Tax Attorney Suzanne DeWitt Finds Ideal Balance Between Work and Personal Life
DeWitt is the founder and managing partner of DeWitt PLLC in Miami
As a mother of two young children via surrogacy, Tax attorney Suzanne DeWitt believes in the notion that “work-life balance is dead, it’s all about life-work balance instead.” She is the founder and managing partner of DeWitt PLLC and has over 23 years of experience in international tax and private wealth planning. DeWitt is an expert in global tax minimization and cross-border wealth planning and implementation. Her work includes private banking and international tax and trust planning for high net-worth clients and financial institutions and the structuring, formation, and operation, on a cross-border basis, of a variety of alternative investment products, U.S. and non-U.S. hedge funds and private equity funds.
DeWitt has marched to the beat of her own drum her entire life. She has always loved the thrill of excelling in any topic she decides to tackle in life, whether as a single mother (by choice) raising her two young children or racing off-road dirt bikes and motorcycles in her spare time. She truly believes we are at a unique time in history and there is nothing keeping women, especially working mothers, from having it all these days.
“Many women’s biological clocks are drowned out by their professional clocks—that simply does not have to be the case. I have decided to ‘go for it’ in all areas of my life and I champion other women, especially working mothers, who have decided to do the same.
What Challenges Have You Faced in Your Legal Career? How Did You Overcome Those Challenges?
The challenge of practicing transactional-based law, which is itself inherently difficult for female attorneys. The type of law I practice is itself a challenge for me as a woman. In my experience, transaction-focused practices, such as the area I practice in, international tax law, has traditionally and historically been male-dominated. Transaction-orientated practices can be notoriously unpredictable in terms of what transactions are closing and when. This makes it difficult for me as a woman to plan my life around the “deal flow.” These transactions happen sporadically and make it a challenge for women who have responsibilities at home in addition to their profession. Working in a practice area that has unpredictable deadlines and closing dates makes it hard for women to manage their responsibilities at home, which requires a more predictable work schedule. A great way to elegantly overcome these challenges (or, ideally, prevent them altogether) is to align yourself with colleagues and clients that share your value system. Fortunately, there has been an increased recognition that women’s childbearing/rearing responsibilities should not be a point of derailment for their legal careers. And interestingly, a lot of change is being encouraged from the client’s end. Clients want to see themselves in those representing them and have been vocal in supporting an increase in women’s roles as essential parts of legal teams.
What Has Been The Most Monumental Moment Of Your Career Thus Far?
One of my most monumental moments was that “aha” moment, where I realized that all of my “achievement stars” had beautifully aligned together. It was around that sixth or seventh-year mark in my career where I was no longer hesitant to exercise creative thinking and propose out-of-the-box solutions to fully solve my client’s issue(s).
What Has Been Your Proudest Professional Moment?
There are a couple that come to mind. Being able to confidently respond to a complex question in one sentence and experiencing that feeling of joy when a colleague’s achievement is attributable to my knowledge sharing and guidance.
What Are Some Ways You Give Back to the Community?
I never turn down an opportunity to share my knowledge and teach someone; the ability to teach complex subject matter not only validates my mastery of the subject, but “paying it forward” brings me such joy.