Robert L. Fortson Partner

Rob has experience in education, health care, administrative law, regulatory law, and labor and employment matters. He also serves as a senior vice president in McGuireWoods Consulting's state government relations group.

His education practice focuses on advising schools and education service providers on a variety of corporate and operational issues including board governance, facilities acquisition, financing and leasing, charter applications and renewals, FTE allotment and appropriations issues, employment disputes, IDEA and 504 compliance, student disciplinary issues, and vendor negotiations. He has also represented school board members and concerned citizens in matters related to board governance and school system accreditation. Rob leads the education team for McGuireWoods Consulting, which represents online universities and charter schools, academic intervention services companies, curriculum and assessments providers. Rob also serves annually on the Atlanta Public School’s charter school petition interview committee, which reviews all applications for approval by the school district.

Before joining McGuireWoods Consulting, he served as of counsel at Georgia360 Public Affairs and as a litigation and trial attorney with Turner Bachman & Garrett. He has also served in various roles in and related to federal, state and local government, including stints in the legal counsel's office at the U.S. Department of Education and the Georgia Municipal Association, and a two-year clerkship for U.S. District Court Judge Thomas W. Thrash. Rob received his J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Georgia School of Law and was inducted into the Order of the Coif.

A former teacher and coach in the Baltimore City School System and Teach For America alumnus, Rob stays involved with Teach For America and several other educational organizations. He and his wife, Meeghan, are both Atlanta natives and reside in East Atlanta with their two sons.

McGuireWoods Consulting

McGuireWoods Consulting LLC ("MWC") is a wholly owned subsidiary of the McGuireWoods LLP law firm. From time to time, various McGuireWoods lawyers provide non-legal services to MWC clients, but MWC cannot provide legal services or advice. Therefore, any work MWC performs for a client does not give rise to an attorney-client relationship or privilege. Should you require legal services from McGuireWoods, as well as consulting services from MWC, you must engage the law firm separately.


Representation of intervening charter school seeking authorization to operation in school district governed by 1960’s desegregation order. United States v. Peach County School District et al., 69-CV-2991, M.D.Ga (2015)

Obtained injunction for charter school against municipality refusing to issue certificate of occupancy.  Utopian Academy for the Arts v. City of Riverdale and Wood; 2014CV3393, Clayton County Superior Court (2014)

Representation of Warren County, GA citizens in petition before administrative law judge, trial court and Georgia Supreme Court seeking removal of local board of education members for jeopardizing school system accreditation. Roberts et al. v. Governor Deal et al., 290 Ga. 705 (2012).

Representation of state commission-approved charter school in landmark litigation testing constitutionality of Georgia's 2008 charter school law. Gwinnett County School District et al. v. Cox et al., 289 Ga. 265 (2011).

Representation of Atlanta Board of Education members in declaratory judgment action to determine proper leadership under board’s governing charter. Burks et al. v. Atlanta Independent School System et al., 2010 CV 192686, Fulton County Superior Court (Nov. 23, 2010).

Counsel to several charter schools in renegotiation or termination of operating and lease agreements with education management companies.

Representation of charter schools in petition to the State Board of Education for approval as state chartered special school.

Representation of charter school in student IDEA claim before administrative law judge.

Presiding hearing officer in teacher termination appeal before local board of education. 

  • The University of Georgia School of Law, JD, magna cum laude, 2005
  • University of Virginia, BA, 2000

Member, Georgia Bar Association

Member, Georgia Chamber of Commerce

Member, Georgia Public Policy Foundation

Member, Advisory Council, KIPP Strive Academy

Member, Alumni Board of Directors, Metro Atlanta, Teach For America

Vice Chair, Next Generation Men

Member, Board of Overseers, The Ben Franklin Academy

Steering Committee Member, Young Professionals for Education Equity

Founding Member and Finance Chair, Village Church of East Atlanta 

  • Panelist, "The Nuances of Dealing with Conflicts of Interest," 2016 Georgia Charter Schools Association Conference, February 4-5, 2016
  • Moderator, "What Role Can Charters Play in Solving Georgia‚Äôs Graduation Dilemma," 2016 Georgia Charter Schools Association Conference, February 4-5, 2016
  • Moderator, "How to land a Free Charter School Facility," 2015 Georgia Charter Schools Association Conference, January 29-30, 2015
  • Moderator, "Finding the RIGHT School Leader," 2014 Georgia Charter Schools Association Conference, January 30-31, 2014
  • Panelist, "Reality Check: Former Federal Clerks Provide an Inside Vie of Summary Judgment," Atlanta Bar Association CLE, March 7, 2008
  • Moderator, "Changes in the Charter Environment: What It Means for Students, Teachers and Families," Teach For America Alumni Summit, December 9, 2009
  • Georgia

“40 Under 40,” Georgia Trend, 2015

Named a "Rising Star," James Magazine, 2014-2015

  • Author, Georgia Election Summary, McGuireWoods Consulting LLC, November 10, 2016
  • Co-author, Tinker's Material World: How the Supreme Court's First Amendment Student Speech Precedent Fails To Confront Indiscriminate Acts of Violence in Schools, GA. ED. L, & POL'Y FORUM, Vol. 1, 2005
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