Robert J. Rathmell represents diverse Bay Area clients in the most challenging family law matters including domestic violence prevention, complex child custody and visitation disputes, domestic and international child relocation cases, parentage matters, spousal and child support litigation, property-related matters in divorce, and in settlement. Experienced and confident in court, Mr. Rathmell has robust family law trial experience in counties throughout Northern California, including San Francisco, San Mateo, Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, Marin, and Sonoma counties. Before joining SFLG, Mr. Rathmell had a law partnership in San Francisco and went on to work as senior counsel in family law at a San Francisco law firm. He holds a Juris Doctor degree from the UC College of Law, San Francisco and regularly participates in mentoring, presentations, and alumni events.

Before his career as an attorney, Robert worked as a music educator in liberal arts college, university, and community music school positions. Among his compositions, Poem and Reflections for guitar solo, won first prize in the 1994 Guitar Foundation of America International Set Piece Composition Competition and is published by Mel Bay Editiones Classicae. Robert continues to make music on weekends. He and his wife, Susan, enjoy outings with their Elkhound, Solveig.

Areas of Practice

  • 100% Family Law

Bar Admissions

  • California, 2009


  • J.D., 2008, UC College of Law, San Francisco
    • Fellow at Center for State and Local Government Law and Center for Work-Life Law at UC College of Law, San Francisco (2009)
    • Witkin Award for Academic Excellence (2007)
  • Ph.D. Composition, 1998, University of Minnesota
    • Doctoral Dissertation Fellow
  • M.M. Piano, 1991, San Francisco Conservatory of Music
    • Graduate class commencement speaker 1991
  • B.M. Piano 1988, Arizona State University
    • Magna cum laude


  • Presenter of “Marital Reimbursement Claims,” BASF (2018)
  • Outstanding Volunteer 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018, Justice and Diversity Center
  • Co-Author of “Caregivers as a Protected Class,” Center for WorkLife Law (2009), cited numerously in law journals.

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Association of Family and Conciliation Courts
  • Bar Association of San Francisco
  • San Mateo County Bar Association