Hugh B. Clarke

Business & Entrepreneurship

About Hugh B. Clarke | Juris Doctor & Skilled Legal Professional

From Detroit to Stony Book, New York, the ascendance of Judge Hugh B. Clarke from a sports-loving child to a successful judge focused in criminal justice is one for the history books. Judge Clarke grew up witnessing turmoil in his community and pursued a career where he could make lasting, meaningful change.

Born and raised in Detroit, Hugh grew up with a keen love of sports and music that transformed the city at the time. Detroit’s Motown music scene was at its prime and heavily influenced Hugh during his formative years. He could often be found performing in his school’s talent shows, when he wasn’t playing baseball, of course. 

Hugh B. Clarke was first exposed to the idea of criminal justice and a life of enacting positive change when he witnessed the Detroit riots directly from his porch. The events pushed him to finish his high school education at the top of his class, so he could immediately go after his dreams and be better equipped to help his community. 

In 1971, Hugh enrolled in the Oakland Community College and, after graduating, he pursued his Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice at Wayne State University. At the time, Hugh thought he could make the most positive impact on his community by joining the police force. However, due to lack of city funding, he was forced to reassess. 

Hugh B. Clarke quickly switched gears to follow a career path in law by enrolling in Thomas M. Cooley Law School. Even before he graduated he began to enact change. He worked to draft the Revised Michigan Probate Code and helped draft various amendments to the Michigan Code of Criminal Procedure to better help those navigating the system. 

By 1979, Mr. Clarke graduated with his Juris Doctor and immediately began working for the Associate General Counsel for the State Senate, a prestigious position showing his dedication to his studies. After gaining several years of experience in government, he accepted a position at the firm of Rosenbaum and Holland. As a testament to his skills, within a few years the law firm changed its name, Rosenbaum, Holland, Clarke and Foster, to include Clarke’s name in the title. 

After a decade of working his way up the career ladder, Hugh B. Clarke decided to found his own firm, and in 1989 Hugh Clarke and Associates was born. At this point, his career skyrocketed. Hugh began working on high-profile cases and providing legal services to celebrities including Tupac Shakur and NFL player Muhsin Muhammed. 

Over the course of the next decade, Hugh kept on making a name for himself. Success after success in the courtroom allowed him to keep expanding his business and provide more high-quality services for his clients. In 2003, Hugh B. Clarke became a member of the Lansing Board of Education and served as its President for several years. While that position allowed him to further causes he cared deeply about, Hugh knew he could do more. As a result, he served as chair of personnel search and superintendent search to ensure quality candidates were chosen. 

After decades serving his community as an attorney, Hugh B. Clarke was appointed to judge on the 54-A District Court in Lansing, Michigan. He easily won reelection for two subsequent terms before he retired in 2019 to spend more time with his wife and son.

Visit Hugh’s sports website to learn more about his other passion!