A prominent family law practitioner known for managing the “tough stuff” in divorce and related parenting cases, Susan C. Rhode uses her legal leadership to smooth and resolve the transitional challenges that many of her clients experience. She has represented clients in several of Minnesota’s leading cases concerning nonmarital property, spousal maintenance, and premarital agreements.

A four-time selectee of The Best Lawyers in Americas “Lawyer of the Year” honor in the area of family law in Minneapolis, Susan also works extensively as a mediator, consensual special magistrate, arbitrator, neutral evaluator, and parenting coordinator. The well-being of children in divorce is an area of particular care and concern for Susan, a reflection of her prior experience as an educator and her commitment to children’s issues.

Working beyond traditional family law counsel, Susan not only represents clients in alternative dispute resolution (ADR) forums, but also manages and facilitates the ADR process for other counsel and their clients.



Hamline University School of Law, J.D.

University of North Dakota, M.A., Speech/Theater

University of North Dakota, B.S., Education

Classes / Seminars Taught

  • Speaking, Teaching, and Writing: In her frequent articles and presentations before law schools, the bar and bench, and professional associations, Susan addresses topical issues ranging from ethics to spousal support strategies and family advocacy.
  • Minnesota Family Law Financial Deskbook, 3rd Edition – Chapter 2: Spousal Maintenance (updated 05.22)
  • Ethics in Family Law presentation: 03.15.21
  • Parenting Time Expediting and Parenting Consulting Trainer: 02.23.21-02.26.21
  • The Complete Family Lawyer: 01.27.2020
  • Family Law Series: Spousal Maintenance Challenges in the High Income/Net Worth Divorce
    Minnesota CLE Live Webcast: 11.24.2015
  • The Complete Family Law Lawyer: Spousal Maintenance chapter
    The Complete Family Lawyer Minnesota CLE Live Seminar
    Minnesota CLE Conference Center, 600 Nicollet Mall # 370 3rd Floor, City Center Minneapolis, MN 55402: 11.18.2015
  • Family Law Series: The Family Mediator's Best Practice Toolbox
    Minnesota CLE Family Law Series: 11.05.2015
  • “Zealous” or “Unethical”? – A Practical Session for the Well-Intentioned Attorney
    Minnesota CLE Video Replay of "Ethics: Balancing Your Zealous-Advocate Brain with the Ethics Rules" Seminar
    Minnesota CLE Conference Center, 600 Nicollet Mall # 370 3rd Floor, City Center Minneapolis, MN 55402: 06.18.2015
  • "Zealous” or “Unethical”? – A Practical Session for the Well-Intentioned Attorney
    Minnesota CLE Live Seminar "Ethics: Balancing Your Zealous-Advocate Brain with the Ethics Rules,"
    Minnesota CLE Conference Center 600 Nicollet Mall # 370 3rd Floor, City Center Minneapolis, MN 55402: 02.10.2015
  • “What Do You Do When You Get An Ethics Complaint?,” MNCLE Webcast: 04.13
  • "Creative Uses of Vocational Evaluations in Practice," HCBA: 02.13
  • Family Law 50 (Spousal Maintenance): 11.12
    Family Law Institute: 03.13
  • New Rules of Family Court:
    HCBA: 04.12 and 09.12
    Family Law for the Judiciary: 05.12
    MSBA: 11.12
  • “Hard Truths: Helping Clients Hear What They Don’t Want to Hear”
    Family Law Webcast Month: 11.12
    Family Law Institute: 03.13
    Minnesota Paralegal Association): 08.13
  • Early Neutral Evaluations/Early Case Management – Webcast: 06.17.10
  • Practice, Problem Solving & Professionalism – Hamline University – 02.12, 02.13 and 02.14
  • “Update on ENE Initiatives Statewide,” 13TH Annual ADR Institute: 10.29.10
  • “Family Law Basics,” New Lawyer Experience - Webcast, 2007, 2009-2012, 2014
  • “Interactive Ethics: Put Yourself in the Hot Seat,” Panelist, 2009-2011
  • “Rule 114 Through the Lens of the ADR Board- Process Distinctions, Crafting Effective Orders, and Avoiding the Pitfalls of Appointment,” Family Law for the Minnesota Judiciary: 06.08.10
  • “Spousal Maintenance Strategies,” The Family Law Financial Deskbook and Seminar, 05.08, 05.10, 05.12, 05.13, 05.14
  • “The Rules of Family Court Procedure: Are They Changing?.” Minnesota Family Law Institute: 03.23.10
  • “Family Law: How Far Have We Really Come?” Minnesota Women Lawyers - Gender Fairness in the Courts - A 20 Year Retrospective: 10.27.09
  • “Child Support and Spousal Maintenance Issues in High Net Worth Divorces,” Minnesota Family Law Institute: 03.31.09
  • “Contested Motions and Trial Practice Tips,” Effective Marital Dissolution Practice: 02.12.09
  • “Rethinking Zealousness: A Fresh Look at Family Advocacy,” Adjunct Professor - William Mitchell College of Law, Summer 2008
  • “Sexual Abuse Allegations in Child Custody Cases”: 05.20.08
  • “Contested Motions and Trial Practice Tips,” Effective Marital Dissolution Practice: 02.13.07
  • “Walk the Line: Ethics and Professionalism in Family Law,” Family Law Institute: 03.30.06
  • “Trial Practice - Effective Motion Practice in Family Court,” Family Law Institute: 03.29.06
  • “Temporary Relief and Interim Matters,” Effective Marital Dissolution Practice: 02.09.06
  • “Spousal Maintenance – Making the Case for or Against It,” Family Law Institute: 03.29.04
  • “Issues in Family Law Appeals – What’s Appealable and When?,” Minnesota Institute of Legal Education: 09.24.03
  • “How to Settle the Family Law Case – Evaluating the Case: When Not to Litigate,” Family Law Institute: 03.31.03
  • “Premarital Agreements,” Family Law Institute: 03.19.01
  • Co-chair “Divorce Camp,” The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers-Minnesota Chapter: 2000-2013
  • “Spousal Maintenance Strategies,” The Family Law Financial Deskbook: 05.08


