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WJA 2021: Susan L. Brown Miles

Susan Brown Miles has seen justice from many perspectives. Civil and criminal law. Statewide and on an individual level. Private practice and public service. “The common thread,” she says, “is making sure all parties have a chance to be heard.”

brown-milesAs a Thurgood Marshall Scholar, Miles earned her J.D. from the University of Missouri School of Law. There are no other lawyers in her family, and she had no female lawyers as role models or mentors. “I remember watching ‘Law and Order’ and other legal dramas on TV,” she says. “Those lawyers were fascinating and always had something interesting to work on. I could see myself in the lawyer roles.”

In her career as a lawyer, Miles has served as Assistant Attorney General for the State of Missouri, Assistant Circuit Attorney for the City of St. Louis, and handled worker’s compensation cases at a large St. Louis firm.

Currently, she is a senior associate and civil litigation attorney. She handles insurance defense, general liability, subrogation, workers’ compensation, personal injury, premises liability and product liability cases. She also has appellate and trial experience.

“I’ve helped crime victims through the process of navigating the justice system and making sure their voice was heard,” Miles says. “When children or young people are involved, I have a bit more satisfaction in knowing that I helped them in some way.”

Miles recalls a case in which her elderly clients had been sued. It was their first time dealing with a lawsuit. She was able to settle the case without too much disruption to their lives. “I still remember how grateful they were,” she says. “When a client takes the time to say thank you, I know I did what I was supposed to do.”

The youngest of eight children, Miles has a heart for helping children in her community. She volunteers with Motion for Kids and is a board Member of Youth in Action, which is a community service organization based in Kirkwood, Missouri.

She is also a member of the 2021-2022 St. Louis Business Diversity Initiative Fellowship Program. In her firm, she assists with marketing events and charity events, and is a presenter at their annual seminar.

“Leadership is about more than being the wizard behind the curtain who gives directions but doesn’t do the work,” Miles says. “I lead best when I’m showing up and contributing.”

She adds, “I’m proud to be a lawyer, especially a Black female lawyer. It’s important for minority females to see someone who looks like them and is doing something they might want to do. They need that extra push to succeed.”

Women's Justice Awards 2021