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Birmingham Bar Association Bulletin - Fall 2014

Balch & Bingham LLP In Memoriam “She inspired many women, including me, to embrace their own definitions of success, to be proud of (not ashamed of) those visions, and to pursue them at their own pace with their own style,” Jennifer Buettner, Associate General Counsel at Southern Nuclear Operating Company, wrote. “Susan pushed people to become their own “form” – their own best and highest – and she pushed us to believe our capacity was not simply to be good enough but to be great,” reflected law partner Amy Steindorff. “Courage to confront difficult issues is one of my own personal ambitions in large part due to watching Susan confidently follow her own heart,” Balch & Bingham attorney Millicent Ronnlund wrote. “Susan inspired her colleagues to be better lawyers and better people,” declared Susan Han, another Balch & Bingham attorney. “She was this invisible pillar of support for so many women attorneys,” fellow Susan Bevill Livingston Kind. Gracious. Thoughtful. Generous. Good-humored. Intelligent. Hard-working. Principled. Selfless. Inspiring. Fun. Those were all words that described Susan Bevill Livingston, a beloved longtime partner at Balch & Bingham, who passed unexpectedly on February 28, 2014, in Birmingham, Alabama. But for many, the best word to describe Susan was “mentor” – not in the popculture, overused corporate sense of the term, but rather in the word’s truest, most sincere sense. With her soft but lilting voice, Susan not only talked the talk but walked the walk. “Susan’s influence on all of us cannot be overstated,” said Teresa Minor, a partner of Susan’s at Balch & Bingham. “I consider myself blessed to have had the benefit of her wise counsel for the past two decades of my legal career.” Balch & Bingham attorney Kimberly Bell said. “The motto she seemed to live by was to treat others as more important than yourself.” “In Susan, I found a woman who mentored younger women lawyers and was a source of support, counsel and encouragement to all women lawyers at the firm,” observed law partner Kathleen Collier. “I found a woman to whom kindness and thoughtfulness were as natural as breathing and who touched many women lawyers just by doing small things that made them feel special.” “Susan had a way of making you feel special,” recalled Mary Samuels, one of Susan’s colleagues at Balch & Bingham. “When you spoke to her, she listened – and cared.” “Susan gave me the confidence to find my voice in an industry where it could have easily been lost,” said Marie Craig, Alabama Power Company Fuel Manager. “I was able to confide in Susan, and she patiently guided me through the first several years of my career, imparting invaluable wisdom along the way,” remembered Balch & Bingham attorney Gretchen Frizzell. “She always did the right thing and stood out in a sea of consensus to make sure a minor viewpoint was always considered,” observed Ginny Wilcox, another attorney at Balch & Bingham. “I will strive to be like her as I grow and develop in my career,” Balch & Bingham associate Lauren Thornton said. “And I take comfort in knowing that as long as I’m striving to be even half the woman Susan was, I will have a positive influence on the people around me.” For such women, Susan set a sterling example of accomplishment for them to emulate. As the daughter of the late U.S. Congressman Tom Bevill and Lou Betts Bevill, she attended school at Yorktown High School in Arlington, Virginia. Matriculation and graduation from Ithaca College followed and, in 1977, Susan graduated from the University of Ala- 14 Birmingham Bar Association


Birmingham Bar Association Bulletin - Fall 2014
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