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Meet Suzanne Schwab Radcliffe

Today we’d like to introduce you to Suzanne Schwab Radcliffe.

Suzanne, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My father was a family law attorney in Galveston and he started taking me to the courthouse with him when I was around four years old. I was fascinated with the courts, the judges in their black robes and seeing him stand in front of the man in the “black robe.” At the time, there were no female judges. It was then I knew I wanted to be an attorney and a judge.

I remember in 6th grade, another boy and I said we wanted to be lawyers and we were even chosen to be in a film about lawyers. I never changed my mind and then went to TCU in Fort Worth and I was fortunate to be chosen go to Washington DC to do an internship with the US Attorney General’s Office. I graduated from St. Mary’s law school and from there I went to Innsbrook Austria to study the European legal system.

After graduation in 1991, I worked in the Galveston County District Attorneys Office where I was the supervising attorney in the Family Law Section. I helped formulate family violence procedures to help victims of family violence. I trained police officers all over the state and often spoke at judicial conferences. I also was the child abuse and abuse prosecutor.

In 1997, I was asked to be one of the first CPS Associate Judges in the state under a special grant. I worked as a family law associate judge for the 306th Family District Court for 17 years. After that, I started my private family practice where I practice mostly family law in and around Harris County.

I am the mother of two girls, 23 and 20 years old but unfortunately neither want to be a lawyer!

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has been a bumpy road, sitting on a Bench hearing child abuse and juvenile cases when I was the mother of two young children. I also heard a lot of family law disputes regarding divorce and custody when I was going through a rough divorce myself. Going through the divorce process myself really gave me a different perspective on the entire divorce process.

I try to take both my personal experiences and my judicial experiences to try to carefully guide my clients through their family law case. It is not only a scary process but also one that affects you and your children for the rest of their lives.

I know firsthand how important it is to try to co-parent with your ex-spouse and work together as a “team” even though you probably did not work too well together when you were married. Children pick up very quickly that they are able to manipulate each parent when they don’t work together. I stress to them how important it is not to speak negatively about the other parent no matter what you hear your ex-spouse say about you. Children know things without being told to them by a parent and the person who never speaks badly about the other parent will always come out on top! Children have enough to worry about these days.

Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
I am proud of the work I have done for victims of family violence and advocating for children. I was awarded the Texas Child Advocate award by Texas Dept. of Human Services (CPS) which made me very proud to do the work I did on the CPS Bench.

My experiences as a prosecutor, judge, and a divorcee gives me a unique perspective of the divorce process which I try to relay to my clients while helping them come to a resolution with their family law problem.
After all, we are not only attorneys but “Counselor of law” which is written on our law license diplomas.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
When it comes to law, I remember my Dad was appointed in Federal Court to represent someone who was charged with kidnapping (my Dad was not a criminal attorney by any means). When I got to the courthouse with him, there were reporters everywhere and they all ran to my dad asking for a comment. I was enthralled.

I later found out it was a case that made national news. My Dad’s client was accused of kidnapping his boss’s son and keeping him in a wooden box underneath the ground. I watched the entire trial.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 18333 Egret Bay
    Houston, TX 77058
  • Website: schwabradcliffe.com
  • Phone: 832 8643726
  • Email: suzanne@schwabradcliffe.com or janie @schwabradcliffe.com

Getting in touch: VoyageHouston is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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