Jake Sussman joined the firm in September 2003 following a one-year clerkship with the Honorable Ellen B. Burns, United States District Judge for the District of Connecticut. Born and raised in New York City, Jake graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in History from Wesleyan University in 1997. He graduated cum laude from New York University School of Law in 2002, where he was a Root-Tilden-Kern Public Interest Scholar. Jake is a member of the North Carolina and New York State Bars.
Jake's practice with the firm is primarily focused on criminal defense. He handles all manner of criminal cases in federal and state courts, whether pre-indictment, at trial, or on appeal or during post-conviction. Since joining the firm, Jake has represented clients in over 20 counties across the state, as well in the federal district courts of North Carolina and the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia. Jake has also appeared pro hac vice in the District of South Carolina and in the State of Georgia. In 2010, Jake was recognized by his peers as a member of the "Legal Elite" by Business North Carolina for Criminal Defense and Young Guns (Best Under 40).
Before entering law school, Jake worked as an investigator on death penalty cases in Alabama, Georgia and California. During law school, he clerked with the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc., the Bronx Defenders, and the Juvenile Rights Division of the Legal Aid Society, where he represented youth in juvenile delinquency proceedings.
In addition to his criminal practice, Jake handles civil rights and police misconduct cases. He also represents licensed professionals, including other lawyers, on ethics and disciplinary matters, as well as teachers through the North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE) and students in school disciplinary proceedings.
Jake is a member of the North Carolina Advocates for Justice, the North Carolina Bar Association, the Mecklenburg County Bar Association, the Mecklenburg County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.