Federal Public Defender for the Western District of Michigan

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First Assistant Defender
Grand Rapids, MI

First Assistant Defender Helen Nieuwenhuis is a 1988 graduate of Thomas M. Cooley Law School, which she attended after receiving her Bachelor of Science from Grand Valley State University. Before joining the Defender's Office in August of 2015, Helen Nieuwenhuis had been a trial and appellate lawyer practicing in Grand Rapids since 1988. Her practice was exclusively criminal defense, many times representing indigent defendants. She has tried many homicide cases, two resulting in acquittals. She has practiced in both the state and federal courts. She was designated a Level III appellate attorney by the Michigan Appellate Assigned Counsel. She served as the CJA Panel Representative for the Western District of Michigan from 2013 to August of 2015, and served on the Judge Selection Committee. She is a member of the State Bar of Michigan and the Federal Bar Association.


Helen Nieuwenhuis