Brewer to become first female CEO of major state law firm

By The West Virginia Record | Jan 17, 2008


CLARKSBURG -- The law firm of Steptoe & Johnson announces that attorney Susan S. Brewer has been named managing member–elect and will become CEO effective Jan. 1, 2009.

Brewer will be the first woman to become CEO of a major West Virginia law firm. Only eight percent of law firms nationwide are led by a woman.

"It's an honor to begin a new role in firm leadership, but I know I have some very big shoes to fill," Brewer said. "Our firm has a strong history of building success through partnering. I truly believe that the teamwork we exhibit as a firm is second to none.

"Under my watch, I will remain steadfast to the values and commitment to service that our clients have grown to expect."

Brewer, a member of the firm and a litigator specializing in professional liability defense, joined Steptoe & Johnson in 1980 and has served as managing member of the Morgantown office for nearly 20 years and as a member of the firm's executive committee for 16 years.

Brewer will succeed Robert M. Steptoe Jr. after the completion of a year-long transition period. At the end of 2008, Steptoe will step down as managing member and CEO after three decades of overseeing the firm's operations. Steptoe will continue his practice in the areas of labor and employment law and civil litigation and will take on the position of Chairman of the firm.

"The members of the firm have chosen well," Steptoe said. "Susan is a highly respected and well-known lawyer who will provide the firm excellent leadership as our regional practice continues to grow. I look forward to teaming with her during the 2008 transition year."

Brewer is actively involved in the legal profession:

* Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers (West Virginia Chair, 2003-2007)

* Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America (2003 to present) in the fields of legal malpractice, medical malpractice and personal injury litigation

* 2006 Chambers USA America's Leading Lawyers for Business

* Member of the West Virginia and Virginia State Bars

* Member of the Defense Research Institute, Inc.

* Member of the American Board of Trial Advocates

* Member of the Defense Trial Counsel of West Virginia, Inc.

* Lecturer and former Adjunct Professor (Trial Advocacy) at West Virginia University College of Law

* Volunteer mediator for the United States District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia

Brewer frequently lectures and gives educational presentations on professional liability issues and general health care matters.

Brewer received her legal education at George Mason University School of Law where she was a member of the Law Review staff and received honors in Trial Advocacy. She received her undergraduate education at Duke University. She is married to William Brewer, an attorney in Morgantown, and they have four children.

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