Heather Sussman
  • Partner and global co-chair of cyber, privacy and data innovation practice
  • Orrick
United States of America
Heather Sussman

Heather Sussman

  • Partner and global co-chair of cyber, privacy and data innovation practice
  • Orrick
United States of America

I’ve never felt that I’ve been overtly treated differently at work because of my gender but I do feel that the “mental load” I carry as a working mother has been greater than what my typical male peers encounter. When so much of a “big law” lawyer’s promotion, compensation and professional worth is tied to the number of hours billed, it seems unfair to judge male and female lawyers equally based on the long hours they work, and you can see how, over time, this can affect compensation and advancement.

I am particularly proud of being asked to lead the Boston office for Orrick. As the office leader, I’ve been tasked with taking on a huge challenge – building out new space, hiring and growing the office, and building the Orrick brand in Boston and beyond. And this is all in addition to running a global practice group.

Go for it. Many doors open and opportunities present themselves and you can’t be afraid to step through the door and make a change for the better. I would also emphasise how important it is to develop networking skills, which are indispensable in such a complex and fast-changing field.