Biography of Thomas M. Susman
Mr. Susman is a partner in the Washington Office of Ropes & Gray. Before joining Ropes & Gray in 1981, Mr. Susman served on Capitol Hill for over 11 years. He graduated from Yale University and received his J.D. with high honors from the University of Texas Law School, where he was editor-in-chief of the Texas Law Review and a member of the Order of the Coif.
Mr. Susman's practice includes counseling, lobbying, and litigation in areas that include information law and policy, government regulation, and antitrust.
As Counsel and Chief Counsel to the Senate Subcommittee on Administrative Practice and Procedure, Mr. Susman was the principal Senate staff lawyer responsible for development of the 1974 Freedom of Information Act Amendments. (His initial involvement with the FOIA began when he advised federal agencies regarding compliance with the new law as a member of the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel in 1968.) He also drafted for the library community legislation governing access to federal electronic information through the GPO, enacted in 1993.
Mr. Susman has organized and participated in a number of conferences on government information topics, has testified before Congress on FOIA reform, has written various reports for the American Bar Association on privacy and freedom of information, and has authored a number of articles on these subjects. He has litigated FOIA and Privacy Act cases at the state and federal level - including cases against the CIA and Department of State - and has taught classes and courses on the FOIA to lawyers, access professionals, students, foreign journalists, and government officials. As Visiting Professor at the University of Texas School of Law he taught a course in Government Information and Privacy Law in 1999. He frequently advises business clients on problems relating to protection of and access to commercial information.
Mr. Susman has been a Chairman of the ABA's Committee on Access to Government Information and Privacy, headed the ABA's Task Forces on FOIA legislation, and was a member of the ABA Administrative Law Section's Task Force on The Sunshine Act. He has chaired the Legislation Committee of the American Society of Access Professionals and is currently ASAP Treasurer and Board member, and was a member of the Committee on Government Information of the Administrative Conference of the United States. He is on the Advisory Board of the National Security Archives and serves as a consultant on government information dissemination to the American Library Association.
Other past and present professional service includes membership in the American Law Institute, in the House of Delegates and on the Board of Governors of the American Bar Association, and as vice president of the American League of Lobbyists.