Clark Hill Attorney Barbara A. Ruga Named 2018 Education Law “Lawyer of the Year”

Sep 1, 2017

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Clark Hill attorney Barbara A. Ruga has once again been named Grand Rapids, Michigan’s 2018 Education Law "Lawyer of the Year" by Best Lawyers in America. Only one lawyer in each practice area in each community is honored as the "Lawyer of the Year." This is Ruga’s second time receiving this honor in as many years.

Ruga practices in the firm’s Education and Municipal Practice Group as well as the Labor & Employment Law Practice Group. She advises and counsels public and private employers on a wide variety of labor law and employment issues and has extensive experience negotiating public school contracts in a context of scarce resources. Ruga, an advocate for prevention through education, specializes in employee training programs to clients and public school organizations.

A past president of the Michigan Council for School Attorneys, Ruga has been recognized by her peers as a leader in the school labor negotiations field through the prestigious Harlow Claggett award, received in 2007 for her contributions to public school labor negotiations, has presented at national and state school conferences, the National and Michigan Council of School Attorneys, the North American Educational and Michigan Negotiators Association, as well as the Michigan School Personnel Administrators.

In addition to her legal practice, Barb has been involved in the legal community, as past chair of the Grand Rapids Bar Association Young Lawyers Section, a member of the Judicial Evaluation and Character and Fitness Committees, former trustee of the Grand Rapids Bar Association and member of the State Bar Character and Fitness Committee.  Early in her career, Ms. Ruga wrote and edited Wrongful Discharge Cases for the Institute of Continuing Legal Education, and was the seminal author of the ICLE publication on wrongful discharge.

In her spare time, Barb loves to spend time with her fiancé, two children, six grandchildren, and is chalking up hikes at each of our 58 national parks.

Best Lawyers is the oldest peer-review publication in the legal profession. A listing in Best Lawyers is widely regarded by both clients and legal professionals as a significant honor, conferred on a lawyer by his or her peers. For more than three decades, Best Lawyers lists have earned the respect of the profession, the media, and the public, as the most reliable, unbiased source of legal referrals anywhere.

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