Insight

Gordon Lewis, Phoenix "Lawyer of the Year" for Education Law 2017

Jones, Skelton & Hochuli’s Gordon Lewis on doing what is best for both teachers and students.

"LOTY": Gordon Lewis
NB

Natt Barr

November 15, 2016 12:00 AM

As a partner in Jones Skelton & Hochuli’s Employment Law Section, Gordon Lewis works often with educational institutions—particularly K–12 schools—on employment matters that involve teachers. Lewis notes that it is rewarding to work for schools, as they almost always have their hearts in the right place when it comes to doing what is best for both teachers and students.

“School employees have due process rights, and there are procedures that must be followed if you are going to discipline or terminate a teacher. Schools, and all employers, must also adhere to the state and federal laws that protect people from discrimination by virtue of their membership in a protected class. I most commonly work with districts on these issues, and they take both the rights of their employees and their responsibility to their students very seriously. I am certainly gratified to be able to help districts in circumstances where there may be people who should not be around children or teaching children. I’ve also recently been working with my clients on transgender employee and transgender student issues, and making sure that those employees and students are honored and respected in the educational setting.”

Lewis became a lawyer after the bottom fell out of the financial market in 1988–1989. He studied economics at Pomona College in California, graduating in 1987, and became a banker in California. After moving to Arizona to be with soon-to-be wife, Kara Stuart Lewis, as she embarked on medical school, he couldn’t find a banking job, so he applied to the University of Arizona Law School and got in.

Mr. Lewis is a member of the board of directors and an executive committee member of the Girl Scouts of Arizona’s Cactus PineCouncil and has long been involved in pro bono service efforts in the Phoenix community, including past board membership with Community Legal Services, which provides direct legal services to the poor in family law, domestic violence, housing, and other critical areas of need. Lewis currently volunteers his time with the Morris Center for Justice, which addresses legal issues for the poor on a more systemic basis through collective actions and agency and legislative efforts. He has been listed among The Best Lawyers in America for education law, labor and employment litigation, and employment law – management since 2007.

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