A native of Memphis, Suzanne is a 1998 graduate of the University of Tennessee where she was an active part of campus life. Two undergraduate social work practicum experiences in the criminal justice system inspired Suzanne to pursue graduate studies in both law and social work.
In 2002 Suzanne earned a Master’s in Social Work and a Juris Doctor from Washington University in St. Louis. The Brown School of Social Work provided an open-minded environment where Suzanne gained a deeper understanding of human behavior, diversity, poverty, community dynamics and complex social systems. This was the perfect compliment to her comprehensive legal studies and coursework in advocacy for children, women, and minorities. Suzanne interned and completed practicums at Legal Services of Eastern Missouri’s housing unit, a large law firm, Parkway School District and an International Human Rights Agency in Kathmandu, Nepal.
In 2002, Suzanne began working as an attorney-supervisor at Voices for Children (CASA). There, Suzanne supervised a team of 40 highly-trained lay leaders and represented children, who were victims of abuse and neglect. The scope of representation included advocating for their legal, educational, and medical needs as well as engaging in custody modifications, contempt hearings, termination of parental rights, guardianship and adoption cases. Suzanne left full-time employment at Voices for Children in 2007, though she carried on as a contractor in various capacities, including working with drug and alcohol addiction help centers.
Becoming a solo practitioner in 2007 allowed Suzanne more time with her young daughters and to devote to her numerous volunteer commitments. Suzanne’s solo practice included not-for-profit development work, civil litigation, and extensive Guardian ad Litem work. She held contracts with both the state of Missouri and a top-tier law school.
One such contract was to represent abused and neglected children in the St Louis City Family Drug Court, where Suzanne met Tara. This was a civil court program with the goal of family reunification for children who have been placed in the custody of Missouri Children’s Division due to one or both parents’ substance abuse problems. Suzanne continued in the post for five years, learning the ins and outs of addiction, treatment, and the toll addiction places on an entire family. Family Drug Court ignited Suzanne’s passion for assisting these families as well as planted the seeds of Suzanne and Tara’s partnership.
Suzanne is excited to carry on her justice work at ELO. She continues to serve on many charitable boards. Suzanne live in St. Louis County with her husband and their two children.