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What Leaders Say... 




A major turning point for me was hearing Susan speak about the value movement in 2012. She framed the bits of trends that I was seeing here and there in a clear, logical, and cohesive way that made practical sense: she made the light bulb to go off in my head, so to speak. Ever since, I've been implementing the approaches and changes that she suggested – and as a result, Susan is a primary reason I've been successful in my role.

by Legal Ops Manager, Fortune 50 Internet/Tech Company


Susan is a leading thinker on how law firms and in-house lawyers can work together more effectively as partners in service of business clients.  She brings a creative, thoughtful approach to examining how and on what terms we work together, and her presentations provoke candid — and sometimes uncomfortably challenging — dialogue without casting an us vs. them shadow.

by Joe Otterstetter, Managing Counsel and AGC, 3M


Legal Executive Leadership is run by the smartest and most talented professionals I know - working with in-house lawyers on the issues that matter most.

by Michael Fricklas, then Executive Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary, Viacom, Inc.


I’ve worked with Susan for more than 20 years, and I can truly say she’s been key to moving forward some of the most important developments in professional practice for corporate lawyers: I’m constantly impressed with her passion and creative approaches to driving new ways of thinking about how lawyers can improve. It’s not easy for corporate lawyers to change the way that they work, but Susan helps busy professionals and an often change-resistant legal profession turn abstract theories into practical realities that allow us to drive client successes. Susan reminds us all that it is these opportunities to do better that make our practice satisfying, worthwhile, and develop our careers in ways that substantive practice achievements cannot replace.

by Anastasia D. (Stasia) Kelly, Co-Managing Partner-Americas, DLA Piper; commenting as Former CLO of AIG, MCI WorldCom, Sears, and Fannie Mae


 ... It's a big big deal to our department for the entire management team across the company and the board to hear [our CEO] say the law department is "world class" and "innovative."  Thank you.  From the bottom of my heart.

by Stephanie Sciullo, Associate General Counsel, MSA - The Safety Company 

It’s been my pleasure to work with Susan for a number of years: her passion for and expertise in a wide variety of issues that impact corporate legal practice, especially in a cross-border practice context, make her a unique contributor and leader. I have been particularly impressed with her vision and creativity in “seeing around corners” to help those she serves stay ahead of the pack: Susan has a particular talent for spotting and harnessing emerging trends that others don’t even see until they’ve been knocked over by them.

by Susie Flook, Group General Counsel, The Body Shop International plc


DuPont Legal is tightly focused on our commitment to our client to manage their legal work and deliver results using the same effective business practices that the rest of the business deploys. Susan [has been our partner] in pioneering valuable tactics that make corporate lawyers better business people who are capable of delivering the efficient and measurable results that our client demands and deserves.

by Thomas L. Sager, then Senior Vice President and General Counsel, DuPont Legal


Susan has used her skill, strength of will, and insight to literally transform the legal industry. She is one of those people who listens carefully and intently to those around her; thinks hard about the issues they face; and then sets off to help create a solution that benefits all sides. As a result, our industry is in a very different place than it was when Susan started the ACC Value Challenge. Her next adventure will be an exciting one for us all.

by Lisa J. Damon, Partner, Seyfarth Shaw, LLP


Legal Executive Leadership’s principal, Susan Hackett, is, quite simply, not only one of the most knowledgeable experts on the legal profession, particularly in-house legal departments and law firms, but also the most innovative problem-solver I know. She is THE “go to” person for the thought leaders and change agents in the legal profession.

by the late Esther Lardent, then President, The Pro Bono Institute


This is an exciting new entrant into the legal consulting arena. Susan played a seminal role in the development of the ACC Value Challenge and is now making her extensive skills and knowledge available to assist both in-house and outside counsel in aligning cost and value. She brings to bear extensive background, international experience and great energy.

by David Allgood, then Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)


Susan’s creativity and energy, together with her extensive people network and knowledge of the key challenges facing the in-house profession garnered over her many years at ACC, are a potent combination. Someone who can bring solutions and value to almost any dilemma.

by Sabine Chalmers, then Chief Legal & Corporate Affairs Officer, Anheuser-Busch / InBev


Susan Hackett brings sensibility, high energy and years (and years!) of experience helping in-house counsel and law firms improve their service model. She speaks the language of the in-house bar, but understands the pressures and business models of firms … Susan’s customer focus is on target, but creativity is what makes [her] a very special partner.

by Elisa D. Garcia C., CLO of Macy's, Inc. speaking as Executive Vice President & General Counsel, Office Depot, Inc.


