Elizabeth Troutman, Brooks Pierce Photo

Elizabeth L. Troutman



Elizabeth Troutman advises public school boards of education, private educational institutions, colleges and universities on a myriad of education issues, and litigates on behalf of educational institutions in state and federal courts. Elizabeth also helps clients in a variety of industries navigate the complexities of human resources and employment law issues, including employment policies and employee separation.

My Practices

  • Elizabeth advises public school boards of education, private educational institutions, and colleges and universities on a multitude of education issues, and advocates for educational institutions in administrative proceedings, state and federal courts, and before local, state, and federal regulatory agencies. Her experience includes developing policies and procedures for schools, handling investigations by the Office of Civil Rights, conducting board of education hearings, managing and advising on student discipline and employment matters, advising on federal and state legislative strategies, addressing a myriad of compliance-related issues, and defending educational institutions in state and federal courts.

    With prior experience working with the North Carolina School Boards Association, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce, the Council for Children’s Rights in Charlotte, and the Education Innovations Group, as well as conducting extensive research on rural education policy issues, Elizabeth brings a valuable perspective to Brooks Pierce and the Firm's education clients. Elizabeth serves on the Executive Committee of the North Carolina Council of School Attorneys and is a frequent speaker at education law conferences.

  • Elizabeth represents private and public institutions in federal and state courts.

    "I see litigation as one tool among many to solve problems."
  • Elizabeth regularly counsels clients on compliance with state and federal employment laws, employee management concerns, employment discrimination matters, Family and Medical Leave Act issues, and issues related to disability discrimination and accommodation claims. Elizabeth has also defended clients in suits related to employment contracts, the First Amendment, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

    Elizabeth conducts and advises employers on internal investigations. She has experience in various investigations, including discrimination claims, allegations of abuse and sexual misconduct in educational settings, and compliance with requirements associated with use of federal funds. 


Honors & Recognitions

Selected by her peers for inclusion in Business North Carolina's "Legal Elite" in the Young Guns category (2021-2022)

Selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© "Ones to Watch" for Education Law (2021-2024), Commercial Litigation, Labor and Employment Law - Management and Litigation - Labor and Employment (2022-2024)

Recognized as a "2019 Influencer: Law" by The Business Journals (2019)

Recognized as a "Rising Star" by North Carolina Lawyers Weekly​ (2019)

Recognized by North Carolina Super Lawyers as a "Rising Star" in Schools and Education Law (2019-2024)

Recognized as one of the Triad Business Journal's "40 Leaders Under 40" (2019)

Recognized for Outstanding Master's Project, Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University (2014)

Gressman-Pollitt Award for Oral Advocacy (Best Overall, Research/Writing Class) (2012)

Recipient of the Princeton University Class of 1975 Service Award (2004)


University of North Carolina School of Law, J.D., 2014, with highest honors; Order of the Coif; North Carolina Law Review

Duke University, M.P.P., 2014

Princeton University, B.A., 2006, School of Public and International Affairs, cum laude


North Carolina

U.S. District Court for the Western, Middle, and Eastern Districts of North Carolina



Speaking Engagements


Professional & Civic

Professional & Civic Activities

Chair, North Carolina Council of School Attorneys (2021-Present)

Member, Board of Directors, Industries of the Blind (January 2019-Present)

Member, Executive Committee, North Carolina Council of School Attorneys

  • 2
    2 amazing children with my fantastic husband
  • 3
    3 hobbies are listening to vinyl records, reading fiction, and pretending to fish
  • 3
    3 alma maters confuse people, so I will clarify here: Go Heels!
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