Suzannah Maclay grew up in New York and Maine. She has a BA from Northwestern University, an MA in English Literature from the University of Michigan Ann Arbor, and a JD from Northeastern University. In 1999, she drove from Massachusetts to live in Florence, Arizona, where she served as Florence Project staff attorney for six years. She returned to the Florence Project in 2020 after 14 years of solo immigration practice in Phoenix. Before settling on a career in law, Suzannah dabbled in academia, vinegar importing, cheese purveying, food writing, and surly cocktail waitressing. She spent a couple of years on the road in South and Central America. She was, briefly, a goatherd, before beginning work with social justice organizations in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She lived in Chiapas, Mexico, where, at the invitation of Zapatista communities, she assisted in resettling displaced villages, initiated a community-based protective accompaniment program, and documented human rights abuses committed by the Mexican army. During law school, she worked with migrant farmworkers in Maine and on the El Paso/Juarez border, took a leave of absence to ride her bicycle sola across Mexico, and graduated. More recently, she has volunteered to assist asylum seekers in Tijuana, Mexico and has conducted ad hoc Know Your Rights presentations for migrants in Yuma, Arizona, on the sidewalks of San Luis Rio Colorado, Mexico, and in Phoenix. When she isn’t working, Suzannah hikes with her dog, cooks, bikes, picks up litter, reads, and paddleboards.
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