About Our Legal Team
Maria Ximena Sussman
-Managing Attorney and Owner
Maria Ximena Sussman received her B.S. in Political Science and Criminal Justice in 2004 from East Carolina University. In 2007, she pursued an MBA with emphasis in Accounting at Winthrop University. After working as a litigation certified paralegal for two prominent law firms in Charlotte, she decided to fulfill one of her childhood dreams and joined the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department as a police officer. After spending some years on patrol, she decided to fulfill another childhood dream, which was to one day become a lawyer.
Maria began her studies at Charlotte School of Law and after graduating law school in 2014, she was admitted to the North Carolina Bar and the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina. Given her entrepreneurial spirit, she founded Sussman Law Firm, PLLC in 2015. Her affiliations include the North Carolina State Bar, North Carolina State Bar Association and Mecklenburg County Bar. She is a mentor as part of Mecklenburg County Bar’s Linking Lawyers Program. In addition, she is a North Carolina Notary Public and a proud member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.
A native of Guatemala, Maria is fluent in English and Spanish. She came to the United States as a child and she has called the Queen City her home ever since. Maria’s love for helping people is evident in her background in public service and is also felt by every client in need. Maria is married, has three children, and attends Carmel Baptist Church. She enjoys reading and spending time with family and friends.
Lauren E. R. Watkins was born and raised in West Columbia, SC. She received her B.A. in Business Administration from Columbia College. She moved to Charlotte in August of 2012 to attend law school. Lauren graduated from Charlotte School of Law in 2015 and was admitted to the North Carolina Bar that same year. Lauren is a current member of the North Carolina State Bar and the Mecklenburg County Bar Association.
Lauren has always had a passion for serving the underserved and hopes to bring that passion to Sussman Law Firm. She brings enthusiasm to the courtroom and fights vigorously for her clients.
Lauren is married, has a small boy, and attends Mosaic Church. She enjoys spending time with her family and indulging in her husband’s comic book interests.
-Paralegal and Internship Program Coordinator
Jessica Valenzuela was born in Mexico and came to the United States as a child. She was raised in Charlotte, North Carolina and loves the Queen City! Jessica attended Central Piedmont Community College, where she pursued an Associate degree in the Arts, as well as Certifications in QuickBooks. She has years of experience working in the legal field and is a North Carolina Notary Public. Jessica makes every client her top priority and her smile makes everyone feel welcomed and comfortable.
Jessica is married and is a Jehovah’s Witness. In her free time, Jessica loves photography, teaching others about the Bible, and traveling with her beloved husband.
Jasmin Rivera was raised in Tampa, Florida by her Puerto Rican parents. Jasmin attended Gulf Coast College, where she received an Associates of Science in Medical Assisting. She worked as a medical assistant in the Tampa area for eight years. She moved to the Charlotte in 2015 to help her former youth pastors open a bilingual church. Jasmin is excited to begin her career in the legal field, where she can continue to reach and help people in a different way. Her easy going spirit and passion for people are evident day after day.
Jasmin is married to a firefighter and has three small children. She is active in her church and in community outreach. In her free time she loves spending time with her family, hiking and sight seeing the beautiful views of North Carolina.
Lizeth Gomez was born in Mexico and at the age of four, she was brought to the United States to pursue the American dream. Lizeth graduated from Porter Ridge High school in 2016. Lizeth is very passionate about the law and wants to pursue a career as a paralegal. Therefore, every day she comes to Sussman Law Firm, PLLC eager to learn and help clients.
Lizeth enjoys giving back to the community. On her days off, she volunteers her time to local government events. Lizeth enjoys helping others and has a special place in her heart for the Hispanic community. Lizeth loves to explore and travel through North Carolina. She loves animals and spending time with family and friends.