Suzanne Goodspeed, TARRA Member and General Counsel, exudes a warmth and optimism that lights up a room. As partner and co-founder of Goodspeed Merrill, one of Denver’s most well-respected business law firms, she is steeped in an often ruthless world of contracts, mergers, partnerships, liabilities and real estate transactions. But Goodspeed (Suzie to those who know her well) maintains a fresh perspective in her approach.
Her expertise runs deep advising some of Colorado’s fastest growing companies in everything from complex commercial contracts, to incentive compensation, employment, managing risk, preparing for an exit and more.
If building one of the city’s most successful law practices wasn’t enough, Goodspeed is also heavily involved in the community on several nonprofit boards and has provided pro bono legal services to a local non-profit preschool serving children with disabilities for more than ten years. She is passionate about educating small business owners on the law, and is teaching several workshops this year at TARRA to demystify the basics of business law.
TARRA sat down with Suzanne Goodspeed for 5 minutes to uncover where her inspiration comes from, what she’s excited about and a few of her must-have items.
When you need inspiration, where do you go/what do you do?
Books, preferably great historical fiction. I’m inspired by true stories of female American heroes who spied and aided the Resistance during WWII. There are some excellent books that are so intriguing about the extreme risks these women took to protect our liberty. It helps keep everything else into perspective when you are having a bad day to think about what they went through. I also love to listen to 99.5 for some great 80’s rock!
What is something you always have within arms reach?
Strong coffee!!! But almost as important…I have a few key reference books like Strunk & White Elements of Style (yes grammar still matters), and a box of beautiful notes. Sending an old fashioned thank you note to express gratitude will never go out of style.
What is the greatest misconception people have about your industry?
That it is too complicated, expensive and lawyers are stodgy and boring. We have such an amazing group of down-to-earth professionals who are trained to make law accessible, understandable and to help clients prioritize their needs based upon the related risk. Among our ranks are talented musicians, comedians and weekend warrior athletes. Skiing and pickle ball for me please!
What can you not stop thinking about right now?
How to simplify. In the last three years, we’ve faced some of the most complicated issues of this generation, including Covid, scary economic conditions & horrible political climate. How can we make client’s lives a little easier in the face of all the other stresses that are encountered on a daily basis. For me every time I give advice, I try to put myself in the client’s shoes and think about their perspective. Legal issues can be very complicated and intimidating, and clients are so busy, how do we balance efficiency with a great outcome? It can be tricky so frequent and transparent communication is essential.
What is your most persistent internal dialogue and why?
How to deliver the most satisfying client experience: exceptional response, good attitude & common sense. Why? To earn trust & respect—plus it’s the right thing to do.