A. Craig Cleland

A. Craig Cleland

Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.

Recognized since 2007

Atlanta, Georgia

Practice Areas

Employment Law - Management

Litigation - Labor and Employment

Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2023 - Employment Law - Management
Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2023 - Employment Law - Management Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2020 - Employment Law - Management Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2014 - Litigation - Labor and Employment
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Craig Cleland defends employers in litigation—including in class actions—and counsels them on compliance and risk management. He is also Co-Chair of the Firm’s Class Action Practice Group. Craig has served on several Atlanta-area nonprofit boards, including as chair. He is currently on the Advisory Committee for the Atlanta Legal Aid Society as well as on the Board of the Atlanta Bar Labor and Employment Section. Craig is also named in Best Lawyers in America, Atlanta Magazine’s “Super Lawyers,” Georgia Trend’s “Legal Elite,” and Chambers USA’s Leading Business Lawyers. He is a contributor to the new editions of Black’s Law Dictionary and Garner’s Modern American Usage and a chapter editor and contributor to Lindemann & Grossman’s Employment Discrimination Law. He also teaches Employment Discrimination Law as an Adjunct Professor at Georgia State University College of Law. Recently, Craig was recognized as a BTI Client Service All-Star, one of 165 lawyers in the U.S. who “combine exceptional legal expertise with practical advice, business savvy and creative, effective solutions.” During law school, Craig was the Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review and winner of the McKenzie-McPhail Moot Court Competition. After graduating, he clerked for U.S. District Court Judge Marvin H. Shoob in Atlanta and then practiced at Paul Hastings before joining Ogletree Deakins. He has also completed the Harvard Law School Mediation Program and from time to time serves as a mediator.


  • One Ninety One Peachtree Tower, Suite 4800
    191 Peachtree Street, NE
    Atlanta, GA 30303


  • Georgia State University, J.D., graduated 1992
  • Yale University, S. T. M., graduated 1983
  • Vanderbilt University, M.Div, graduated 1981
  • Valdosta State University, BA, graduated 1978

Bar Admissions

  • Georgia, State Bar of Georgia


  • All Saints’ Episcopal Church - Past Vestry Member
  • American Employment Law Counsel - Member
  • Atlanta Bar Association - Member
  • Atlanta Legal Aid Society - Advisory Committee
  • Care & Counseling Centers of Georgia - Past Board Chair
  • Federal Bar Association - Member
  • Georgia State University Law Review - Editor- in-Chief
  • Omicron Delta Kappa - Member
  • Phi Kappa Phi - Member

Federal Clerkships

  • United States District Court

Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2023 - Employment Law - Management Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2020 - Employment Law - Management Lawyer of the Year Badge - 2014 - Litigation - Labor and Employment

Named "Lawyer of the Year" by Best Lawyers® for:

  • Employment Law - Management, Atlanta (2023)
  • Employment Law - Management, Atlanta (2020)
  • Litigation - Labor and Employment, Atlanta (2014)

Recognized in The Best Lawyers® in America 2023 for work in:

  • Employment Law - Management
  • Litigation - Labor and Employment

Special Focus

  • Class Actions
  • Discrimination
  • Harassment
  • Management
  • Title VII Litigation


  • American Jurispridence Awards - Property, Jurisprudence, Business Tax
  • Best Oralist & Runner-Up Best Best Brief - McKenzie-McPhail Moot Court Competition
  • Chambers USA Leading Business Lawyers
  • Atlanta Magazine’s “Super Lawyers”
  • Georgia Trend’s “Legal Elite”
  • BTI Client Service All-Star


  • Defending numerous Fortune and smaller employers from a wide range of industries in employment-discrimination, wage-and-hour, benefits, and RICO cases—including in class and collective actions
  • Serving as trial counsel in multiple single-plaintiff cases and arbitrations and in a class action
  • Advocating on behalf of employers in appellate arguments in federal and state appellate courts on key employment issues

Other Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth, Eighth, and Eleventh Circuits
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Court, Middle, Northern and Southern Districts of Georgia

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