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Laura Knittle represents K-12 school districts in all areas of education law. A majority of her practice is dedicated to counseling boards of education and their administrations on student matters, including issues involving the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA), alleged violations of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, student discipline, student and employee investigations, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) investigations, and confidentiality and student records. She regularly represents school districts at mediation and in due process hearings.

A former teacher, Laura leverages her background as an educator in every situation to help provide clients with simple, tailored solutions to meet their needs. According to one of her clients:

"Beyond her knowledge of special education and the law, the best part is Laura's compassion and understanding that she brings to some of the most difficult situations. At the end of the day, you know she will be there to support you both professionally and personally."

Laura's experience further includes defending school districts in complaints before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR). She has also counseled school districts on issues involving the Illinois Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and data privacy.

Most recently before joining Hinshaw, Laura practiced education law at a firm in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois. While there, she broadened her experience working with a variety of school districts and advised on all issues related to COVID-19 and schools.

Professional Affiliations

  • Chicago Bar Association
    • Young Lawyers Section
      • Education Law Committee, Former Chair

Honors & Awards

  • Recognized on the "Rising Stars" list by Illinois Super Lawyers magazine, 2021

Presentations

  • "From the Police Department to the School: Defining the Role of SROs", ESIC Risk Management Conference, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, July 2021
  • "What You'll Be Glad You Did: Tips for Surviving a Due Process Hearing," IAASE 20th Annual Winter Conference, Springfield, Illinois, February 2019
  • "Dealing with Sexual Harassment in School Districts," IASPA 12th Annual Conference, Lombard, Illinois, January 2019
  • "Meeting the Needs of Students with Autism Through Compliant IEPs," LRP Publications, National Webinar, December 2018
  • "Disturbing the Peace: Handling Community Dissent in Public Schools," National School Boards Association Annual Conference, Boston, Massachusetts, April 2016

Publications

  • "Illinois Votes for Change: So What Kind of Changes Can We Expect?," The Illinois Public Employee Relations Report, Winter 2015

News

Personal

Laura is originally from Louisville, Kentucky, the home of horse racing and bourbon. She and her french bulldog, Ollie, reside in the West Loop of Chicago and love to go to the dog park and for walks by the lake. 

Community/Civic Activities

  • Teach for America, Auxiliary Board Member

Service Areas

J.D., Loyola University Chicago School of Law, 2013

B.A., magna cum laude, The University of Georgia, 2008