Michelle Suskauer is quoted in the new Law.com article that discusses the experience of women in prominent roles within the legal profession:
When Michigan attorney Marie Reimers tweeted out her frustration over being confused for a paralegal on Wednesday, Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman could relate.
“This evening I was once again told, ‘You don’t look like a judge,’” Guzman wrote, prompting Michigan Judge Qiana Lillard to share a similar anecdote.
The tweets conjured up a familiar feeling for Third District Court of Appeal Judge Bronwyn Miller, who was frequently mistaken for a judicial assistant while serving on the Miami-Dade Circuit bench….
Florida Bar President Michelle Suskauer was mistaken for a court reporter on her first day as a public defender, and again during her campaign—when she was also advised to cut her hair, wear longer skirts and avoid social media.
“Would a man running for this office ever be told that? Absolutely not,” Suskauer said.
Suskauer has made a point of championing this issue by appointing more women to leadership positions and helping develop Blue Ribbon awards for firms that hire, promote and retain female lawyers.
It’s not just men who make the assumption, Suskauer stressed. But in her view, most women have experienced some type of explicit or implicit bias, so it’s best to be equipped with a response beforehand.
“And not an angry response,” Suskauer said. “Because this is instructive, and the conversation should be constructive in order to make change.”
At the time, Suskauer replied, “No, I’m not the court reporter. My name is Michelle Suskauer. I’m an attorney.”