Susan N. Smelcer, PhD
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Susan Smelcer is an antitrust associate in the firm's Washington, DC office. Her practice focuses on antitrust litigation, government investigations and mergers. She has advised and represented clients in many sectors, including healthcare, agriculture, automotive, and IT. Susan additionally maintains an active pro bono practice focused on issues affecting children.

She received her JD from New York University School of Law, where she was Senior Online Editor of the New York University Law Review and attended as a Furman Academic Scholar. During law school, Susan served as a law clerk at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and was a research assistant. She received her PhD and MA in Political Science from Emory University. During her doctoral candidacy at Emory, Susan was an Analyst on the Federal Judiciary at the Congressional Research Service in the Library of Congress.

Susan has published several legal and political articles, working papers and original Congressional Research Service reports. Susan’s most recent work, Anticompetitive Use of Administrative Trials in Bargaining Over Patent Rights, was published in the New York University Law Review in December 2016.

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  • In February of 2018, Axinn was nominated for Global Competition Review “Litigation of the Year – Cartel Defence” for its work on behalf of Nishikawa Rubber Company in the Auto Parts litigation.  This award recognizes “creative, strategic and innovative litigation on behalf of a defendant in a private action for cartel damages.”
  • Furman Academic Scholar, 2013–2016
  • Vanderbilt Medal for Outstanding Service to the NYU School of Law
  • Betty Bock Prize in Competition Policy (awarded to the student for most outstanding paper in the field of antitrust law and policy)
  • Law and Economics Prize (awarded for excellence in the area of law and economics)

Thought Leadership

  • Divide & Concur: Separate Opinions and Legal Change, 103 CORNELL L. REV. 817 (2018) (with Thomas B. Bennett, Barry Friedman & Andrew D. Martin).
  • Compliance Programs and Leniency Applications in Asian Jurisdictions, Cartel & Criminal Practice Committee Newsletter, Fall 2017
  • Note, Anticompetitive Use of Administrative Trials in Bargaining Over Patent Rights, 91 N.Y.U. L. REV. 1719 (2016).

    Where One Sits Affects Where Others Stand: Bias, the Bar, and Nominees to Federal District Courts, 98 JUDICATURE 35–45 (2015) (with Amy L. Steigerwalt & Richard L. Vining).

    Communicating in 140 Characters or Less: Congressional Adoption of Twitter in the 111th Congress, 46 PS: POL. SCI. & POLITICS 60–66 (2013) (with Jacob R. Straus, Matthew Eric Glassman & Colleen J. Shogan).

    Bias and the Bar: Evaluating the ABA Ratings of Federal Judicial Nominees, 65 POL. RES. Q. 827–40 (2012) (with Amy L. Steigerwalt & Richard L. Vining).

    Research Note: Judicial Tenure on the U.S. Supreme Court, 1789–1868: Frustration, Resignation, and Expiration on the Bench, 20 STUD. AM. POL. DEV. 198–210 (2006) (with Richard L. Vining & Christopher J. Zorn).

    Working Paper
    “Missing Data in Merger Analysis,” Presented at the March 23, 2016 session of the Furman Scholars Seminar (supervised by Prof. Scott Hemphill).


  • JD – New York University School of Law (2016)
  • PhD – Emory University (2015)
  • MA – Emory University (2008)
  • BA, with distinction and highest honors – University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2003)


  • District of Columbia