Women in Business: Suzanne Clark

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Class of 2020 Women in Business Suzanne Clark Attorney at Law Clark Law Firm, Fayetteville

Residence: Fayetteville

Education: B.S., chemical engineering, University of Connecticut; J.D., University of Arkansas School of Law

Professional background: Clark’s firm focuses on complex commercial and construction litigation. Before embarking on her legal career, she was a chemical engineer and executive in the high-tech semiconductor industry where she managed an international sales and engineering team. After almost 20 years in the corporate world, Clark enrolled in law school, served as editor-in-chief of the Arkansas Law Review and graduated summa cum laude in 2008. She was elected to and served as president of the Arkansas Bar Association in 2018. She is a past president of the Fayetteville Public Library board of trustees and currently serves on the Arkansas Women’s Hall of Fame board of directors.

What advice would you give young women who are currently at the beginning of their careers? Develop mentors, both men and women. Respect the structure of the organization in which you work but be assertive and offer ideas that you believe will improve that organization. Stand up for the unpopular choice if you believe it is right. Good organizations reward initiative. If you are not enjoying your career, find another one. Do not love your job more than you love the people who love you. Get involved in your community and use your talents to help others. Above all, always be true to yourself.

What has been the most fulfilling moment of your career so far? My most fulfilling and rewarding moments always involve helping someone else. While I loved my career in the corporate world, I find those rewarding opportunities more often in my current role as a lawyer. I love helping our corporate legal clients achieve their goals, but some of the most rewarding moments have been helping pro bono clients and knowing my help made a real difference for them personally.

What character traits do you feel have benefited you in your success? Perseverance, confidence, a competitive spirit and an absolute attention to detail.

How do you spend your time away from work? What are your hobbies? Family, family, family. My husband and I both have very busy careers. We try to reserve our free time for each other, and we spend every minute we possibly can with our grandchildren. The time goes by so quickly, and the time with them is so precious. We enjoy being “Big Daddy and Mama C” more than just about anything. I also love to cook and enjoy experimenting with recipes. My husband is pretty patient with my experiments as well as the volume of Food Network shows on our DVR.

Of all the mentors in your professional career, who has been the most influential and why? I have had several outstanding professional mentors in both my corporate and legal careers. However, the most influential mentors are undoubtedly my parents. Their influence helped guide the biggest decisions I’ve made in my professional life. I was raised to believe I could accomplish absolutely anything. Excellence is expected, and you should do the right thing regardless of the outcome. My parents are, and have always been, models of integrity, humility and sacrifice.

What is something distinctive people would be surprised to know about you? I play a mean game of Ping-Pong.

Can you share what you have learned about your business from the COVID-19 pandemic? Like many others, my law office has learned that we can conduct business remotely to a much larger degree than we would have otherwise believed. In addition to day-to-day remote operations, we’ve engaged in remote legal depositions, which involves taking witness testimony and even remote court proceedings. We’ve learned to be more patient and compassionate with each other and our clients. So many people have been touched in different ways by this pandemic, and it has been inspiring to see how people have pulled together, at work and in our community, to support each other. We have also learned that living without Razorback sports is something we hope we’ll never have to endure again.