For many of us in the legal marketplace, our entire careers have been influenced by her advocacy for in-house counsel that was equal parts passion and savvy.  Even before the Great Recession, Susan and the ACC — in a particularly prescient move — developed the Value Challenge to guide in-house counsel in using resources more wisely, and to obtain the best “value” for their dollars.  In the last few years, she has tirelessly criss-crossed the country speaking, teaching, presenting and creating extraordinarily practical workshops on the value topic.

Pam Woldow, Partner and General Counsel, Edge International Consulting


Susan and Renee are an impressive, dynamic duo in the legal arena! [Renee Dankner is Susan’s former business partner in LEL; she’s now Of Counsel at Nelson Mullins.] Whether they’re organizing a CLO leadership brainstorming session and idea exchange, or developing value practices that help my lawyers get their work done better and smarter, they definitely know how to deliver tangible results.

by Michele Coleman Mayes, General Counsel, New York Public Library, commenting while Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Allstate Insurance Company


Susan Hackett’s deep experience with all the major issues impacting law firms and their corporate clients make her an invaluable resource for any size law firm or law department seeking to improve its business model and performance. She has been not only a “value” leader, especially for in-house lawyers, Susan is committed to driving professional values as well, as she has demonstrated in the ethics/professionalism, diversity, and pro bono projects she has championed over the years – making us better lawyers in every respect.

by Thomas A. Gottschalk, former General Counsel, General Motors Corporation (1994-2006); Counsel and former member of the Executive Management Committee, Kirkland & Ellis, LLP


Susan’s incredible creativity and energy combined with her ability to identify and reason through all perspectives on an issue made her an extraordinary advocate for ACC. If you add to this equation Susan’s persistence and commitment to a cause, there is little doubt that she positively influenced the effectiveness of in-house counsel, as well as the way legal services are delivered in this country.

by Carol Ann Petren, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings Inc., commenting as then CLO of Cigna.


Susan distinguishes herself as a visionary, an innovator and implementer. What makes Susan so effective is that she combines these qualities with an ability to communicate her thoughts in an easily understood manner.

by Robert E. Hirshon, Frank G. Millard Professor from Practice, University Of Michigan Law School; Partner, Verrill Dana LLP, President of the American Bar Association, 2001-2002.


Susan Hackett is a genuine thought leader in an age in which that term is overused. She has changed the conversation about legal services in fundamental ways with her incisive intelligence, her creative energy, and her deep understanding of the corporate world. On top of all this, she has a gift for communicating complex concepts in terms accessible to a wide range of audiences. Susan is a vital player in any serious discussion about the direction of law practice in a time of tremendous turbulence and challenge.

by Mitt Regan, McDevitt Professor of Jurisprudence, and Co-Director, Center for the Study of the Legal Profession, Georgetown University Law Center


Susan Hackett is more than just a legal industry thought leader, she is a change agent who has made a significant impact on the relationships between law firms and their clients.  She continues to successfully bridge the communication channels between the legal and business communities through her commitment to value, workflow management and the practice of law.

by Alina A. Gorokhovsky, then Chief Strategy Officer, McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP, currently CMO, Wiley Rein


Susan’s tireless commitment to bettering the relationship between outside counsel and their in-house clients has truly changed the way both parties approach the attorney/client relationship. Susan has helped lawyers see “value” as a two way street furthered by open and honest communication and a recognition that both sides play a role in ensuring the other’s success, both substantively and financially. When people look back fifty years from now, they will note that the years 2005-2011 marked a sea change in the way legal services are delivered. Susan Hackett will not be a footnote in the story as to how that changed took place. There will be an entire chapter devoted to the work that she accomplished over the course of her professional career.

by Daniel R. Harper, then Vice President, Corporate Counsel and Secretary, Océ North America


Susan is a human social network that connects people, issues, and organizations on issues of importance to the in-house bar. She’s engaged ACC members on many fronts, but was particularly successful in transforming their ideas into advocacy goals for the organization.

by Jonathan J. Oviatt, then CLO (now Senior Counsel), Mayo Clinic


Susan is perhaps one of the most creative people and innovative people that I’ve ever worked with. She has a remarkable ability to put her finger on emerging trends.

by Frederick J. Krebs, Former President (1991-2011), Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC)

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