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Susan Hicks

Business/Employer:

The Susan Hicks Group P.C.
9302 Lee Highway Suite 700
Fairfax, Virginia 22031

Phone:

703-691-4848

E-mail address:

shicks@susanhicksgroup.com

Education:

B.S degree from George Mason
J.D., with honors, from Georgetown University Law Center, summa cum laude

Professional/business/civic/nonprofit organizations in which you are/have been involved and positions held:

President, Virginia Women Attorneys Association (2000)
Fellow, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (1999- present)
Board of Governors, Virginia Bar Association (2008 – present)
Board of Governors, Virginia Trial Lawyers Association (1998 -2004)
Past-Chair of Virginia Trial Lawyers’ Family Law Section and Virginia State Bar’s Family Law Section
Mediator with the McCammon Group

Who were the important mentors you have had and how did they impact your career?

Richard Skinner, my 5th and 6th grade teacher was one of the major influences on my life. He encouraged me to try new activities and to never say “I can’t do that”. At a time when there were very few organized sports available for elementary school girls he formed a “broom hockey” team for our 6th grade class. We had great fun playing “hockey” during our recess periods and looked forward to joining the field hockey team when we got to high school. Mr. Skinner also taught me that it is okay to fail at something so long as you get up, learn from the experience and move on. I was fortunate enough to see Mr. Skinner at a recent school reunion (I’m not telling what year) and, to my surprise, he remembered more about my 5th and 6th grade years than I did!

in 1984 I had the privilege of working as a law clerk for the 19th Judicial Circuit. During that time both the Honorable Johanna Fitzpatrick and the Honorable Barbara Keenan were Circuit Court judges for whom I worked. Judge Fitzpatrick went on to become Chief Judge of the Virginia Court of Appeals and Judge Keenan recently left the Virginia Supreme Court to join the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. I spent many hours in court watching both of these gifted judges try cases. I marveled at their ability to assert control and authority over a courtroom and still retaining a calm demeanor and sense of humor. They are excellent examples of not only legal intellect, but also civility and professionalism. I learned from them that knowledge of the law alone us not sufficient; our legal system works most effectively with the participants (lawyers, judges and litigants) bring honesty, humanity, and civility to the courtroom.

What do you consider your biggest personal and/or professional accomplishment and why?

Melissa, Merritt, Kelly, Kristen, Charlie, Neil, Will, Carter, Alex, and Oskar – my children and my grandchildren provide my greatest personal satisfaction. Of course, my sons-in-law (Clayton, Mark, Doug, and Charlie) are great people, but I cannot really take any credit for them.

What do you consider your biggest personal and/or professional accomplishment and why?

Founding the Susan Hicks Group P.C. in 2000 has been a most exciting and rewarding professional experience. Being the general manager of a small law firm means wearing many hats– construction manager, human relations director, accountant, business developer, teacher – to name just a few. One of the most challenging and rewarding tasks was bringing together a group of bright, independent attorneys who have an ability to empathize with clients while maintaining their professional demeanor and objectivity.

Our firm culture is really exciting place. The employees at the Susan Hicks Group P.C. work hard and they stick with a task until it is complete. Every employee knows he or she is important to the success of the firm. The staff and attorneys work together to ensure that each client gets dedicated and energetic representation. We emphasize that we are a group endeavor that supports the other members and our clients.

The best part of my day is walking into the office in the morning and seeing attorneys meeting with clients in the conference rooms and busy staff working on the problems facing our clients.

What advice would you give to a young person graduating from college this spring?

Identify your passions – those things that put a smile on your face and make you want to get out of bed and get going in the morning. Then try to find employment that enables you to pursue your passion in some way. Remember, no job is perfect – there will probably be many aspects of your job that are less rewarding than others. Whether you are in your ultimate job or are just “making money” while looking for the ideal job, ALWAYS do your best and remain focused on the course you are steering. Be an employee who is willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done. Approach everything with a positive attitude and never say “…that’s not my job.” After 25 years of practicing law I will make copies or answer the phone if that needs to be done.

As corny as it may sound – dedication, hard work, enthusiasm, and focus are key ingredients of success.

How do you achieve a balance between your professional life and your personal life?

Most young professionals realize that they are going to have a demanding career that will not be confined to a 40 hour work week and will require working at least some weekends and evenings. Nevertheless, over the years I have tried to set a specific time to take care of myself. When I was younger, I participated in exercise class three or four days a week at lunch time. As it became more difficult to block off time in the middle of the day I changed my work-out time to 6:30 p.m. On those days I worked out, I had to be in the office by 7:30 a.m. to get things done and get out the door on time. If I have work that has to be done over the weekend, I go to the office on either Saturday or Sunday – not both .I also try to take advantage of extra time when my schedule suddenly opens up (a 2 day trial settles or an all day meeting is canceled) by taking the time off and catching my breath.

When you were growing up, what did you want to be?

Wow – that’s a tough question. I do not think I had any firm idea about what I wanted to be (other than a mother and wife) until later in life. I had considered being a social worker, teacher or nurse, but nothing really interested me. However, after I got married my husband went to law school. I read his law books and sample exam questions and decided that law was intellectually exciting. As the mother of two, I finished college applied to law school and never looked back.

What is your favorite book or movie and why?

Movies
Casablanca – I am a hopeless romantic and loved the cast.
Princess Bride – I am a hopeless romantic and love to laugh.
A Fish Called Wanda – Love British humor.
This is Spinal Tap – This a GREAT spoof on 1980s heavy metal.
The Devil Wears Prada – The boss I never want to be, but Meryl Streep is a great actress

Books
Is People Magazine a book?
The Biography of Ayn Rand by Jennifer Burns
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
I have always been interested in Ayn Rand’s philosophy of “Objectivism” and how it affected out political system in the 1950s and 1960s

What are two things about you that not many people know?

When I first started college I was an Home Economics major (It didn’t take long to figure out that was not a good fit)

When I was 15 I was first runner up for Miss Teenage Delaware Valley

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