Susan Hackett

Susan Hackett

+1.301.718.4806 (direct) | +1.301.718.4805 (office) | +1.301.785.5534 (mobile)
5425 Wisconsin Avenue | Suite 600 | Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815
Twitter: @HackettInHouse and @LawExecs


Susan founded LEL (partnering originally with Renee Dankner) in the summer of 2011 after serving for 22 years as the Senior Vice President and General Counsel of the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) in Washington, DC. Prior to joining ACC, Susan worked for two years as an associate in a large DC law firm.

Often referred to as the “voice of in-house counsel,” Susan is most widely recognized for conceiving and executing the ACC Value Challenge (to reconnect value to the cost of legal services), developing networks and benchmarking practices for CLOs and law department executives, and for her leadership in driving advocacy efforts to protect the attorney-client privilege in corporate practice, promote in-house legal ethics and professionalism, and reform multijurisdictional and cross-border legal regulation.

Susan is known for her unparalleled ability to both spot and set trends in in-house legal practice and legal executive leadership.  Her unique vision and perspective derive from the rare access she’s enjoyed serving thousands of corporate legal leaders – in law departments, law firms, and professional associations, in every kind of practice environment – for more than two decades.

“I am privileged to serve so many great leaders in the profession: leaders who invite me into their workplaces, engage me as a member of their team, and trust me to guide them through their most challenging issues. My clients’ investment in me is personal, and so I pledge to each client that I will deliver the value they expect – the targeted support, innovative solutions, and measurable results that their leadership requires.”


Susan’s service to the profession includes terms on the board of directors of Equal Justice Works, the Minority Corporate Counsel Association, and Street Law, Inc. She serves on Advisory Boards for the Project on Attorney Retention (PAR) and The Georgetown University Law School Journal of Legal Ethics.

She co-created (with Esther Lardent) Corporate Pro Bono (CPBO), a partnership between The Pro Bono Institute and ACC, visioned and developed the highly successful ACC / Street Law Corporate Legal Diversity Pipeline Project, and for more than 20 years, led ACC’s initiatives focusing on diversity, public interest leadership, and corporate social responsibility.


Susan is a frequent keynoter and a dynamic and engaging speaker for all manner of legal meetings: association groups, law department and law firm meetings and retreats, legal summits, and executive education/management development trainings. With career experience in delivering more than 500 presentations to audiences ranging in size from 10 to 3,000, she is an accomplished speaker on legal and professional topics, as well as a facilitator and trainer on value-based skill sets for lawyers (such as project, process, and knowledge management, as well as alternative staffing and billing structures); she has a broad range of experience designing and leading successful legal conferences and executive-level interactions for legal leaders.

She is also a recognized commentator, and the author of articles appearing in such publications as: ACC Docket, Corporate Counsel, The ABA Journal, Legal Times, InsideCounsel, The National Law Journal, Litigation, Business Law Today, Legal OnRamp, Law360, Law Technology News, Law Firm, Inc., and The Georgetown Law School Journal of Legal Ethics, as well as various law and business reviews, international legal magazines, and bar publications. Susan tweets (@HackettInHouse and @LawExecs) and blogs regularly; she often posts her articles and publications here, in the website’s Resources section.


Susan often serves as a spokesman on corporate legal practice issues, having been quoted by:

  • National/International: The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The National Post, Business Week, USA Today, The Economist, Financial Times, NPR’s All Things Considered, NPR’s Nightly Business Report, and on MSNBC, CNN, Bloomberg News, Thomson/Reuters, and the Fox News Networks.
  • Local: The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, LA Times, Miami Herald/Tribune, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Boston Business Journal / Boston Globe, Cleveland Plain Dealer, and more;
  • Legal Trades: The American Lawyer, Corporate Counsel, The ABA Journal, InsideCounsel, European Lawyer, Legal Times, Law 360, The Lawyer, Legal Week, The New York Law Journal, The National Law Journal, San Francisco Recorder, LA Daily Journal, New Jersey Law Journal, Fulton County Reporter, Philadelphia Intelligencer, Chicago Law Tribune, Texas Lawyer, and more.


Susan is a 1983 graduate (dual B.A. in political philosophy and international relations) of James Madison College at Michigan State University, and a 1986 graduate of the University of Michigan Law School.