Susan Baker Manning is a litigator with years of experience, and the firm’s first senior pro bono trial lawyer. In this unique role, Susan leads large impact litigation matters in support of at-risk individuals and underrepresented groups, such as those seeking access to housing, healthcare, education, and other public benefits, as well as those fleeing persecution in their home countries. She also focuses on expanding the firm’s longstanding commitment to civil liberties work across numerous issues, deepening relationships with clients and current partner organizations, and forming alliances with new ones.
Susan has dedicated thousands of hours to pro bono service throughout her career, and has meaningfully advanced the protection of human and civil rights. Susan’s work in recent years has included successfully challenging a US Department of State policy that denied US citizenship to children born abroad to married same-sex couples, even where both parents were US citizens; winning a major US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit victory for pro se asylum applicants that will ensure that even the unrepresented have a fair opportunity to present claims based on membership in a particular social group; obtaining the release of numerous US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainees held in conditions that put them at particular risk during the COVID-19 pandemic; and defending the rights of Georgia and Pennsylvania voters to have their ballots counted in the 2020 election. Susan’s other major pro bono matters have included representing some of the largest businesses in the country in an amicus brief to the US Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges showing how discrimination against same-sex marriage is bad for business, representing several US senators in a case involving access to the asylum system, and handling a Guantanamo Bay–related case that received international attention.
Susan’s pro bono work builds on her two decades of practice as an intellectual property litigator specializing in patent, trademark, and copyright cases. Susan has argued numerous cases before US courts of appeal and has experience at the trial court level (including trying matters heard by government agencies such as the International Trade Commission). Susan has represented name-brand technology companies in matters involving a variety of technology areas including in the software, internet, hardware, telecommunications, pharmaceutical, and architecture spaces.