Wayne State University
Susan E. Cancelosi
Susan E. Cancelosi
Associate Professor of Law
Room 3255
(313) 577-3952


LL.M., University of Houston Law Center
J.D., Cornell University Law School
B.B.A., B.A., Southern Methodist University


Professor Cancelosi teaches trusts and decedents' estates, federal income taxation, elder law and employee benefits. Her research focuses on employment-based retiree benefits, both health and pension. She speaks regularly on benefits-related topics involving the elderly.

Before joining the Wayne State University Law School faculty, Professor Cancelosi was a research professor with the Health Law & Policy Institute at the University of Houston Law Center, where she focused primarily on research into various health care finance issues and taught both employee benefits and elder law. For the preceding five years, she was a director in Tax & Legal Consulting Services for Buck Consultants, a national human resources consulting firm. Before joining Buck, Professor Cancelosi worked as a manager with Deloitte & Touche in its employee benefits consulting practice. She began her legal career as an employee benefits attorney with Jones Day Reavis & Pogue, later joining the benefits practice at Taft Stettinius & Hollister in Cincinnati, and also served for several years as assistant general counsel for The Associates, a large publicly traded finance company based in Dallas in the 1990s. Her private practice work covered the full range of employee benefits issues, from traditional retirement plan benefits to all types of welfare benefits and executive compensation.

Professor Cancelosi's interest in elder law stems from years of volunteer work in Texas with The Senior Source, a United Way agency based in Dallas that focuses on serving the senior population of the North Texas region. In addition to offering pro bono advice at clinics for the elderly and speaking to numerous senior citizens' groups, Professor Cancelosi served for several years as a volunteer guardian for a senior citizen in a nursing home near Dallas.

Professor Cancelosi graduated from Southern Methodist University with a bachelor's degree in history and a bachelor of business administration degree in marketing, both cum laude. She graduated from Cornell Law School cum laude, serving as symposium editor for the Cornell International Law Journal. She also holds an LL.M. in health law from the University of Houston Law Center.


Selected Publications

The Shifting Focus of Federal Intervention in Retiree Health Benefits, 13 NEVADA L. J. 759 (2013)

No Good News: Retiree Benefits One Year after Health Reform, 21 ANNALS HEALTH L. 89 (2012)

The Bell Is Tolling: Retiree Health Benefits Post-Health Reform, 19 ELDER L. J. 49-118 (2011)

VEBAs to the Rescue: Evaluating One Alternative for Public Sector Retiree Health Benefits, 42 J. MARSHALL L. REV. 879-924 (2009)

Revisiting Employer Prescription Drug Plans for Medicare-Eligible Retirees in the Medicare Part D Era, 6 HOUS. J. HEALTH L. & POL’Y 85-150 (fall 2005)


April 6, 2016
Susan E. Cancelosi presented Government Income and Health Programs for the Elderly and Those with Disabilities at the Institute of Continuing Legal Education's program on Basics of Advising Elderly Clients and Those With Disabilities in Plymouth.

October 8, 2015
Susan E. Cancelosi presented Identifying and Handling Client Competency Issues at the Institute of Continuing Legal Education's 12th annual Solo & Small Firm Institute (held in conjunction with State Bar of Michigan Annual Meeting) in Novi.

September 22, 2014
Susan E. Cancelosi co-authored an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court case of M&G Polymers USA, LLC et al. v. Hobert Freel Tackett, et al. Read the complete news release

April 3, 2014
Susan E. Cancelosi was a panelist and co-convener of the AARP Forum Keep the Promise: Retirement Security in Michigan on April 3, 2014. The roundtable forum on retirement security was convened in cooperation with Wayne State University Law School, Michigan Black Chamber of Commerce and the Michigan Association of Retired School Personnel to address Michigan's overall state of financial security in retirement and the specific issues facing city of Detroit pensioners.

In The News

January 27, 2016
Susan E. Cancelosi was cited in The Detroit News report, "Family battles over megachurch founder's estate."

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September 2, 2015
Susan E. Cancelosi was interviewed for a report, "Elder Bankruptcy and Debt," on Comcast's Newsmakers.

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November 10, 2014
Susan E. Cancelosi was quoted in Politico report: "SCOTUS takes on collective bargaining agreements case."

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October 30, 2014
Susan E. Cancelosi was the subject of an article in the Legal News titled "Wayne Law retiree benefits expert files U.S. Supreme Court brief."

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