Lisa L. Swem

Of Counsel
lswem [at]
Assistant Name: 
Jill Walker
jwalker [at]

Lisa L. Swem has practiced school law with Thrun Law Firm since 1988 and has devoted her law practice to serving Michigan public schools. Lisa's interest in school law began in high school when she served as the first student representative to the Buchanan Board of Education. Before law school, Lisa worked for five years as a social studies teacher at the secondary level.

While at Notre Dame Law School, Lisa was the student editor of the Journal of College and University Law and authored two articles for that publication, including "Due Process Rights in Student Disciplinary Matters." She earned a B.A. in history from Centre College, an M.A.T. in social studies from Colgate University, and completed over 30 hours of graduate courses in educational administration at the State University of New York.

Lisa practices general school law with special focus on labor and employment law, as well as legal issues related to civil rights, student discipline, special education, policy, curriculum, and athletics. In addition to arbitration, mediation, and fact finding proceedings, she practices before various administrative agencies including the Michigan Administrative Hearing System (State Tenure Commission, Employment Relations Commission, and Department of Education), the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. She also represents school districts in state and federal courts.

For over ten years, Lisa authored the monthly "Law Column" for the Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals. She has written many articles on school law topics, including "Discipline of Students for Off-Campus Conduct" in the book School Violence: From Discipline to Due Process. Lisa was elected President of the Michigan Council of School Attorneys and served on its Board of Directors for two terms. She also served two terms on the Board of Directors for the NSBA Council of School Attorneys. Lisa has conducted over a thousand presentations on a variety of school law topics.

Lisa lives in East Lansing where she bravely flies her Notre Dame flag on football Saturdays. She served as President of the Church Council for University Lutheran Church as well as President of the Centre College Alumni Association.