Susan advises business managers about legal issues relating to employees, and she represents companies in all types of employment-related lawsuits and administrative procedures.  Her cases include discrimination and harassment claims, disputes over employment contracts, and other employment-related issues, as well as applications for immigration benefits. She has been recognized in Benchmark Litigation as among America’s Leading Litigation Attorneys. To assist clients in preventing legal disputes, Susan advises managers regarding employee discipline, personnel policies, and compliance with employment and immigration laws.

Susan has extensive experience handling matters before the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (formerly INS), the U.S. Department of Labor, and Consulate Offices around the world operated by the U.S. Department of State.  She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America for both immigration law and employment law.  She has also been recognized by Virginia Business magazine as among Virginia’s “Legal Elite” and was named by Richmond Magazine as one of the Top 25 Women Attorneys in Virginia.  Due to her experience working with international businesses on immigration and employment matters, Susan was chosen for a select panel on Global Human Resources for the Society for Human Resource Management.

Educational Background and Awards

Susan earned her law degree at the Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William and Mary, where she was inducted into the Order of the Coif for academic achievement and was awarded the Gambrell Professionalism Award. Before going to law school, she graduated summa cum laude at Old Dominion University, where she received The Outstanding Scholar Award for graduating first in the College of Arts and Letters. She was previously recognized by Inside Business as among the "Top Forty Under 40" in the Hampton Roads business community, and she received the "Women in Business – Achievement Award" in 2003.

Professional and Community Activities

Susan has written legal columns for Inside Business and other publications on employment and immigration issues, and she frequently presents seminars to business managers, human resource professionals, and other lawyers on topics such as: Employing Foreign Workers; Social Media Policies; the Americans with Disabilities Act; I-9 Compliance/ Immigration Enforcement; and the Fair Labor Standards Act. Susan previously served as Employment Law Advisor on the Advisory Board of the Fourth Circuit Review and is currently a member of the Boyd-Graves Conference, a panel of judges and lawyers convened to study and recommend improvements to civil procedures in Virginia courts. She is an officer of the Tidewater Chapter of the Federal Bar Association.

Susan has been appointed to serve as Honorary Consul for the Kingdom of Denmark. She also serves as Treasurer for the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce.

    • Education

      • J.D., College of William & Mary, Order of the Coif for Academic Achievement, Marshall-Wythe Gambrell Professionalism Award, 1995
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      Professional Recognition

      • Best Lawyers in America, Business Immigration Law, Labor & Employment Law
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    • Memberships

      • Virginia Bar Association, Labor & Employment Section
      • Federal Bar Association
      • American Immigration Lawyers Association
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      • Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce – Regional Board of Directors Executive Committee, Treasurer
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  • Defended employer in federal litigation involving multiple plaintiffs alleging discrimination under Section 1981.
  • Advised multinational corporations concerning strategies for U.S. immigration compliance and plans for obtaining U.S. visas.
  • Represented employer in defense of Fair Labor Standards Act claim by manager alleging improper classification as exempt employee.
  • Developed Employee Guidebook and drafted policies concerning electronic communications and social networking.
  • Won a jury verdict in favor of the employer in a federal suit alleging sexual harassment and retaliatory discharge.
  • Obtained visas for international transferees, engineers, accountants, teachers, medical specialists, scientists, and other professionals.
  • Performed audit of employer’s I-9 Forms to ensure compliance with U.S. immigration laws.
  • Represented technology company in suit filed by former CEO involving breach of contract and related claims.
  • Developed immigration strategies for American companies to obtain "green cards" for key employees.
  • Obtained dismissal of a charge of disability discrimination filed at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging failure to accommodate.
  • Won an injunction in state court to protect an employer against exploitation of its trade secrets by a former employee.
  • Counseled employer concerning discharge of an employee who threatened coworkers and reportedly had a psychological disorder.
  • Drafted and negotiated Physician Employment Agreements, for doctors and for medical practice groups.

News / Publications


Publications Susan R. Blackman Member (Retired) Willcox & Savage, P.C. (757) 628-5646 (757) 628-5659
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