FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, June 14, 2021
CONTACT: Morgan Keller, Communications Director, ACLU of Delaware, Email:

ACLU of Delaware Welcomes Award-Winning Attorney, Susan Burke, as Legal Director

WILMINGTON — The ACLU of Delaware has selected Susan L. Burke, an award-winning attorney and experienced litigator, as its next legal director.

With 34 years of experience, primarily in federal class and complex litigation, Burke’s work in American federal courts has had a global impact. Susan has received numerous awards for her work, including being named by the National Law Journal as one of the top female attorneys in the nation, receiving the Mary Philbrook Public Interest Award from Rutgers Law School, and receiving the Abby J. Leibman Pursuit of Justice Award from California Women’s Law Center. Her legal work on behalf of prisoners, rape survivors and others has been lauded by the legislatures of Kentucky and California.

“Susan is a powerful advocate for those who need it most,” said Mike Brickner, executive director of the ACLU of Delaware. “Her experience working on complicated litigation with far-reaching impact, her ability to lead a dynamic team, and her passion for justice are just a few of the reasons why we’re excited to welcome Susan to the team.”

As lead counsel for Iraqi victims, Susan achieved an historic win — and a legal first — by negotiating multi-million dollar settlements with defense contractors involved in government-sactioned torture at Abu Ghraib, and with Blackwater, a private mercenary company responsible for the Nissor Square massacre. Prior to that victory, Burke and her co-counsel persuaded Pennsylvania's Supreme Court to uphold Philadelphia's campaign finance reform legislation. She also successfully represented the Dominican Republic in a lawsuit seeking redress for an American corporation’s destruction of pristine beaches.

Burke also served as lead counsel in a series of lawsuits seeking to reform the military’s deficiencies in prosecuting rape and sexual assault. Her work on this issue was profiled in an Academy-award nominated documentary called “The Invisible War.”

“I’m honored to be chosen to lead the legal team at the ACLU of Delaware,” said Burke. “This organization has a strong history of fighting for justice through legal strategy and making historic change through litigation, and I’m excited to work with the team to continue that tradition. I know that this is only the beginning of an incredible next chapter, and I look forward to seeing where our work takes us next.”

Read Susan's Full Bio