Susan brings over twenty-five years of experience in school law, employment law, construction law, and litigation to Chamberlain♦McHaney. She currently represents employers, school districts, and other governmental entities on all kinds of employment disputes, protection of business assets, enforcement of non-compete agreements, disability accommodations, and other matters before the TEA, TWC, EEOC, and state and federal courts. She also assists public and private schools with governance and accreditation, harassment and misconduct investigations, school board training courses, school district police departments, grievances, student discipline, special education, open meetings and public information, and other issues unique to educational institutions.
Susan ran a statewide private practice representing public entities and employers from 1985-2009. She is an experienced harassment prevention trainer and investigator as well as an expert in religious rights, free speech, special education, and constitutional law matters.
Susan is a former Assistant General Counsel for the Texas Education Agency and a former administrative law judge. She trained other administrative law judges for twenty state agencies through the University of Texas Hearing Officer Certification Program, which she developed.
Honors and Activities:
2015 Outstanding Achievement Award, Travis County Women’s Bar Association and Foundation; 2012-2016 Tier One Education Law designation by U.S. News and World Report; Former District 9 State Bar Grievance Committee Member (served two terms); Former City of Austin Ethics Review Commission Member; Former Chair of the Travis County Fee Dispute Committee; Congress for New Urbanism, Co-Founder of Austin Chapter; Mueller Airport Redevelopment Advisory Board; Outstanding Service from Texas Secretary of State for “Vote ’90 Everyone Matters”; Past President of Austin Kiwanis Club.
State Bar of Texas; Federal Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals; Federal Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals; U.S. Supreme Court; U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Eastern and Western Districts of Texas.
University of Texas at Austin (B.A., 1980); Baylor University School of Law (J.D., 1983).
Susan devoted several years to Del Valle ISD Adopt-A-School activities before expanding her attention to Communities in Schools, the leading drop-out prevention program in Central Texas serving over 60 campuses in six school districts. As a CIS Past Board President and member of the Leadership Circle, Susan helps fundraise and advocate for homeless and struggling students to receive services in order to “Stay in School” and graduate. Last year, 98% of the students intensively served by CIS completed the school year. 89% were promoted to the next grade and over 86% improved grades, attendance or behavior. But many more need such services. To volunteer or donate, go to www.cisaustin.org.
Susan is also a fan of the League of Women Voters and served on the Austin Area Board as editor of the Voters’ Guide and membership co-chair, increasing members by 6% in two years. From 1979 to 1983, Susan worked with the League to get the constitutional amendment passed allowing for garnishment of wages for child support—legislation that had been attempted every session since 1958 finally passed and became law in 1983. She now focuses on public education and voter registration issues, and fundraises for voter education and registration on the League of Women Voters-Texas State Board. Men and women are invited to join! Visit www.lvw-tx.org for more information.