  • Family law mediation certified training, Mediation Center for Dispute Resolution, Hamline University (Aug. 1995)
  • Qualified neutral under Rule 114 of the Minnesota General Rules of Practice: Family Adjudicative, Family Facilitative/Hybrid, and Family Evaluative Rosters


  • Minnesota
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota

Honors & Recognitions

Minnesota Super Lawyers "Top 50 Women" and "Top 100" lists (2014-present)

Minnesota Super Lawyers "Top 10" list (2014-2019, 2022)

Minnesota Super Lawyers (2003-present)

The Best Lawyers in America (1995-present)

The Best Lawyers in America, “Lawyer of the Year,” Family Law, Minneapolis (2010, 2012, 2014)

The Best Lawyers in America, “Lawyer of the Year,” Family Law Mediation, Minneapolis (2013)

Hennepin County Bar Association, Professionalism Award (2006)

Recognition for Early Neutral Evaluation Statement Training Programs, Minnesota Judicial Council


  • French

News & Insights


Professional Associations

  • Professional Associations / Board Memberships
  • Mediator, Family Law Appellate Program (appointed by the Minnesota Court of Appeals)
  • Lawyers Board of Professional Conduct (2018-present); Vice Chair (2022-2023)
  • Member (2011-2013) and chairperson (2012), Minnesota ADR Ethics Board
  • Chairperson, Minnesota Supreme Court, Fourth Judicial District Ethics Committee (2010-2016)
  • Hennepin County Early Case Management and Early Neutral Evaluation Statewide Steering Committee (2004-2015)
  • Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, national and Minnesota chapters
  • American Bar Association
  • Minnesota State Bar Association
  • Minnesota Women Lawyers
  • Hennepin County Bar Association
  • Mitchell Hamline School of Law Board of Trustees (2015-present)

Community Involvement

  • Member, Courage Kenny Foundation (2013-2021)