About Holly McIntush

Legal Assistant: Kristy Alonzo | 512-615-2350 | kalonzo@thompsonhorton.com

Holly has experienced first-hand the benefits of a strong public education, and seen it break the cycle of poverty. That’s why every facet of her career has been dedicated to improving public education, whether through the legislative process, counseling clients in general school law matters, or handling complex litigation for her K-12 and higher education clients.

A Partner in our Austin office, Holly McIntush advises K-12 districts and higher education institutions on a variety of matters, including civil rights laws (including Title IX, Title VII, and Title VI), personnel matters, student discipline, and investigations. Holly regularly helps clients develop legally compliant civil rights policies and procedures, advises them as they conduct investigations and hearings under those policies, and defends them in the event a complaint is filed with the Office for Civil Rights or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

A talented litigator, Holly has played a pivotal role in several high-profile cases, including litigation against the governor and attorney general over school districts’ rights to make local decisions regarding face masks during COVID-19, the most recent challenge to the constitutionality of the Texas school funding system, and several significant Title IX lawsuits involving allegations of sexual harassment in the university setting. At the appeals court level, Holly uses her excellent oral and written advocacy skills to fight for her clients before the Fifth Circuit, the Texas Supreme Court, and state courts of appeals. Her appellate practice includes not only traditional appeals, but also amicus briefing, mandamus petitions, and interlocutory appeals. Holly takes pride in the knowledge that handling sensitive and demanding matters for her clients allows them to focus on the important work of educating students.

Even before law school, Holly was driven by her passion for public education, serving four years focusing on public education and school finance policy as the Legislative Director for former Texas State Representative Scott Hochberg. In that role, Holly built school finance models that showed the impact of various proposed changes to the school finance system on every school district in the state.

While in law school, Holly clerked for the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago, representing foster care children in special education and school discipline proceedings. She also represented parents and children in child protective cases through the New York University School of Law’s Family Defense Clinic and Children’s Rights Clinic. She co-chaired the NYU Education Law and Policy Society and co-founded the Suspension Representation Project, through which law students represent New York City public school students in school disciplinary proceedings. She served as a Notes Editor for the Journal of Legislation and Public Policy.

Prior to joining Thompson & Horton, Holly litigated complex healthcare fraud cases for the Texas Attorney General’s Office, where she mastered the art of conducting effective depositions and direct and cross-examinations. She also served as a clerk at the Texas Third Court of Appeals, gaining insight into what to do—and not do—if you want to craft a persuasive appellate argument.


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