years ago I spent three years working on preventing gun violence. I helped organize the Michigan contingency of the Million Mom March and worked in conjunction with the Brady Campaign for a few years after the march. I took my oldest daughter on the bus to DC to march. We also organized a march across the Mackinac Bridge. It seemed as if our efforts to create a national dialogue regarding gun violence reflected a general willingness to finally engage.

Then 9/11 happened and the national perception of security changed overnight. I respect the people who have continued to try to bring the issue of gun violence into the mainstream conversation. I believe that most people are simply unaware of the magnitude of the problem; not just the mass slayings but the day-to-day body count and ruined families, neighborhoods and communities.

Introvert or extrovert?

Probably extrovert with regular periods of introvert.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

In our era--faith. It has been hijacked by politics and misused to justify intolerance.

When and where were you happiest? I am pretty much always happy--maybe stressed, tired or frustrated, but always basically happy. I am lucky that way.

What's your greatest achievement? Going to college.

What one habit do you wish you could break? I drive too fast.

What is something most people don't know about you? That I spent 10 years living downtown Detroit and enjoyed it tremendously. During that time, I got involved with the Tiger Stadium Fan Club and helped organize the "Hug" and searched the Burton collection in the downtown public library to document the Fan Club's historical designation application. Also, that my very first ballgame on Sept. 17, 1968 was the night the Tiger's clinched the pennant and I've been a die-hard fan ever since. (Although I boycotted games for a few years after they tore the stadium down).

If you could have dinner with three people, living or dead, who would they be? FDR and Churchill--I can't even imagine how much fun that would be. Separately, and by himself, Abraham Lincoln.

Who is your favorite character of fiction? I am more into authors than any particular characters. I will read anything by David McCullough, Joyce Carol Oates, and Pearl S. Buck.

Favorite movie: High Fidelity. And I would marry John Cusack.

What's one thing you can do now that you couldn't do 20 years ago? Cook! I learned to cook in order to feed my kids and in the process developed a real enjoyment of the planning and process.

Favorite place to spend money: StubHub, Ticketmaster, REI and Lord & Taylor.

What is your motto? "Change is inevitable, growth is optional."

I posted this near the kitchen telephone after moving my kids to Chelsea with the hope that it would provide some subtle guidance.

Where would you like to be when you're 90? Near my family. Or in Portland, Oregon because they have an assisted suicide law.

Published: Mon, Sep 10, 2012


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