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Susan Moss: Find a mentor!

Find a mentor! You learn to be a lawyer by being a lawyer. If you can find someone who you respect to be your mentor, you can at first copy their practice procedures. Then you can find your own voice and ways of practice after you have learned by mimicking others. Ihad the pleasure of […]

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Find a mentor! You learn to be a lawyer by being a lawyer. If you can find someone who you respect to be your mentor, you can at first copy their practice procedures. Then you can find your own voice and ways of practice after you have learned by mimicking others.


Ihad the pleasure of interviewing Attorney Susan Moss.

Susan practices in all areas of family and matrimonial law. She is licensed to practice not only in New York, but also in New Jersey and Connecticut. Susan is a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), and a Fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers (IAFL), where she serves as the Vice President of the American Chapter. She is on the Board of Directors of the New York City Women’s Bar Association and is the former co-chairperson of the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York Matrimonial Committee. Susan is also a member of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, a member of the New York State Bar Association, and a member of the New York County Lawyers’ Association. In addition, Susan is a member of the Legal Advisory Committee of Sanctuary for Families, a non-profit organization devoted to helping survivors of domestic violence. Susan is also a member of the Executives Association of Greater New York.


Thank you so much for joining us Susan! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit more. What is the “backstory” that brought you to this particular career path in Law?

Ifirst became interested in matrimonial law when I volunteered for the Illinois Clemency Project for Battered Women. In law school, I represented women convicted of killing their abusers in clemency proceedings. However, the way I actually got a job in matrimonial law was quite different. One day in law school I decided to take my matrimonial professor bowling. She was so taken by what a good time we had, that she offered me a job.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your law career?

A woman called for a prenuptial agreement. We had a consult and she retained us. A week later another woman called for a prenuptial agreement. Unfortunately, they both were calling to marry the same man. After gaining permission to tell each other this confidential information, they met and came up with a plan. One woman met the man for dinner, and then by dessert, the other woman showed up. He later said he wanted to see who gave him the better deal.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

We are working on navigating our COVID-19 world. Firstly, the values of peoples’ assets and businesses are changing and this has made agreeing to a deal today very difficult. Plus, with so many people quarantining elsewhere, coordinating visitation has been very challenging.

What are some of the most interesting cases you have been involved in? Without sharing anything confidential can you share any stories?

I worked on a case where the mother wanted to relocate to London with the child. The father fought the relocation even though neither client was legally in this country. Eventually, we were able to win the case.

Which people in history inspire you the most? Why?

Ruth Bader Ginsburg — she fought and never gave up on important legal issues.

Hannah Senesh — she fought for the resistance in WWII.

What advice would you give to a young person considering a career in law?

Find a mentor! You learn to be a lawyer by being a lawyer. If you can find someone who you respect to be your mentor, you can at first copy their practice procedures. Then you can find your own voice and ways of practice after you have learned by mimicking others.

If you had the ability to make three reforms in our judicial/legal system, which three would you start with? Why?

End COVID-19 so we can get back into in-person meetings.

Encourage more mediation in the divorce world.

Have more judges available to have settlement conferences with clients and counsel.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

We meet our clients at their worst, while they are going through a divorce. But, we are able to help them navigate through the system so they can restart their lives, and hopefully find new happiness.

I know this is not an easy job. What drives you?

Seeing people coming to us in a fog and helping them out of it to be their true selves is what drives me. As we educate our clients and teach them the process, we see them realize that their future life will be fulfilling and that they will be happy.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or an example for each.

1. In law school, they tell you never to ask a question you don’t know the answer to. I say forget that advice and take a risk when you need to. Don’t be afraid to ask that question! In my career, I have never regretted asking that unknown question.

2. If you are miserable at your job or firm — switch. You can find happiness in law. If you are not happy, then continue your search.

3. Surround yourself with smart people.

4. Find a good mentor who you respect.

5. Save money from each job, even if it is only a small amount. Having a nest egg allows you to take unpaid or low paying legal opportunities later in your career if you wish. Having the nest egg gives you professional freedom.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂

Idina Menzel — I just love her. Not everything is about work — sometimes you have to throw a little fun in the mix. I love listening to her sing, seeing her many Broadway characters, and seeing her amazing acting skills.

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