Emily K. Ellingson

Ms. Ellingson practices in the areas of public sector law, advising school districts, cities, and counties.  She assists clients in a variety of matters, including student rights and discipline, special education, open meetings and public records, contract review, policy drafting, employee discipline and terminations, employee benefits compliance, ADA accommodations/interactive processes, FMLA matters, wage and hour issues, internal investigations, and Title IX training and investigations.  She also works with school districts, cities, and counties in collective bargaining and handling grievances and arbitrations.

Ms. Ellingson has experience handling matters before state and federal agencies, such as the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB), the Board of Educational Examiners (BOEE), the Iowa Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Education, the Iowa Civil Rights Commission (ICRC), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), as well as experiencing with general employment litigation.


  • The University of Iowa (J.D., 2009)
  • The University of Iowa (B.S., 2006) with highest distinction

Professional Affiliations

Active or formerly active in the following organizations:

  • Iowa Association of School Boards
  • Iowa Council of School Board Attorneys
  • Iowa Legal Aid, Volunteer Lawyer
  • Iowa State Bar Association
  • Linn County Bar Association
  • National School Board Association Council of School Attorneys

Additional Biographical Information

  • Appointed to the Downtown Cedar Rapids Self-Supported Municipal Improvement District Commission (June 2018 - June 2020) and reappointed (July 2020 - June 2022), Vice-Chair (July 2020 - June 2021)
  • Cedar Rapids Leadership for Five Seasons, Class of 2016
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters, Board of Directors
  • Taft Middle School Mock Trial, Attorney Coach

Presentations and Publications

  • “Handling EEOC Complaints” Iowa Association of School Personnel Administrators (Virtual), October 2020
  • “What Should We Be Asking: Legal and HR Issues Facing School Boards During COVID-19” Iowa Association of School Boards (Virtual), July 2020
  • “FAQs: Returning to Work After COVID-19” Grant Wood Area Education Agency and Great Prairie Area Education Agency (Virtual), June 2020 
  • “Navigating Employment Law During the Coronavirus Pandemic” The Newport Group (Virtual), April 2020
  • “Hot Topics in Human Resources” Iowa Association of School Personnel Administrators, March 2020
  • “Special Education 101” School Administrators of Iowa, February 2020
  • “Fair Labor Standards Act: What Do I Need to Know?” Iowa Association of School Board Officials, October 2019
  • “What Now?  How to Navigate Through Unexpected Employment Issues” Iowa Community Action Association, July 2019
  • “Navigating Through Common (and Uncommon) HR Issues” The Newport Group, April 2019
  • “Say What? Communications with Community Members, Media, Parents, Law Enforcement, and Others” School Administrators of Iowa, February 2019
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