Mr. Susman is former Director of the lobbying office for the American Bar Association, the world's largest professional association serving over 400,000 lawyers across the country and the world. In 2018 he stepped aside to become Strategic Adviser to the Governmental Affairs Office and the ABA’s International Policy Coordinator. Before joining the ABA in May 2008, he served for over 27 years as partner in the Washington Office of Ropes & Gray LLP.
Before joining Ropes & Gray, Mr. Susman served on Capitol Hill for over 11 years. He was Chief Counsel to the Senate Subcommittee on Administrative Practice and Procedure and General Counsel to the Antitrust Subcommittee and to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Prior to that he clerked for Judge John Minor Wisdom on the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals and was Special Assistant to the Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel, U.S. Department of Justice. He graduated from Yale University and received his J.D. with high honors from The University of Texas School of Law, where he was editor-in-chief of the Texas Law Review.
Mr. Susman served on the Board of Governors and in the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association; was President of the D.C. Public Library Foundation; chaired the board of trustees of the National Judicial College; and served on advisory boards of the National Security Archives, the National Federation of Independent Businesses, and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. He is currently a Life Member of both the American Law Institute and the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation; a member of the boards of the National Conference on Citizenship and the National Freedom of Information Center; and president of the District of Columbia Open Government Coalition. He is chair of the Ethics Committee of the American League of Lobbyists and is co-editor of and a contributor to THE LOBBYING MANUAL. Mr. Susman has frequently written, testified before Congress, and lectured in the U.S. and abroad on legislative process, open government, and politics. He was a visiting professor at the University of Texas School of Law (teaching information law and policy) and an adjunct professor at the American University’s Washington College of Law (teaching lobbying and legislative process).
Thomas Susman will participate in the World Justice Forum working session How to Achieve a Level Playing Field for Innovation: A Dialogue on Regulating Legal Services in the 21st Century.