Susan Hays is a lawyer, advocate, and crisis manager based in Austin, Texas, with more than twenty-five years’ experience in law and politics. Her practice now focuses on cannabis law, from hemp to the full regulatory scheme of cannabis. She has drafted license applications, served as the general counsel of a publicly traded, touch-the-plant cannabis company, and most recently was intimately involved in the drafting and passage of Texas’s 2019 hemp law.
She began her legal career as a legislative aide to a Texas House member. She moved a few dozen yards north to clerk at the Supreme Court of Texas. In the years since, she has represented individual clients, corporations, and organizations in the courts and the political realm, drawing from a broad skill set to employ the best tactics to achieve the client’s goals whether litigation, press strategy, or legislative advocacy.
In addition to a general appellate practice, she also practices in campaign compliance and legal ethics. She has advised multiple candidates from local to statewide offices around the state on legal and political matters. Her contacts are statewide, developed from twenty-five years of political involvement around Texas.
She has been Board Certified in Civil Appellate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 2005. She has handled cases ranging from securities fraud to civil rights, arguing to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, the Supreme Court of Texas, and numerous lower appellate courts. She has had her own practice since 2004, after working at Waters & Kraus, L.L.P. and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld L.L.P. She routinely makes the Super Lawyers list for Texas. She earned her B.A. in 1992 from the University of Texas at Austin and her J.D. in 1996 from Georgetown University Law Center.
Susan has long been very involved in civic life serving on numerous non-profit boards. She currently serves on the advisory board to the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life. She is most proud of co-founding Jane’s Due Process, Inc., a legal services nonprofit for Texas minors.
While she earned her chops analyzing complex legal issues and creating simple, persuasive legal arguments despite that complexity, she also relishes getting her boots dirty to investigate facts on the ground. Likewise, she is equally at home in a big city boardroom as in a small town courtroom.