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I’ve been advising school districts for more than 20 years and I feel lucky to work as part of a team of lawyers who have as much or more experience in the field of education law. I like that we can help our clients with any legal challenge they have. We know how they operate, and we know how the law affects them.

John Hooks heads the firm’s education law practice and advises schools and universities on a range of matters including federal desegregation law, employment discrimination and civil rights claims. He has represented educational institutions in some of the most important litigation in the field of education law, from landmark desegregation cases to matters further defining the First Amendment rights of public employees. John has defended more than 35 school districts against more than 1,000 claims of violating federal overtime requirements. He is also a member of the firm’s appellate team and often argues cases before state and federal appellate courts.

John advises clients, lectures frequently and offers extensive training programs designed to prevent lawsuits from arising in the first place. John believes in empowering administrators and fellow education attorneys to be proactive in preventing claims arising from a range of threats including inappropriate employee relationships with students, workplace harassment, inappropriate use of social media and student safety.

The issues surrounding school safety – student walkouts and protests – are the next frontier for school districts and lawyers like me who advise them. School funding – especially equality of funding – is another big issue for which school districts are going to need solid legal counsel.


  • Vanderbilt University Law School, J.D., 1998
  • Georgetown University, B.A., 1993

Bar Admissions

  • Mississippi
  • District of Columbia


  • Best Lawyers® - Education Law, 2023-2024
  • Leadership Mississippi, Class of 2012
  • Mid-South Rising Stars® (by Thomson Reuters) Appellate, Labor and Employment 2008-2009, 2011
  • Mid-South Super Lawyers® (by Thomson Reuters) Appellate 2013

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

  • Mississippi Council of School Board Attorneys
  • National Association of College and University Attorneys
  • Mississippi Bar Association
  • District of Columbia Bar Association
  • Mississippi Commission for International Cultural Exchange, Vice-Chairman
  • Mississippi College School of Law, Adjunct Professor
  • Georgetown University Alumni Program, Mississippi Chairman
  • New Stage Theatre Board of Trustees
  • Honorary Consul of Spain for State of Mississippi