Maslon partner Susan Link says the face of the profession has changed since she began practicing, and her election to the firm’s new board of directors takes that a step further.
Link, an estate planner, said she wanted to serve on the board because she believes it needed a mix of people and practice areas.
“For younger lawyers to see that you can do this is giving them confidence in their own practices,” Link said.
Link is program director and a volunteer with Minnesota Wills for Heroes, a Minnesota State Bar Association program, which provides free legal services for preparing basic estate planning documents for first responders.
The program has drafted more than 17,000 estate plans since launching 2007, Link said.
Maslon announced in September that it had added Link and partner David Suchar to its newly formed board of directors under a new governance structure. Board chair Keiko Sugisaka and partners Mike McCarthy and Shauro Bagchi also serve on the board.
Name: Susan Link
Title: Partner, member of firm board of directors, Maslon
B.A., political science, Loyola University Chicago; J.D., University of Notre Dame Law School
Q: Best way to start a conversation with you?
A: Tell me about your family. I like to learn about other people. Ask me about Wills for Heroes.
Q: Why did you go to law school?
A: One of my uncles was an attorney, my great uncle. He was very well respected. I saw him helping solve problems. He was a general practitioner. Notre Dame was not my first choice. My father was a salesman, and sold microscopes to the biology department. He said, “Susan, you’ve been accepted, just go visit.” Going there, some attorneys had given me the wisdom that Notre Dame doesn’t rank their students. So you’re not competing against each other, it’s a very supportive environment and I still find that today. As I was talking to students there, I heard they’re in study groups, they’re assisting each other. A lot of law schools have that but I’m very glad I went there, because that’s where I met my husband.
Q: What books are you reading?
A: There’s a book that’s in my office that I’ve sent to many clients — “The Ultimate Gift” by Jim Stovall — when they’re talking about leaving legacies, how do you leave assets to your children and your descendants.
Q: Best part of your work?
A: Interacting with people and helping people currently and then after they’re gone, making sure that the documents we’ve drafted are what they wanted us to draft and they’re implemented.
Q: Least favorite?
A: Billable hours. As an estate planner, billable hours are harder because I’ll touch 30 files in a day. But you feel like you’ve helped somebody.
Q: Favorite activity away from work?
A: A lot of my time is spent on Wills for Heroes. If I’m not doing that, I love taking care of where we live in the woods. We’ve got a huge garden. I love being outside and being with my family.
Q: Where would you take someone visiting your hometown?
A: I grew up on the south side of Chicago. There’s all kinds of good things there. Good pizza at Aurelio’s.
Q: Legal figure you most admire?
A: My father-in-law. His name was David Link, just like my husband. My father-in-law was the dean of Notre Dame Law School for 30 years. He started (the University of) St. Thomas’ law school. After my mother-in-law passed away, he went into the seminary and became a Catholic priest, because he was working in a prison and thought he could better serve the prisoners if he became a Catholic priest.
Q: Favorite book, movie or TV show about lawyers?
A: “Body Heat.” It’s about a specific provision in a will. When I taught at St. Thomas law school, I showed a clip explaining the rule against perpetuities. It’s that you can’t keep assets in a trust in perpetuity. Not in Minnesota; other states you can do it now. It’s often on the bar exam, but you never have to think about it unless you’re an estate planner.
Correction: This article has been revised to correct the spelling of David Link’s surname.