One Team.

Making your mission ours.

We place a strong emphasis on teamwork, which enables us to leverage the breadth and depth of knowledge of all our attorneys, paralegals, and staff.

Susan E. Nicholas

Partner, Champaign Office

ph: 217-363-3040

Susan E. Nicholas

Susan E. Nicholas focuses her practice on serving employers, educational entities, municipalities, and other public bodies in all aspects of labor and employment law and general student matters.   

What Susan enjoys most about her professional life is the peripheral but pivotal role she plays in aiding elected officials in their service to the public. She values the opportunity to guide these officials as they navigate the complexities of their positions, ultimately serving the needs and interests of their communities. Her commitment to upholding the law is matched only by her dedication to helping public officials fulfill their roles effectively.

Susan’s strength as an attorney lies in her exceptional listening skills. She believes in striking a delicate balance between her clients’ objectives and legally sound solutions. She recognizes that different communities have unique priorities, resources, and requirements. Her goal is to harmonize these various interests effectively, ensuring that the legal solutions she provides address the specific needs of each community.

Susan is the former President and Treasurer of the Decatur Bar Association’s Executive Board. She also served as a Macon County Teen Court Moderator.

Prior to joining Robbins Schwartz, Susan practiced in a variety of areas including family law, criminal defense, estate planning, and civil litigation. Susan is also a former Assistant State’s Attorney in the Macon County State’s Attorney Office, which allowed her to make a positive impact on her community by upholding the principles of justice.

Susan’s upbringing in the diverse landscapes of Illinois, from the Chicago suburbs to central Illinois, and her legal education in the southern part of the state, exposed her to the stark differences in how various communities approach their problems and concerns. She learned that there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to addressing the complexities of diverse communities. This insight is particularly valuable in her role, as she represents public bodies that are the voices of these distinct community residents.

Beyond her impressive legal career and dedication to public service, Susan has a love for the great outdoors. This is a testament to her well-rounded and adventurous spirit, and it’s a testament to her capacity to balance her legal acumen with a passion for nature and exploration.


  • Illinois “Emerging Lawyer” by Emerging Lawyers Magazine (2015)
  • Rising Stars, Super Lawyers


  • J.D., magna cum laude, Southern Illinois University School of Law
  • B.A., Illinois Wesleyan University

Admitted to Practice

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • Supreme Court of Illinois
  • Supreme Court of Missouri


  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Illinois Council of School Attorneys
  • Decatur Bar Association

Recent Publications

  • Contributing author, “Employment Discrimination,” Illinois School Law, IICLE (2010, 2014, and 2020)