In This Section


Susan Brewer has spent her 40-year legal career at Steptoe & Johnson and serves as its Immediate Past CEO. She led the firm as CEO and Managing Member from 2009-2020. She has the distinction of being the first female Managing Member of a major West Virginia law firm. Under her leadership, the firm executed on ambitious strategic plans, expanded outside West Virginia, opened six offices in Colorado, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Texas and earned national recognition as an energy firm. She spearheaded efforts to create the firm’s diversity and inclusion program, appointed its first director, and created women, parents, and veterans affinity programs. Her focus on building out the firm’s client feedback, business development, succession, and emerging leadership programs complements her efforts to increase communication and protect the firm’s collegial culture of teamwork.

Her career as a litigator has focused on professional liability. She has tried more than 100 jury and non-jury cases in state, federal and appellate courts, including the West Virginia Supreme Court and United States Court of Appeals.

Memberships & Awards

Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers (Board of Regents, 2017- present; WV State Chair, 2003-2006)
Justitia Officium Award, WVU College of Law 2013
The State Journal, One of WV's Top 10 Most Influential Leaders 2012
Chair, West Virginia Judicial Vacancy Advisory Commission
Chambers USA America's Leading Lawyers for Business
Peer Review Rated AV by Martindale-Hubbell
The Best Lawyers in America®, Health Care Law (2010-Present), Legal Malpractice Law - Defendants (2003-Present), Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants (2011-Present), Professional Malpractice Law - Defendants (2013-Present)
Best Lawyers® 2020 Morgantown, WV, Legal Malpractice Law - Defendants, Lawyer of the Year
Best Lawyers® 2018 Morgantown, WV, Medical Malpractice Law-Defendants, Lawyer of the Year
Best Lawyers® 2016 Morgantown, WV, Legal Malpractice Law-Defendants, Lawyer of the Year
Best Lawyers® 2011, 2013 Morgantown, WV, Lawyer of the Year
Super Lawyers®
U.S. Magistrate Selection Panel (2013, 2008, 1998)
American Board of Trial Advocates (Educational Chair, 2000-2001)
ACTL Representative/Sponsor, West Virginia Invitational Trial Competition, WVU College of Law

Key Experience

Tried significant damages cases involving alleged birth injuries/cerebral palsy and quadriplegia
Litigated and managed numerous complex legal malpractice actions
Regularly advises hospitals and health care providers on all levels of risk management and loss prevention concerns

Work Experience

1980 Steptoe & Johnson PLLC

Speaking Engagements

“Fostering Effective Client Succession,” Speaking of Law Firm Leadership, Attorneys’ Liability Assurance Society (ALAS) Podcast, November 2019

Panelist, “Lawyers in Leadership: What Does it Take?” West Virginia Women Attorneys Conference, June 2018

Keynote, Athena Awards Presentation, Washington County, Pennsylvania, Chamber of Commerce, Southpointe, May 2018

Panelist, “Different Paths to Leadership for Women in Law Firms,” ARK Group 10th Annual Women's Legal Conference, San Francisco CA, Feb 2017

“CEO Panel,” WV Society for Human Resource Management, Bridgeport WV, May 2016

Panelist, “Optimizing the Law Firm General Counsel Position,” Attorneys’ Liability Assurance Society, Inc., Chicago IL, December 2015

Panelist, "Men and Women as Allies - Moving from 'Women's Initiatives' to Firm Initiatives," Ark Group & Managing Partner's East Coast Women Legal Forum 2014, New York City, June, 2014

Wicker Park Group Client Relationship Symposium, Managing Partner Panelist, Chicago, IL, July, 2011

WV Leadership Conference, "Leadership in Difficult Times," Panel Discussion Facilitator, 2011

Black Diamond Girl Scouts of America "Building Futures Luncheon," Keynote Speaker, 2011

"Direct Examination," WVU College of Law Trial Advocacy Program, 2013

"Lawyers as Leaders," Lecturer, WVU College of Law Leadership Course, 2013-present

Panelist, Reflections on New Leadership Mindset, West Virginia Leadership Summit, 2012

"Women in Law and Leadership" Panelist, WVU College of Law, October, 2011

Women's Law Caucus Annual Awards Dinner, WVU College of Law, Keynote Speaker, 2011

"Women in the Law" Panelist, Defense Trial Counsel of West Virginia, 2008, 2006

"Think Tank" Panelist on Law Firm Risk Management, Attorneys' Liability Assurance Society, Inc., 2008

Instructor, "Judicial System," Leadership West Virginia, 2004-2010

Faculty, American Society for Healthcare Risk Management Annual Conference, 2005, 2003

"Masters in Trial," American Board of Trial Advocates, 2000, 1998, 1996

"Objections," West Virginia University College of Law

"Discovery Issues," West Virginia University College of Law

"Trial Work and Work Life Balance," West Virginia University College of Law

"Risk Management in Emergency Departments," West Virginia Hospital Association

"Ethics and the Judicial System," Legal Assistants of West Virginia, Inc.

"Communications and Charting," West Virginia University Hospitals and School of Medicine

"Physician's Orders," Monongalia General Hospital

"Your Right to Choose - Health Care Decisions," Monongalia General Hospital

Panelist, Conference on Courts and the Media, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia

"Current Legal Issues Facing West Virginia Hospitals," West Virginia Society for Healthcare Risk Management

Regularly speaks to professional groups on leadership topics and succession planning.