Vermont Bar Journal, Vol. 40, No. 2 Vermont Bar Journal, Spring 2017, Volume 43, No. 1 - Page 44

by Mary Ashcroft, Esq. Pro Bono Profile: Attorney Susan Gordon Burlington Attorney Susan Gordon took a different path when she moved from her intellectual property practice in New York City to a family law practice in Vermont. But looking back she admits “it was defi- nitely a great decision.” The Vassar alumna and Michigan Law School graduate had been working in a large Manhattan law firm for 9 years when she and her husband pondered the move. Gordon recalls: “I was in a point in my ca- reer that I was wondering ‘do I want to stay in the rat race or make a change?’” Her spouse, Mike Gordon, bassist and vocal- ist with progressive rock band Phish, had roots in Vermont and was also in favor of moving north. Attorney Gordon decided to change her focus to women and family law. She clerked with Vermont Legal Aid in Montpe- lier, then waived into practice in Vermont in 2007. She started a solo law practice, do- ing some intellectual property law at first, but then concentrated primarily in family law. She added work for her family’s com- mercial real estate business. And she start- ed volunteering on the hotline for Wom- en Helping Battered Women (WHBW), the Burlington non-profit dedicated to ending domestic violence through education, sup- port and advocacy. WHBW—now known as Steps to End Domestic Violence—combines legal advo- cacy with victim empowerment. In 2009, WHBW received a grant from the Vermont Bar Foundation to start a legal clinic. The grant, which continues annually, pays for administrative support for the weekly clin- ic staffed with volunteer attorneys. Car- ol Davis, former legal program coordinator, set up the clinic and Susan became an early and frequent volunteer attorney. Susan’s volunteer clinic work stretches over eight