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Husch Blackwell LLP

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Chicago, IL

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Coming from a family of teachers, John knows that educators are dedicated to serving students and society. His lifelong passion for education underlies the insightful counsel he provides to colleges, universities and school districts.

For three decades, John has protected clients from risks and conflict and helped them make sound decisions to advance their mission. He responds quickly, and identifies and synthesizes core issues. His strong relationships with federal regulators and civil rights groups also benefit clients. John has a deep grasp of the practical, legal and policy issues facing not only schools and colleges but also other nonprofits and businesses in the education sector.

John helps clients navigate the complexities of federal and state constitutions, statutes and regulations. His experience covers a wide range of civil rights and educational funding issues, including Title VI, Title VII, Title IX, the Americans with Disabilities Act, voting rights, affirmative action and diversity.

John also provides a powerful voice in defense of education clients. A seasoned trial and appellate lawyer, he has argued appeals in the U.S. Supreme Court and in the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth and Eleventh Circuits. He has handled numerous agency investigations, including compliance reviews by and complaints to the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. He has defended various major class actions and litigated cases both in cooperation with and against the U.S. Department of Justice.


Academic Medicine, Appellate, Higher Education,K-12 Education, Labor & Employment, Litigation & Alternative Dispute Resolution, Nonprofit Organizations & Religious Institutions, Tax, Title IX

Benchmark Litigation, Local Litigation Star, 2022-2023
Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll, High Honors, 2020
Education Law Association, August Steinhilber Award for Best Brief Writing in the Appellate Courts, 2017
National Association for Educational Equity Award of Merit
Defender of Civil Liberties, ACLU Foundation
Paul Harris Fellow

J.D., Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law
Order of the Coif
B.A., University of Notre Dame

District of Columbia
U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
U.S. Supreme Court

Professional Memberships and Certifications:
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Board of Directors
American Bar Association
American Constitution Society
Education Law Association, President
Illinois Council of School Attorneys, Executive Committee
National Association of College and University Attorneys
National School Boards Association Council of School Attorneys

French, conversant