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Indianapolis, IN


T 317.237.3810

Tom Wheeler


“Having had the opportunity to work at the highest levels of state and federal government as well as spending more than thirty years representing governmental entities and private businesses in administrative, regulatory, and legal proceedings, I believe I bring a unique perspective to clients seeking to navigate these difficult waters.  A key insight is that despite being a litigator, I recognize that the cost, burden and stress of legal proceedings makes that a last option, not the first option for resolving disputes.  When working with governmental entities there are often less burdensome methods of dealing with these matters.”


Tom is one of the Nation’s leading experts in education, civil rights, and law enforcement.  His long record of public service includes serving as the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights at the United States Department of Justice.  As the Assistant Attorney General, Tom oversaw the Appellate, Criminal, Disability Rights, Education, Employment, Federal Coordination & Compliance, Housing, Immigration and Employee Rights, Policy & Strategy, Special Litigation, and Voting Sections.  During the COVID-19 pandemic, Tom served as a leader in the national response, acting as a Senior Counsel to the Secretary of Education and a consultant to the CDC, as well as working closely with federal partners including the White House, HHS, DHS/FEMA and DOJ in developing strategies for schools and law enforcement to respond to the pandemic.  He also provided training and outreach to various constituencies through conference calls and webinars.

After a spate of high profile school shootings, Tom was tapped to serve as a Senior Adviser to the White House Federal Commission on School Safety where he served as a liaison between the four FCSS members (the Secretary of Education, the Attorney General, the Secretary for Health & Human Services, and the Secretary for the Department of Homeland Security) and had principal responsibility for drafting and editing the final report. In doing so he also worked closely with the Domestic Policy Council at the White House.

In addition to the Federal Commission on School Safety, Tom has been asked to serve on many other Boards and Commissions including the Board of Directors of the National School Boards Association, the Council of Schools Attorneys (Chairman), the National Sheriffs Association (General Counsel), as well as Chair of the Hate Crimes Sub-Committee for the Federal Violent Crime Reduction Task Force, and a member of the Department of Justice’s Regulatory Reform Task Force. Prior to this service, Tom was counsel to then Indiana Governor and later Vice-President Mike Pence.

Tom made fighting hate crimes a priority during his time at the Department of Justice, speaking to dozens of groups on human rights, and emphasizing the investigation and prosecution of these crimes during his tenure.  He has also spoken extensively on civil rights issues, including appearances on National Public Radio and the BBC as well as for the ABA, the NSBA, the ACLU, NACUA, the ADL, and many other diverse organizations.   Tom is also one of the leading advocates in the United States with respect to combating the twin scourges of student drug use and cyberbullying/student suicide.  He has written extensively in various publications and law journals on these topics and is a two-time winner of the Indiana State Bar Association’s Benjamin Harrison Writing Award. He has also won the prestigious Burton Award for Legal Achievement co-sponsored by the Library of Congress for his work.

Tom also provides legal advice on campaign, finance, and election issues to political parties and candidates throughout the United States, serving as legal counsel to campaigns for Presidential, Senate, House, and state and local elected offices.  He is a former Chair of the Indiana Recount and the Indiana Election Commissions and was instrumental in the enactment and implementation of Indiana’s landmark voter ID law, affirmed by United States Supreme Court in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, 553 U.S. 181 (2008).  His decision in the Charlie White Secretary of State challenge was affirmed by the Indiana Supreme Court in White v. Indiana Democratic Party, 936 N.E. 2d 481 (Ind. 2012).



  • U.S. Department of Justice, Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights

  • U.S. Department of Education, Senior Counsel to the Secretary

  • White House Federal Commission on School Safety, Senior Advisor

  • General Counsel, National Sheriffs Association (3,300 sheriffs)

  • Board Member, National School Boards Association (serving 50 million public school students)

  • Chairman, Council of School Attorneys (3,500 school attorneys)

  • Vice-Chairman, Republican National Lawyers Association

  • Counsel, Honorable Mike Pence, Governor State of Indiana

  • Chairman, Indiana Election Commission

  • Chairman, Indiana Recount Commission

  • Commissioner, White River State Park Redevelopment Commission

  • Treasurer, U.S.S. Indiana (SSN-789) Commissioning Committee

  • Treasurer, U.S.S. Indianapolis (LCS-17) Commissioning Committee

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