Susan Hackett founded Legal Executive Leadership, in the Fall of 2011 after serving for 22 years as the Senior Vice President and General Counsel of the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC] in Washington, DC. Susan's practice is designed to help legal executives successfully lead law departments and law firms, as well as lead other legal industry service organizations: she helps legal leaders to leverage knowledge, increase value, deliver results and practice more efficiently in the "New Normal."
Over the course of her career with ACC, Susan worked with thousands of law departments, hundreds of law firms, and most major professional organizations and legal service providers around the world. This experience offered her rare insight and trusted access to the diverse and day-to-day strategic and operational workings of the widest network of legal leaders, and affords her (and her clients) an unusual advantage in her consulting practice.
Since forming LEL, Susan's been tapped for retentions to:
- consult on process, structure, and legal service delivery options
- lead strategic planning initiatives
- improve firm and department performance and value
- create and assess legal productivity and efficiency metrics
- benchmark leading practices and assess their application to clients
- facilitate executive and leadership "change" discussions
- develop client survey tools and evaluate lawyer performance
- plan and deliver innovative law firm and department retreats
- deliver keynote presentations for major conferences
During her career at ACC, Susan held a number of roles and responsibilities. Often referred to as the "voice of the in-house bar," she is most widely recognized for
- founding and fostering the ACC Value Challenge initiative (to reconnect value to the cost of legal services),
- developing "leading practices" for CLOs and law department executives
- driving ACC's advocacy efforts [including ACC's amicus program, attorney-client privilege protection, the development of in-house legal ethics and professionalism resources, testimony and representation before decision-making authorities, in-house corporate responsibility initiatives, and multijurisdictional practice (MJP) reform].
Susan has addressed more than 800 legal audiences as one of the industries most sought-after speakers, and has been quoted by most every major US legal and business publication and media outlet covering legal issues. She's served on the boards of several major legal public interest organizations, and has been awarded numerous honors, including, most recently, election into the fellowship of the College of Law Practice Management.
Susan also led ACC's pro bono and diversity initiatives for corporate law departments, partnering with the Pro Bono Institute to create and implement Corporate Pro Bono (CPBO), and with Street Law to create and implement the ACC/Street Law Corporate Legal Diversity Pipeline program. She instituted and led ACC's efforts to partner with the diverse bars to create new legal leadership opportunities for women, lawyers of color, and other groups promoting diversity in the legal profession.
Susan is a 1983 graduate (dual B.A. in political philosophy and international relations) of James Madison College at Michigan State University, and a 1986 graduate of the University of Michigan Law School. Prior to joining ACC, Susan served as a transactional associate at Patton Boggs LLP.