Don Walheim is a school attorney, effectively representing Texas public school districts for the past 40 years. Having begun the practice of law in 1971 as a general practitioner involved with diverse civil and criminal litigation, he eventually converted his practice to represent school districts, beginning in 1977, when he started representing his first school district client. Since 1977, Mr. Walheim has become an authority in school and administrative law and is a well-known advocate in the courts and before the Texas Education Agency on behalf of school districts and school boards throughout the State. In addition, he has testified before the Senate Education Committee in Austin, Texas, on legislation affecting the State’s public schools.
Mr. Walheim has devoted a substantial portion of his practice to work as general counsel for various Texas school districts, both in and outside of San Antonio. He advises school boards and their administrators on a daily basis on such diverse issues as labor relations, employment law, contract law, special education, elections, open meetings, open records, purchasing, and many other issues that are too numerous to include in this short biography. He also provides legal services to Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio.
Several noteworthy cases in which he has been involved are the landmark decisions in the United States Supreme Court and Texas Supreme Court that include In re Alien Children Education Litigation, which successfully challenged a state law that permitted public schools to deny enrollment to undocumented children in violation of the United States Constitution; and Edgewood Independent School District et al v. William Kirby et al., which successfully challenged Texas’s school financing system in violation of the Texas Constitution.
Year Joined Organization:
Areas of Practice:
U.S. District Court Western District of Texas
U.S. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit, 1976
U.S. Supreme Court, 1981
St. Mary’s University School of Law, San Antonio, Texas, 1971, J.D.
La Salle College, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1964, B.S.
Plyler v. Doe, (United States Supreme Court ,Texas Supreme Court)
Texas v. Certain, (United States Supreme Court ,Texas Supreme Court)
Edgewood ISD v. Kirby, (United States Supreme Court ,Texas Supreme)
Professional Associations and Memberships:
National School Board Association
Texas Association of School Boards, Council of School Attorneys
San Antonio Bar Association
Diverse Civil and Criminal Litigation, 1971
Senate Education Committee
Past Employment Positions:
Law Office of Donald J. Walheim, Sole Practitioner, 1976 – 1979
Hardberger, Branton & Herrera, Inc., Associate, 1971 – 1976
Schulman, Walheim & Heidelberg, Inc., Partner, 1979 – 1999
Schulman, Walheim & Heidelberg, Inc., Corporate Officer, 1979 – 1999
United States Army, Officer, 1964 – 1968