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Lisa M. Burleson


Lisa Burleson


Learn about Lisa

Lisa, a partner in Walter | Haverfield’s Education Law Group, has more than 20 years of in-depth experience in the areas of law that have immediate impact, direct value, and tangible benefit to public schools. Lisa’s areas of experience in practicing education law include labor negotiations, labor relations, arbitration, grievance processing, mediation, employee discipline, reductions in force, employee termination and appeals, Title IX/harassment/bullying/hazing complaints and investigations, student issues (including student discipline and appeals), student enrollment/open enrollment, transportation, student custody and tuition obligation issues, special education, due process, trial and civil litigation, subpoena enforcement, competitive bidding and selection processes, sale/purchase/lease of real property, public records, public audits, Sunshine Law, ethics, booster organizations, constitutional issues (both employee and student), and administrative law. She also has extesnive experience practicing before the Ohio Department of Education, Ohio Election Commission, local boards of revision, Ohio Department of Taxation, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights, State Employment Relations Board, and Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation and Ohio Industrial Commission.

Lisa is a frequent and regular presenter on a variety of education law topics for organizations throughout Ohio, including the Ohio School Boards Association, Buckeye Association of School Administrators, and the Midwest Regional Educational Service Center. Lisa also conducts customized trainings on a variety of education law topics for individual clients, including administrative team trainings, and school district staff trainings.

Putting public school district clients’ needs first is the cornerstone of Lisa’s practice. Lisa works tirelessly with school board members, school administrators, and members of school teams to solve the simple day-to-day challenges of running a public school and tackles and resolves the most complex challenges facing public schools in the current decade. With an eye on the big picture and respecting the culture of each public school district, Lisa strives to achieve the utmost in client satisfaction and peace of mind as a trusted confidant, a reliable and zealous advocate, and a well-versed resource.



  • Arbitration
  • Grievance processing
  • Labor-management committee facilitation
  • Labor negotiations
  • Labor relations
  • Mediation
  • Employment contracts
  • Employee evaluation
  • Employee discipline
  • Employee training/in-services
  • Employee nonrenewal
  • Employee Improvement Plans
  • Separation agreements
  • Termination
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
  • Ohio Auditor of State
  • Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation
  • Ohio Department of Education
  • Ohio Department of Taxation
  • Ohio Elections Commission
  • Ohio Ethics Commission
  • Ohio Industrial Commission
  • Ohio Unemployment Compensation
  • State Employment Relations Board
  • U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights
  • U.S. Department of Labor
  • Due process representation
  • IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Act) compliance
  • IDEA document review
  • IEP (Individualized Education Program) representation
  • Litigation
  • Mediation
  • State complaint representation
  • State progressive sanctions representation
  • State selective review representation
  • Board bylaw and policy
  • Board elections/appointments
  • Board levy process
  • Board training
  • Competitive bidding
  • Sunshine Law
  • Civil litigation
  • Open enrollment
  • Student attendance
  • Student custody and tuition
  • Student discipline
  • Shared services agreements
  • Title IX compliance


  • Member, Ohio State Bar Association
  • Member, Ohio State Bar Association’s Labor & Employment Law Section
  • Member, Columbus Bar Association
  • Member, Columbus Bar Association’s Admissions Committee
  • Member, Ohio Council of School Board Attorneys (via the Ohio School Boards Association)
  • Treasurer-Elect, Upper Arlington Schools, Jones Middle School PTO
  • President & Commissioner, Upper Arlington Civil Service Commission
  • Volunteer Coach, Upper Arlington Lacrosse Association Girls Recreation League
  • Volunteer, various activities at her children’s schools
  • Annual Volunteer Judge, Ohio High School Mock Trial Competition
  • Former Chair, Ohio State Bar Association’s Education Law Committee


Lisa presents to groups, organizations, individual school districts, and educational service centers about all facets of education law, including customized client requests, on the following topics/subjects:

  • Title IX
  • Bullying/Harassment/Discrimination
  • Collective Bargaining
  • IDEA/Section 504
  • School Support Organization/Compliance
  • Collective Bargaining
  • Student Dress Code
  • Constitutional Issues – Employee and Student
  • Staff Discipline
  • Staff Evaluation
  • Special Education
  • Student Attendance Laws
  • Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and Social Media
  • HIPAA and Other Compliance Issues
  • Custody, Enrollment and Parental Rights
  • Ohio Medical Marijuana Laws
  • Truancy Law and Attendance Compliance
  • Student Discipline
  • Employee Discipline and Investigations
  • Harassment Investigations
  • Sports Law
  • Recruiting, Interviewing and Hiring Basics


  • Ohio State Bar Association (OSBA)
  • OSBA Labor and Employment Law Section
  • Columbus Bar Association
  • Columbus Bar Association Admissions Committee
  • Ohio Council of School Board Attorneys
  • Past chair, Ohio State Bar Association’s Education Law Committee
  • President and Commissioner, Upper Arlington Civil Service Commission
  • Annual volunteer judge, Ohio High School Mock Trial Competition
  • Treasurer, Jones Middle School PTO
  • Volunteer, Lifecare Alliance – Meals on Wheels
  • Volunteer coach, Upper Arlington Lacrosse Association girls recreation league