Interview with Susan Bade Hull ‘85
Susan Bade Hull graduated from Claremont McKenna College in 1985 with a bachelor’s degree in Latin American Studies and Spanish. During her junior year at CMC, she studied abroad in both Madrid and Mexico City. After graduation, she the attended Loyola Law School in Los Angeles to pursue her interests in social justice as well as international law. With her vast legal experience and business acumen, she currently serves as the President of Bade Construction Co., Inc.
What has your career looked like since you graduated?
I started out at the San Diego District Attorney’s Office after graduating from Loyola Law School. I was fortunate to work for the number two person in the D.A.’s office, so I worked on some fascinating but gruesome cases. This experience made me realize that I did not want to practice criminal law, so I decided to work in the private, corporate sector focusing on environmental and land use law. Over the course of several years, I worked in small boutique firms in San Diego and the Bay Area, where I represented developers, businesses and school districts, and then at a mid-sized firm in San Francisco, where I specialized in environmental and land use law. When I moved back to Los Angeles, I practiced primarily environmental law, representing Fortune 500 Companies and public agencies.
For over 15 years, I have worked in my family’s residential development and construction business, Bade Construction Co., Inc., where I have put my law background to good use. When I started, my father and brother were alive, and we all worked together. They passed away many years ago, so I have been running the business for almost 10 years.
Do you have time for involvement in activities outside of work?
I have been involved over the years in several volunteer or philanthropic activities, including organizing alumni events for Loyola Law School in the San Diego area, serving as a board member of The Sherman Oaks Nursery School, participating as a Brownie and Girl Scout Troop leader for five years, serving as the President of the Patricia A. and Milton C. Bade Foundation and working with the Muscular Dystrophy Association in organizing the Bade Memorial Charity Golf Tournament, which is in its 11th year.
What work-family-children issues are you personally concerned with?
I left the legal profession so that I could have more balance in my life. I was very unhappy practicing law after I had my child, Caroline (now 17 years old), because I had very little control over my work schedule. My life as a lawyer was not compatible with being the mother I wanted to be. Although running a business is not easy and can be overwhelming at times, I have control over my schedule and it has provided me with the flexibility I needed to raise my daughter. I am very fortunate also to have a husband (CMC alumnus Norman S. Hull ‘85) who equally shares the responsibilities and duties of raising our daughter and taking care of things at home. I find that my husband is unusual among my friends and colleagues. My husband and I started out on an equal footing, and this has continued for over 30 years of being together. It is what we expected from each other in our relationship. My mother, who lives nearby and with whom I work, has been extremely helpful over the years, as well.
What interested you in becoming a board member of the Berger Institute?
As a business woman, mother and wife, I have experienced the challenges women face while having a demanding career and raising a family. I hope to share these experiences and learn from others as a board member. I also look forward to working with students involved in the Berger Institute and serving as a mentor to them and to others at CMC.