What is not readily discernible about Susan Aldridge is her rich and varied legal career.
She began in the white collar criminal group at Fulbright & Jaworski (now Norton Rose Fulbright), and also did pro bono work, principally on child custody cases. When her one-year pro bono sabbatical ended, she was relieved to return to representing large insurance companies fighting over dollars! In addition to these two experiences, Susan’s career has run the gamut from working internally in a client’s office for several months and gaining useful perspective on her clients’ focus on transactions, to teaching legal research and writing full time at American University’s Washington College of Law and teaching Alternative Dispute Resolution as an adjunct professor for several years. But if she could have a second career, it would involve educational neuroscience research. Having taught secondary school French and English for three years before she went to law school, Susan is credentialed in education. She is interested in recent advancements by educators and researchers to discover how children learn, and what can be done to optimize education for all students, including those with learning disabilities.
Chadbourne & Parke is now about to enter a new phase, as it will be merging with Norton Rose Fulbright this year. Susan feels like her career is coming full circle as she looks forward to working again with some of the people who mentored her in the early years of her career. As a litigator, she says she truly enjoys analyzing documents created years ago and piecing together the history of what actually happened, and why companies made the decisions they did. The process of putting together that story for an arbitration panel—from the client’s perspective—is always rewarding. She also enjoys working with witnesses and finds that no matter how many times a witness has given testimony at a deposition or trial, he or she usually still needs to be guided through the process at some level.
Susan’s favorite book is The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene, which is a novel about a priest running from the police during the persecution of the Catholic Church by the Mexican government in the 1930s. In the non-fiction category, she highly recommends The River of Doubt by Candice Millard, a compelling account of Theodore Roosevelt’s journey through an uncharted tributary of the Amazon River following his unsuccessful 1912 campaign for the presidency.
When we asked Susan about her first involvement with AIRROC and her opinion on AIRROC’s educational sessions/conferences, she reflected on her invitation by Art Coleman to speak at a membership meeting in 2008. After that first meeting, she attended the October conference and membership meetings regularly. Susan found that the educational presentations are thoughtful and often involve something topical that she is working on. When Dewey LeBoeuf (which had hosted the membership meetings) closed its doors, Art invited Chadbourne & Parke to host the meetings at their offices and serve as AIRROC’s general counsel. Susan considers it an honor to serve in this capacity and to work with such a great group of people. She has appreciated the opportunity to become familiar with the laws affecting trade associations and to work on by-laws and other documents for the organization.
For the full article, refer to page 25 in the Spring 2017 issue. https://www.airroc.org/assets/docs/matters/AIRROC%20Matters%20Spring%202017%20No%2013%20Vol%201.pdf