Michelle Alcala

Michelle Alcala

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Phone: 512-637-4295
Location: Austin
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Michelle Alcala is a Senior Attorney at SL&A. Clients trust Michelle to counsel them on all Education Law matters, and she represents their interests in connection with litigation, including administrative hearings, court hearings, and other legal disputes.

Michelle focuses her practice on Employment Law, including counseling and representing employers in employment disputes such as wage and hour law, discrimination and contract claims, alleged violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and in general business disputes, including real estate, construction, intellectual property, personal injury, wrongful death, landlord-tenant, and due process litigation. She also conducts personnel training programs for clients, including on such topics as discipline and documentation, responding to grievances, managing leave issues, wage and hour laws, workplace investigations, reporting educator misconduct, preventing workplace harassment, and terminating the employment relationship.

Michelle has over fifteen years’ experience practicing law as a litigator for clients and has been Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization as a Labor and Employment Law specialist; out of 100,000 lawyers in Texas, only 7,300 are Board Certified lawyers. Michelle is an effective and assertive legal advocate and has found that, as an experienced litigator, she provides valuable counsel to clients on how to avoid litigation if possible. When litigation is unavoidable, Michelle has the skills and experience to represent her clients in all areas of the litigation process, including drafting and defending motions, pre-trial discovery and depositions, alternative dispute resolution such as mediation and arbitration, as well as representing clients in the courtroom and in front of judges and juries.

PRACTICE AREAS

  • Education Law
  • Labor and Employment Law
  • Special Education and 504 Due Process Hearings and Appeals
  • Litigation (including state and federal court, the Texas Education Agency, and the Texas State Office of Administrative Hearings)
  • Mediations and Arbitrations
  • Grievances involving civil rights and discrimination, due process issues, contracts and terminationsEconomic Development Act, Ch. 313 transactions
  • Whistleblower claims in state and federal court
  • Texas Open Meeting Act

EDUCATION

J.D., Harvard Law School, Cambridge, Massachusetts 2003
B.S., Summa Cum Laude, Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts, 2000
National Institute for Trial Advocacy, Building Trial Skills Course 2008

PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS & MEMBERSHIPS

School Law Section, State Bar of Texas
Employment Law Section, State Bar of Texas and Austin Bar Association
Litigation Section, State Bat of Texas
Texas Council of School Attorneys
American Bar Association

SEMINARS AND PRESENTATIONS

  • Education Service Center, Region 2 Personnel Services Symposium
  • Education Service Center, Region 6, Discipline and Documentation Training
  • TASA Midwinter Conference, Elections and Voting and Texas Educator Dos and Don’ts
  • Topics Covered in District Trainings:
    • Handling Sensitive Employment Investigations
    • Preparing to Make Employment Decisions
    • Effective Performance Documentation
    • Workplace Investigations and the Reporting of Educator Misconduct
    • Taking Adverse Employment Action and Terminating Employment Relationship
    • Preventing Workplace Harassment

HONORS

Board Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Labor and Employment Law
Served as President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer for the Austin Bar Association Labor and Employment Law Section
Austin Under 40 Award Finalist, Legal
Repeatedly designated as a “Rising Star” in litigation published by Texas Monthly Magazine
Recognized for over ten years as a Texas “Super Lawyer” published by Texas Monthly Magazine
Suzanne Covington Pro Bono Service Award for service with Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas

BAR ADMISSIONS

State Bar of Texas

COURT ADMISSIONS

U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas
U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas
Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals

CIVIC & COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

Board Member, Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Advisory Board Member, Hispanic Scholarship Consortium
Board Member, Launch Pad
Volunteer Legal Services volunteer
Board Member, Junior Achievement of Central Texas
Board Member, Crime Prevention Institute
Graduate of Leadership Austin Emerge Program
Martin Middle School Mentor

PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE

Graves, Dougherty, Hearon & Moody, Shareholder, 2004-2017