years. Attorney Rachel Allen, a legal coordinator for Steps, twice nomi- nated Susan for the VBA Pro Bono Award, which Susan won in 2015. Allen praised Gordon’s work with survivors of domestic violence. As stated in Allen’s nomination: “Through her pro bono work in her own practice and volunteer work at WHBW, Sue has provided helpful legal advice, in- formation, support, and encouragement to many. In addition to attending Clinics, Sue is always willing to answer questions and provide support to both staff and survivors [at] WHBW.” Susan further expanded her work for WHBW by joining its board of directors in 44 2013. She also served on the committee that that worked on rebranding the organi- zation, recognizing that the old title, Wom- en Helping Battered Women, was not in- clusiv ٥ٽ̸qQɔɔ)ѥ٥tѕ́ɑ)Mѕ́ѼѥYé)չ́5䁕ٕɽ)ѼЀЁ9Ѡ]ٕͭՔ) ɱѽM٥͕́ͥȁѡ)䁍MѕϊdѱЀȴ(؁ٽєɕ͍ɕ́)͕́ѡѵЁѥѽɹȴ)ȁѡȁٽչѕȁѽɹ䁍ɑ)єݥѠɅѼ٥ͥЁݥѠѡѤ)ЁȁЁЀѕ̸Mѥ̰)ݡ䁽Ё́͡ѡ٥ͥЁ)Ё́̀ѕ̸]Mͅ)́Ёɕɕ͕ЁѡѥЁа͡)ɥ́Ѽٔ́Սɵѥ́)ͼѡѥЁՅѕɕɕ͕)ȁ͕)Ḿͅѡݽɬɕ)́ЁѼѡȁ䁱܁ѽɹ)ȁ݅Ѽٔɼ͕٥)]ḾͅɕձȰ1Ʉ ɱ䁽)1܁1 Ʉ ͽݥѠѡ )ѕȁȁ ɥYѥM٥́Ѡ)ݡḾͅЁѽݸAɅ)1Ս]єչMչ́)Iٽ!ͼٽչѕ̸)Qɔ́ݡ͕)٥Ёѡq$͕Ёѡٕ)ѡȁ͔ݡѡ́)ȁеՑЁ٥ݡѡ䁅ɔ)ѥ她ѼɕЁݥѠͥٔ)͔pQ́䁡հ)ȁ9܁ɥ̸qȁЁ)ѡ䁡ٔЁхЁݥѠѡ)ɽ̻tMѕ́ѡЁѡЁѕ)́ѡȁɕՅѼѡ)ḾѕɕЁͼѡЁѡ䁭܁ݡ)́)QɔɔɅѥ́ݽɬ+qQɑȁ͕́ɔѡ́ݡɔѡ)ͥٔɕѥ͡ѥՕ́ѡɽ՝)ɕѥѡ̳tMͅѕ̸q%ӊe)ͥѼѡЁԁɔ)ѼՍ͕́ݡɔѡ͕)䁡́́Ѽѡ٥ѥѡɽ՝ѡ)ɽ̸Q䁍хѱ䁙ɥԴ)́ѥ̰ɕ͔ѼՉхѥ䁙)܁ѡЁɑϊQѡ͔ٕȁɕ)̻t)Yչѕȁѽɹ́٥ѥ́)ѥ٥ݼ̸݅Mѕ́)ȁ́Ѽɽ٥ͅ)ɕɕ͕хѥɕɽ͔ȴ)̸qI䁥́ɕЁȁ܁д)Q!YI5=9P H)=UI90MAI%9)ѽɹ́ѼٽչѕˊQͽ)ѡЁɕ͙հѥ她Ѽ)ձЁͥՅѥtq=ѕѡ͕ȁ́Ѽ)ɔѽɹ䳊tɑѕ̰qЁ)ѡ٥ѥѼٔѼɽЁѡ)͕ȁЁѡ͔ɕ)t)9ݕȁѽɹ́Ёɽѡ́д)ɽɥѡ䁡ٔم)хѽqQɕȁ٥ѥ)ձٕ́ݕɕ́ѡ)Ё͔ѡ䁡ٔєɽe)ѽ́ͻeЁѡЁѡݥݥP)ѡՑ䁹ٕȁ͕гt́ͅɑ)Yչѕȁѽɹ́ɔͼѼ)хMѕϊd5䁕ٕ٥)5ɔɥ䁱܁ѽɹ)ѡݥɅՕѥ́ͭ)٥ٽ́ѥ٥ Ёѡ)ݽɬ́ɽɑ䁱)٥ḾͅѡЁMѕ́́ѡ)ݕɵЁ䁝٥ɼ͔Ѥ)́ɵѥѼѡѡ)ݸ̸ͥ1́eЁѕѡ͕ȴ)٥͕́ݡЁѼ+qQ́́ɐȁȳt́MԴ)ͅq%ӊéɐѼ͕Ёɕ)ѡɽ͔́)̻tQɽ٥́ٽչѕ́ݥѠ(́Ʌѡݕɵ)ѡ幅́ݕȁ)ɽ%Ё́Ё)ѡ̸͕ٕ)ѽɹMͅɑ́ѡ)ݽɬЁMѕ́ѼѥYɔ)݅ɑq$ѼͥЁݸ)͕͔ѡ͔ͥԴ)ѥ̸$Ёѡ)ݸѼɕɕ͕Ёѡ͕ٕ$ٔ)ѡɵѥѡѽ́ѡ䁹t)Mͅɑ́ѕ9܁eɬ)Yɵаٕ́ѡ ɱѽ)ɕݥѠȁ՝ѕȁ͉M)́݅ɐѼѥեȁݽɬݥѠ)Mѕ̰ѥٕхɑ)́́ݥѠA͠Ё5ͽ)MՅɔɑѡ́յȸ)}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}|)5 ͡ɽаĸ́ѡ1)́ ɑѽȁȁѡYɵЁ ȁͼ)ѥݡͼх́ɥمєɅѥ)IѱQݸYɵи)ܹщȹɜ