Dr. Christopher Thomas thrives in empowering school and community leaders as a member of the Government Services Practice Group. As a former high school teacher who holds a Ph.D. in Educational Policy, Chris understands the complex legal and regulatory environment that public sector clients must navigate. Chris’s experiences uniquely position him to manage and anticipate the legal needs of school districts, colleges and universities, municipalities, state agencies, and other public entities. Both as a litigator and as general counsel, Chris works closely with school and community leaders to help them achieve their goals. His primary areas of practice include special education law, student discipline, civil rights, regulatory compliance, and public ethics. In addition, Chris has written scholarly articles, book chapters, and a book on issues in public education. He also regularly presents at regional and national conferences on education and legal topics, including at the Education Law Association’s annual conference and the Martha McCarthy Education Law & Policy Institute. Chris is passionate about leveraging his deep knowledge of public education law and policy to better serve his clients.
Prior to joining the firm, Chris taught as a licensed high school English teacher. After deciding to return to school, Chris graduated first in his class from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law while pursing both a J.D. and Ph.D. As part of his doctoral studies, Chris taught undergraduate courses on the ethics of teaching and the sociology of education. He also served as a graduate associate for Dr. T.K. Daniel where he assisted Dr. Daniel in his research and teaching, particularly around topics related to special education, school discipline, and educational equality. During his legal studies, Chris served as a managing editor of the Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law and learned valuable lessons from his externships at the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of the General Counsel and with Chief Judge R. Guy Cole of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Chris graduated with his Ph.D. in 2020, completing his doctoral dissertation on student and teacher protests.
The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, J.D., 2016, summa cum laude
The Ohio State University, Ph.D., Education Policy, 2020.
The Ohio State University, M.Ed., English Education, 2012
The Ohio State University, B.A., English, 2011
Marian Wright Edelman Award for Civic Engagement in Education, Office of Student Life, The Ohio State University, 2014
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