Lisa Spencer

Attorney, Shareholder
(612) 252-2875 LinkedInPdf print

“It is a tremendous honor being voted the 2018 Minneapolis Lawyer of the Year in family law. I am proud to be recognized as an effective advocate who has earned the respect of my peers. My commitment to professionalism, integrity, and diligence through serving my clients and the profession is unwavering.”

People are often anxious and distraught as they anticipate the end of a relationship. My role is to be objective and provide skillful legal counsel through what can be a difficult transition. I care about your long-term needs and will do my best to safeguard your best interests with purposeful and compassionate guidance.

I represent a wide range of high-net-worth clients including business executives, professional athletes, and entertainers. A long-standing member of the firm’s management committee with 18 years of family law experience, I bring strategic knowhow to cases involving complex financial issues, including:

  • business valuations
  • tax implications
  • executive compensation
  • intellectual property
  • non-marital property

My primary focus is on settlement; very few cases cannot settle on reasonable terms, but they require a skilled negotiator. Combining business savvy with my extensive knowledge of family law and tax matters, I am able to deftly develop creative settlement solutions in quick-paced negotiations. As a recognized leader in alternative dispute resolution (ADR), I strive to get you there. If that proves unattainable, I will zealously and strategically advocate for you in court.

In addition to counsel during a marriage dissolution, my clients depend on me to craft premarital and postnuptial agreements. I am forward-looking and will work with you to create a legal contract that protects your premarital assets and will meet your long-term needs.

Last but not least, I strive to help you minimize the impact of divorce on your family. If young children are involved, I will help tailor a parenting plan that meets your needs and the needs of your children.

Mary Petersen
(612) 252-2834

  • J.D., magna cum laude, William Mitchell College of Law, 2001
  • B.S., University of Minnesota, 1989
  • Minnesota
  • United States District Court for the District of Minnesota
  • Named 2018 Minneapolis Family Law Lawyer of the Year, Best Lawyers in America® (honoring a single lawyer in each specific practice and metropolitan area)
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America® 2015–2019, Family Law
  • Selected for inclusion in Top 50: Women Minnesota Super Lawyers®, 2014–2018
  • Selected for inclusion in Top 100: Minnesota Super Lawyers®, 2014–2018
  • Selected for inclusion in Minnesota Super Lawyers®, 2012–2018
  • Selected for inclusion in Minnesota Super Lawyers–Rising Stars®, 2005–2011
  • Executive Editor, William Mitchell Law Review
  • Harry S. Sieben Award for Academic Excellence
  • AV® Preeminent peer review rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • 4th District Bar Association's Ethics Committee Chair, 2018-present; Co-Chair, 2016-2018; investigative member, 2007–2016
  • Fellow, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
  • Co-Chair AAML Minnesota Chapter Divorce Camp, 2016-2018 (an annual continuing education conference helping shape legislative changes in family law).
  • Minnesota State Bar Association, Family Law and Alternative Dispute Resolution sections
  • Hennepin County Bar Association, Family Law Section, Executive Committee Co-Chair 2009–2011; Officer 2007–2009
  • Minnesota State Bar Association, Task Force on the Rights of Unmarried Couples, Family Law Section Subcommittee Chair, 2009
  • Minnesota State Bar Association, Diversity Committee Member, 2010–2012
  • Hennepin County Unbundled Services Steering Committee 2012–Present
  • Adjunct faculty member, Hamline University School of Law
  • Guest lecturer, University of St. Thomas School of Law
  • Co-Author, “Spousal Maintenance,” Family Law Financial Deskbook, May 2018
  • Featured in "Where Intellect and Civility are Key," Attorney at Law Magazine - Women in Law Special Issue, November 2014
  • Co-Author, "Waiver of Retirement Benefits in Antenuptial & Postnuptial Agreements," Minnesota Lawyer, September 2013
  • Co-Author, “Confronting Ethical Issues in Practice: The Trial Lawyer’s Dilemma,” ABA’s Family Law Quarterly, 2011 Spring Edition
  • Co-Author, “Effective Representation in High Net-Worth and High Conflict Cases,” The Hennepin Lawyer, May 2010
  • Author, “Protecting Your Assets: What You Need To Know About Premarital Agreements,” Minnesota Business, February 2008
  • Author, “Before Tying Knot, How to Protect Your Business,” Upsize Magazine, November 2007
  • Guest Speaker, AAML Divorce Camp, “The Antenuptial Agreement Statute - What is it Good For?,” October 2017
  • Guest Speaker, Family Law Institute, “Common Ethical Traps for the Family Law Attorney” and “General Tax Issues in Family Law,” March 2014
  • Guest Speaker, AAML Divorce Camp, “Effective Discovery,” September 2013
  • Guest Speaker, Probate and Trust Law Institute, “DDT: Divorce, Death, and Taxes,” June 2013
  • Guest Speaker, “Handling Your First Minnesota Divorce Case,” June 2013
  • Guest Speaker, AAML Divorce Day Camp, “Practical and Ethical Considerations for Limited Scope Representation,” May 2013
  • Guest Speaker, Family Law Institute, “Debt Allocation,” March 2013
  • Guest Speaker, Fox 9 Morning News, “Premarital Agreements,” December 2010
  • Guest Speaker, Fox 9 Morning News, “Premarital Agreements,” July 2008
  • Guest Speaker, Mondale & Jones Show on WCCO-AM, “Premarital Agreements,” June 2008