“My name is Susan Seigle. I’m a lawyer with the law firm of Dell Graham, and I’m a commercial litigator. I am a former school teacher who thought better of it and went to law school. I was raising two children on a school teacher’s salary, and I had an uncle who’d gone back to law school when he was in his mid-thirties with a wife and three children, and so I thought I could do it when I was in my early thirties with two children, and I did.
I practiced in Southeast Florida for 20 years with very small firms down there, and then I went to such large firms as Foley and Lardner or Ruden McCloskey, and then when then my daughter got married and moved to High Springs, Florida, I thought I’d rather come back up here and be around my grandchildren. So, I came, and I found Dell Graham, and we are a good fit.
I have the freedom to make decisions about who I want to take as a client. It’s just a different kind of atmosphere for the practice of law than the big city. Foley and Lardner had 750 lawyers throughout the country. I come here, and there’s 11 or 12 of us. I can make my own rules, have more time I can spend with the client rather than having it be such a institutional client-type relationship. It’s more personal.
I’m also the attorney for the school board, so I’ve combined a little bit of my education background with my legal career, and I’m representing the school board. I sit up on the dais every two weeks. When I was in West Palm Beach, which is a very large city and part of the whole Southeast Gold Coast, and you don’t get to know all the other lawyers as well in that kind of community where you’ve got maybe 18 or 20 judges. Here we have 2 circuit civil judges that you get to know very well. So, I think for me it gives me a lot more to do in a small-town atmosphere than in a huge big city in a huge big firm.”