Suzy Fulton is a co-founder and co-manager of Fulton Jeang PLLC (FJ). There are not sufficient accolades that can be used to describe Suzy Fulton to convey the full extent of her remarkable qualities. Suzy’s warm and approachable demeanor (not to mention her humor) and her legal expertise are tremendous assets to her dedication to our clients and unwavering loyalty to our firm’s lawyers. Under her leadership and guidance, FJ is well on its way to establishing itself as a formidable full-service Texas business law firm. The firm recently received its certifications as a women-owned law firm from WBENC (Women Business Enterprise National Council) and Small Business Administration, and it is being recognized by Chambers and Partners in its inaugural Texas Regional Spotlight for 2024.
FJ: I know you came to a legal career along a somewhat circuitous route. What influenced you in deciding to become a lawyer? Have you always planned to pursue law as a career?
SF: Short answer: I lost my supersonic wind tunnel at NASA. I wanted to be an astronaut or an engineer and never thought of practicing law. I kind of unexpectedly and haphazardly fell into it. I didn’t even take a LSAT study course…
FJ: How did you arrive at the decision to form Fulton Jeang PLLC in 2023? Have you always practiced law in Texas?
SF: Again, the short answer: the chance to form a law firm and practice law with one of my BFFs and some of the best attorneys in Texas (or anywhere)was my motivation. I have always practiced law in Texas, but I am also licensed before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). However, I leave patent prosecution to those who have way more fortitude and patience than me. Although I am a native Texan and I was born in Abilene at Dyess AFB where my dad was stationed, we moved around quite a bit until my dad retired when I was in 4th grade. Before he had a family, he had been stationed in places all over the world, but as a small-town, native Texan, he decided that out of all those places, he wanted to retire in San Angelo. So that’s where I say I’m from if anyone asks. I’ve generally stayed and lived in Texas except when I got my master’s degree and worked at NASA Langley in Hampton, Virginia.
FJ: Please tell us some of your career highlights or recent “wins.”
SF: I think my highlights and “wins” revolve around the people who’ve been a part of my journey: my law school besties, clients (many of whom have become good friends), my law partners and co-workers, the Dallas Mafia (you know who you are 😊). I pinch myself sometimes (not hard because that would hurt) because I can’t believe that they let me tag along…
FJ: Why does Fulton Jeang’s virtual business model suit your practice and lifestyle, and why do clients love our business model?
SF: Well, since I lounge in my pajamas until 11 or 12 every day, what’s not to love? Ha! I think before the pandemic, there was the thought that if you worked from home or “virtually” that you weren’t a serious lawyer, or that you couldn’t get “real work” done. The model allows me to get things done and meet deadlines on my schedule without feeling guilty about when I work or when I have to do other things, like run errands or go to a doctor’s appointment or do something with or for the family. Clients appreciate the fact that they are getting really skilled, experienced attorneys (most of us have been with BigLaw, and many of us have been GCs or high level in-house) at a much lower rate. We are able to pass our low overhead on as savings to our clients, and who doesn’t like to get a good deal?? It’s like getting Jimmy Choo’s at a bargain price!
FJ: What are your sweet spots for client/legal issues you love to work on or that you have expertise in?
SF: I love working with technology clients, and in particular the “aas” (that’s aas, not ass) clients, meaning “as a service” clients, such as software as a service, platform as a service, infrastructure as a service, etc. Having served as the GC for SoftLayer Technologies, when cloud contracts were in their infancy (and lots of lawyers tried to fit a “service” contract into the software license box), I grew with that industry and will always have an affinity for that type of work. This was also really before data privacy and cybersecurity became practice areas. We were dealing with all of these issues “back in the day.” There. Now you know – I’m dating myself. I also love doing trademark work and working with startups.
FJ: As an Owner and Co-Founder of the Firm, what are your goals for the firm in 2024?
SF: One of my main goals is to make sure my partners are happy and successful. Making money is often a goal in the work context, and so that is obviously always top of mind, “how can we help provide work and help our partners develop business?” But the money part is usually only one part of the path to happiness and success and I want to know what the other parts are – this is where communication comes in, because the answer is different for every person. If I can help my partners find success (and happiness) in their work life, then by virtue of that, I’ll be successful. Done. Goal achieved. Idealistic? Unrealistic? Maybe, but if it were a given it wouldn’t really be a goal.
FJ: Do you have hobbies? What do you do for fun?
SF: I don’t know if I have a real “hobby” per se, but
I like walking the dog (most of the time), being tolerated by the cat, gardening and trying to keep houseplants alive (which often entails killing things, so there’s a violent side to this), tennis, pickleball, driving the husband insane, embarrassing the college kids, cooking and eating, hanging out with the BFFs (which usually involves eating), making and eating popcorn, bingeing shows, reading, traveling…