From English teacher to lawyer: Donahue opens office in Twisp Homepage >>

By Don Nelson - Methow Valley News

   Susan Donahue opened her new law practice in a rustic building
   on Second Avenue in Twisp. She has substantial experience in    complex legal issues..

For Susan Donahue, the path from college English professor to attorney was practical as well as academic. She and her husband, novelist and English professor Peter Donahue, were having trouble finding two university-level teaching assignments in the same discipline in the same town.

“So I decided to be flexible and go to law school,” said Donahue, who has opened a law office in Twisp after earlier practicing in Alabama and elsewhere in Washington state.

Donahue, a Seattle native who earned a doctorate in English at the University of Washington, taught English at Seattle-area high schools and also at Virginia Tech University and the University of Oklahoma.

She earned her law degree at the University of Alabama in 2003 and practiced at the Birmingham firm of Wiggins, Childs, Quinn and Pantazis until 2010, where she handled complex cases including class action lawsuits alleging race discrimination, as well as cases involving wage and labor laws, employment discrimination and wrongful death.

She moved back to Washington in September 2010 and worked with Wenatchee attorney Dale Forman on a number of cases including product liability, medical malpractice, personal injury, family law and employment issues.

When her husband landed a job teaching English at Wenatchee Valley College in Omak, they went house-hunting and found a place in Winthrop. Then Donahue went shopping for office space, which she found at 125 Second Ave. W., in a rustic cabin next to Poppie Jo’s Galleria. For now, she is the sole employee. Donahue will practice general law. She can be reached at 996-5944.

“We’re very happy to have landed here,” Donahue said. “This was the right time. We are fascinated with the valley.”

Peter Donahue is the author of Clara and Merritt, published in 2010, and Madison House, published in 2005. Both are historical novels set in Seattle. Madison House won the Langum Prize for American Historical Fiction.

Photo by Sue Misao

Posted Sept. 28, 2011