Sunday Success - Susan Sealy
Who is Susan Sealy?
I obtained my Bachelor of Arts degree in Linguistics from the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus and graduated with First Class Honours in 2005. I later completed a Bachelor of Laws Degree and subsequently graduated with Second Class Honours in 2008. I was later awarded the George Walton Payne & Scholarship Trust before pursuing the final stage of my legal education at the Sir Hugh Wooding Law School. After two successful years of study, I obtained my Legal Certificate of Education and was admitted to practice law in Barbados in 2010. I am 38 years old and I am currently the proud Managing Attorney of Genesis Law Chambers, my own Multi-Disciplinary Law Firm in Barbados.
I am also passionate about food safety, food & nutrition policy, food security and food sustainability in the Caribbean Community. Since the year 2014 to present, my Law Firm has organized and hosted five successful annual Food Law Conferences in Barbados, which attracted local, regional and international students and international experts respectively. It is my philosophy that all stakeholders in the food industry should “Step up to the plate” and collaborate, to provide solutions to protect the sustainability and security of our food supply in the Caribbean.
I also have a special interest in human rights with particular interest in promoting the freedom of conscience as it relates to Religious Liberty. I currently serve as President of the Public Relations and Religious Liberty Department of the East Caribbean Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists in the beautiful island of Barbados and the Public Relations Officer of the Caribbean Religious Liberty Association. I give back to my church and community by writing letters “Pro-Bono” on behalf of persons whose Religious Rights have been infringed.
What does a typical day for you look like?
A typical work day for me starts in the very early hours of the mornings before the typical working hours. It usually starts with my motherly duties where I spend time with my Son by reading his favorite bible stories, providing him with his food and his formula and then a nice little bath to make him comfortable. After that is done, I pack his clothes and daily necessities in a little bag and then take him to his “nana” (Grandma). After that I am off to work where as a first rule, I start with client’s emails and any calls that I have to return to clients. I then start my day with attending to my client’s files and any work that I have been retained to do.
I am happy about what I do. I love to help people and make them feel satisfied but I declare that I am not perfect and I strive to do my very best. I am very unhappy if my clients are unhappy. I do research, I teach and I give back in service to my community and my church. I write articles and I also deliver guest lecturers at the California State University in Long Beach USA. I also contribute to my legal community by providing Pro-Bono Clinics as well as Internships and Externships to help young people who are aspiring Attorneys, to develop.
We know you’re an Attorney-At-Law with your own practice. How has this experience been?
Being an Entrepreneur for me is about taking risks to help yourself to become self sufficient and confident. It’s not easy but as time goes on, it become rewarding. I really do enjoy entrepreneurship even-though I never even thought to be an entrepreneur. I use to work for a Law Firm but that did not work out quite the way I expected and I had to quickly make up my mind to be my own “boss.” My husband helped me all the way to achieve this by encouraging me to take that big step. When I look back where I first began and where I am now, there are no regrets.
My firm has a general civil and commercial practice with a concentration on Estate Planning, Conveyancing, Property and Real Estate, Labour and Employment, Immigration, Trusts, Wills, Probate and Administration of Estates, Business Law with an emphasis on Small Business Development, Debt Collecting, Food Safety Advocacy, Personal Injury, Negotiation and Litigation, Family and Civil Litigation.
My passion for food safety and food security have encouraged me to specialize in Food Law and this “niche” practice focuses on providing general legal services to farmers, agro-processors, food manufacturers, retailers, consumers, hospitality, distributors, entrepreneurs and other stakeholders in the food industry. As a Food Law practitioner, I focus on Brand Innovation and Product Development with the aim of ensuring that products manufactured are legally fit for consumption.
October 22, 2020 holds a great deal of significance for you. Tell us about it.
This date is of great significance for me because it took me 10 years to fulfill my dream of becoming an Attorney-at-Law. When I entered the University of the West Indies, I had initially applied to read for a Bachelor of Laws Degree not knowing that this faculty was so very competitive to be accepted into. I did not have a satisfactory GPA to enter the Faculty of Law so I had to end up reading for a Degree of a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics. This was very tough for me because my love was really for the Law. I did poorly in my very first semester at UWI in my Bachelor of Linguistics program and I was referred to the Dean of the faculty as to my options to continue the Linguistics program. I really struggled through the program at first but then I asked God to help me see my dream of becoming an Attorney.
I began to work very hard in the program and at the completion of it, I achieved my Bachelor of Arts in the Linguistics Program with First Class Honours. I then applied to the Faculty of Law and was admitted to do the program. To fast forward a bit, I graduated from Hugh Wooding Law School in 2010 and here I am, 10 years after, celebrating and reflecting on my success. I could not have done it without God, my mom who was a single parent, my identical twin sister, my husband and my supportive friends who supported my efforts along the way.
How do you manage to maintain work-life balance?
In this aspect of my life, I see myself as a “super-mom.” One of my goals for this year was to really balance my role as a first time mother and as a professional. During this journey, I want to say that being a mom is one of the most joyous experiences in my life. I learnt that there is nothing more important than my family (My Husband and Son). The time now is so precious and if it is not managed properly, it can be lost.
In 2018 I started my journey in martial arts and I had to stop the sport because of my pregnancy with my son in 2019. I am now dedicating two hours a week to get back into my routine to make my body fit through martial arts. By getting back into martial arts, this helps me to be physically and mentally fit. I also play the violin and have recently started to dedicate two hours a day to practice, destress and to boost my confidence levels. As a professional, I strive each day to be the best professional by dealing with all of my cases from a problem solving point-of-view. I always strive to do my best with the help of God.
Any industry related myths that you’d like to clarify?
A lot of people believe that once you are an Attorney that you are automatically rich or you make a lot of money. This is a myth that has been with this profession for a while now. I would say: “all that glitters isn’t certainly gold.” It takes a lot of hard work and time to develop a successful practice. It is not easy and one must remain committed.
How can our readers connect with you?
They can follow me on LinkedIn and LinkedIn for Business, WhatsApp for Business, Facebook and Instagram.
My other contact information:
• Phone: 1 (246) 571-9530
• F-Mobile: 1 (246) 245-9167
• D-Mobile: 1 (246) 256-9167
• Corporate Office: Thomas Daniel Building Suite#1, First Floor, Hincks Street, Bridgetown, St. Michael, Barbados
• Community Office: Breedy's Land, Silver Sands, Christ Church, Barbados
• Website: www.genesislawchambers.com
• Email: firstname.lastname@example.org