“Knowledgeable, compassionate, trustworthy and skilled negotiator”
Susan Shulenberger has been practicing law in Washington State since 1982. Like other lawyers practicing with Integrative Family Law, she believes that the traditional dissolution practice focuses on short-term results and can damage long-term relationships.
Susan works to help clients avoid unnecessary conflict in divorce and other family law matters and focus on their long-term well-being. Susan began her career with a solid foundation in business law at leading Seattle law firms. Since 1998, she has focused her practice on complex family law in Seattle and King County. With this potent combination of both family and commercial law experience, Susan is highly skilled at representing high net worth individuals in family law matters.
Cases involving assets such as real estate, stock options, professional practices, ownership interests in varying legal entities, and ongoing management of closely held businesses can often raise complex valuation and distribution issues. Susan has successfully represented clients with as much as $1 billion in assets at issue. She is viewed by her clients and peers not only as an astute and formidable family law attorney, but as an exceptional communicator.
Susan is also a leader within the legal community, where she is involved in monitoring ethical issues in the practice of law. Susan is recognized as an AV Rated “Preeminent” attorney by Martindale-Hubbell (2015-2017) and awarded the rating of Superlawyer (2015-2017), which is given to less than 5% of all lawyers in Washington State.
- Peer and client review rated AV Preeminent® by Martindale-Hubbell® 2013- 2017
- Top Rated by Super Lawyers® 2015, 2016, 2017
- 10 out of 10 AVVO rating
“Susan and I met quite a while ago. And while that hints at the arduous process my divorce became, she was there, helping me understand, guiding me through the legal process, but also bringing experience to bear in relationships and breakups. Its a tough time regardless, particularly when the behavior of your former spouse is hard to interpret. Susan was there. Constant consideration not just of the divorce, but of future ongoing relationships, what it take to get this behind you, but not at the cost of your dignity, fatherhood, or an untenable financial situation. Susan is always thinking a few steps ahead. When nothing seems to make sense in an ambiguous and emotionally driven world, Susan provides clarity, reason, and calm. Oh and she is sharp as hell on settlements and getting a deal that works. Works for both parties, I should say. While my case ended up at trial and that was the last resort anyone wanted to pursue, I knew exactly what was going on, why trial was the solution, and have no regrets every step of the way. Things became more complex than anyone expected or wanted. But I knew why these steps were being taken, and felt comfort and pride in that, which is weird to say given the circumstance. We had a great rapport from the beginning, she was a friend and confidant beyond my attorney. She showed passion, was conscientious of what I was going through, and patient. We ended up in court because we wanted to, given the circumstances dealt. I regret none of it, even if I never anticipated that. The outcome was better than I hoped for. I received more than I asked, and I could not be happier. We went through the process. Susan did things the right way. I never felt ill prepared nor did I worry that what actions opposing counsel might pursue, because we were organized and thoughtful every step. Susan was and is tremendous. She’s my trusted legal advisor, but she’s also a friend who believed in me. Words can’t describe what Susan did for me, my kids, and my family. I’d recommend her to anyone.” – Anon.
“Sometimes, you need someone in your court who understands you and not just the terrible process you may be going through or the mess you feel your life has become. My experience with Susan over these past months (nearly a year now) has proven to me how incredibly important it is to have an advocate who is there for me while working diligently and proactively on my behalf.
“Not only is she expertly versed in the law, deeply knowledgeable, grounded in real life, and committed to workable, realistic solutions, but what makes her stand out is how personable and accessible she is. Susan is compassionate, understanding, available, and pays attention to what is happening with me. Sure, she had to talk me off the proverbial ledge every now and then, but she demonstrated great empathy and wisdom along the way. When she needs to be, Susan is focused, fierce and assertive in her advocacy and all of those important things that lawyers do to help you achieve the best possible outcome in the midst of something as unbelievably difficult as a divorce (with a child involved).”
“Susan is an excellent lawyer who has all the requsite skill and background to practice at the highest levels of her field. She understands the law (both where it is and how it’s developing), she knows the other lawyers in her field and has good working relationships with them, she is well respected by judges and expert witnesses. She has excellent skills at client relationships and is a good listener, which enables her to build rapport even with highly emotional clients.”
“When someone says that divorce is financially one of the worst things that can happen at mid-life, it is true. But Susan was able to help me achieve an outcome I could live with, and protect me from agreeing to impossible terms. I am deeply grateful that she has been there for me through this difficult time in my life. I cannot imagine anyone better.” – Recent Client, Seattle.
- JD., University of Puget Sound (now Seattle University), cum laude
- BA., University of Washington
- Member, Washington State Bar Association (WSBA), Since 1982
- Member, King County Bar Association (KCBA), Family Law Section
- Member, International Academy of Collaborative Professionals
- Member, King County Collaborative Law
- 2014-present WSBA Adjunct Disciplinary Counsel, Panel Member 2013-2014, WSBA Committee on Professional Ethics, Alternate
- 2008-2012, WSBA Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection Committee, Chair
- 2007-2010, WSBA Rules of Professional Conduct Committee
- 2007-2010, KCBA Judicial Recommendation Committee
- 2007-2009, KCBA Gender Equality in Law Committee
- 2003-2009, WSBA Character and Fitness Board, Chair 2007-2009
- 2003-2005, WSBA Professionalism Committee
- Presenter, “Challenges and Strategies for Fostering Civility in our Practice,” The Civility Promise: The Foundations of Civility In the Legal Profession, Robert’s Fund (Seattle, 2014)
- Presenter, “Divorce Litigation, Start to Finish, National Business Institute CLE (Seattle, 2011)
- Contributing author and editor, “Use of Professionals in Family Law Litigation,” Washington Family Law Desk Book 2012 Cumulative Supplement, (December 2011)
- Presenter, “Dissolution Procedure Updates” at National Business Institute CLE, Current Events for Family Lawyers: Legislative and Case Law Update (June, 2010)
- Presenter, “Conflicts of Interests” and “Moral Turpitude and Offensive Personalities” at Washington State Bar Association CLE, Family Law Ethics: Avoiding the Web of Ethical Pitfalls (September 2009)