Barry Grant, Judge Grant's father, retired from the Oakland County Probate bench in 2008, some 11 years after administering the oath of office to his daughter.
At the time, she
was probably best known as "Judge Grant's daughter.
told me her
father was Barry Grant
, I felt more than a bit embarrassed that I hadn't recognized her
But it was early evidence to me that she
was going to make a name for herself and wouldn't be resting on the laurels of her
was that good."
Grant admitted to be a "nerd in high school" and didn't necessarily harbor thoughts of attending law school when she began her studies at the University of Michigan.
She was majoring in sociology and anthropology at U-M when the "law school light went on" in her head as a junior.
"I remember calling home to tell my mom and dad that I planned to take the LSAT and planned to enroll in law school upon graduation," said Grant, vice chair of the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission.
Her mother, Lisa, attended the University of Vermont and Wayne State University
, and is the "rock of the family," according to Judge Grant
is an incredible person, very kind and compassionate," Judge Grant
said of her
mother, a native of New York.
also was demanding.
didn't put up with poor grades or bad behavior.
My parents set the bar high for all of us."
The result: a lawyer and two physicians among the couple's offspring.
"That's probably a mother's dream, isn't it," Judge Grant
asked with more than a slight grin.
All too often, Judge Grant sees the other side of parental life.
It's played out in her
courtroom each day, where she
tries to impress upon youthful offenders the far-reaching consequences of their actions.
"Judge Pezzetti regularly sends juveniles down to my court to sit in on my criminal call," Judge Grant
immediately took it into the store, figuring that one of their customers must have lost it," Judge Grant
Of course, I'm not speaking to her
anymore," Judge Grant
said with a laugh.
Stress is in ready supply as chief judge, however, as Grant
wrestles with budgetary challenges that are inherent with a county that is faced with eroding property tax revenues.
The Circuit Court
has trimmed nearly $6 million from its operating budget over the past 7 years and another round of significant cuts are expected during the next 3-year budget cycle.
"It was part of the 'sunset' provisions that are in place," Judge Grant
said of the decision to eliminate the judgeship.
"We will all have to share the load and find creative ways to maintain the same level of service that our citizens have come to expect in Oakland County.
"There certainly has been plenty of doom and gloom in this state over the last few years, but I'm enough of an optimist to believe that better days are ahead, especially if we bond together with a positive outlook on life," she
"I'm confident that the tide is turning."