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Michelle R. Suskauer is the president of The Florida Bar for 2018-19. She is the sixth woman to serve as Bar president and is the first former public defender to hold the office.
Suskauer is a partner with Dimond Kaplan & Rothstein, P.A., in West Palm Beach, where she heads the criminal defense practice. She practices in state and federal courts. She has been a member of The Florida Bar’s Board of Governors since 2010 and has chaired the Board Disciplinary Review Committee, the Board Communications Committee and the Annual Convention Committee. She has served as president of the Palm Beach County Bar Association and the Florida Association for Women Lawyers-Palm Beach County Chapter, and she is currently president of the Board of Directors of the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County.
Suskauer earned a B.S. from Boston University in 1988 and her J.D. from American University in 1991. She began her legal career at the Office of the 15th Circuit Public Defender in West Palm Beach. In 1997, she joined her husband, Scott Suskauer, at Suskauer Law Firm, P.A.
Suskauer is a nationally recognized legal analyst. She has been recognized with numerous awards including the Daily Business Review 2017 Top 10 Women in Law, the Serving Justice Award from the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County, and 2017 Woman of the Year from the South Palm Beach County Women Lawyers Association.
July 2018 Florida Bar President's Video Message From President Michelle Suskauer
Last month, I was sworn in as your new President, and it is an honor and privilege to lead our Bar. I am excited about this upcoming year and finding ways to make the Bar be a vital resource to you, both as legal professionals and business owners.
I know that it is not easy practicing law. As a small-firm practitioner, I know the stress of managing a practice, of keeping the lights on. I understand what it’s like to bring in business, deal with increased competition, make payroll and balance family life and bar service. It’s a lot to handle and we want to alleviate some of the stresses and challenges that come with the job!
One way we are doing this is through LegalFuel – The Practice Resource Center of The Florida Bar. The website is now live, so check it out at LegalFuel.com.
LegalFuel bridges the gap between practicing law and running a business. It connects you with tools designed to help fuel your law practice. To make you more efficient. To make you more profitable. Covering topics such as finances, trust accounting, and technology, including cybersecurity. LegalFuel also provides resources like marketing services, launching a new firm, or strengthening internal operations of your existing firm– and everything in between! The website even offers FREE video CLEs.
A highlight is the LegalFuel Speaker Series…You will hear from well-known and respected leaders from our legal community. These videos cover a range of topics from technology to work-life balance and social media marketing. New Speaker Series videos along with other great content will be added all the time. And, if you have a specific question, you can always add it to the LegalFuel discussion board and connect directly with other attorneys throughout Florida. So, keep checking back for more tips on how to fuel your business.
Looking ahead, each month, you can expect to see a video message from me as I share my vision for change, and how we are addressing other important issues such as gender equality, common sense criminal justice reform, and mental health and wellness. We are a strong community, and we need each other. But, we have more work to be done, and, together, I know we will achieve great things.
Thank you for all that you do, and for joining me on this journey to make the changes we need.
Michelle R. Suskauer, President
The Florida Bar
Michelle Suskauer's Speech at Annual Convention
As your Florida Bar president, I am excited to update you on what The Florida Bar will be working on this year. We will focus on helping solo or small firms become more productive and profitable. More than three-fourths of Bar members practicing in Florida are part of firms with 10 or fewer attorneys.
We will continue to advocate for the legal profession and the judicial system during the 2019 legislative session and lead the Bar in seeking common-sense criminal justice reform that focuses on rehabilitation, rather than punishment. The Bar will hold a Criminal Justice Summit in October.
Finally, we will continue to promote the improvement of lawyer mental health and wellness, while also destigmatizing seeking help when needed. The Bar will also implement the recommendations of the Special Committee on Gender Bias/Diversity.
Thank you for your commitment and dedication to the legal profession and the people of Florida.
Michelle R. Suskauer, President
The Florida Bar