Cristina T. Patzelt


Cristina T. Patzelt joined Thrun Law Firm in 2016. Cristina’s practice focuses on litigation, labor and employment, special education, and general school law. She assists public school districts, intermediate school districts, public school academies, and community colleges with student issues, special education issues, FOIA requests, and labor and employment matters. She regularly provides general counsel and advice to public schools and municipalities and represents public school clients in administrative hearings and state court proceedings. Cristina also presents on a variety of school law topics to public schools, intermediate school districts, and associations, including the Michigan Association of School Administrators, the Michigan Elementary and Middle School Principals Association, and the Michigan School Public Relations Association.

Before joining the firm, Cristina spent five years representing local governments in Chicago and the District of Columbia. As a prosecutor for the City of Chicago and an attorney for District of Columbia’s Board of Ethics and Government Accountability, she handled misconduct investigations, trained employees on compliance with government ethics rules, and successfully advocated for the government in hundreds of bench trials, jury trials, and administrative hearings.
Cristina graduated from James Madison College at Michigan State University and Michigan State University College of Law. In law school, she received the Walter E. Oberer scholarship for stellar trial advocacy skills and a certificate in Trial Practice from the Fieger Trial Practice Institute, and competed as two-year member of the Appellate Moot Court Board.

Cristina is admitted to practice in Michigan, Illinois, and the District of Columbia. She is a member of the Ingham County Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the District of Columbia Bar Association, and the National and Michigan Councils of School Attorneys.

Originally from Metro Detroit, Cristina lives in the Lansing area with her husband. She is a devoted fan of Michigan State University athletics and Detroit sports, and enjoys traveling, hiking, musical theater, and playing on the firm’s recreational softball league.

  • Company Thrun Law Firm


Day 2
September 21, 2023
3:45 pm

The Law and Legal Issues Surrounding Transgender Staff and Students [DEI]

21 September
Time:  3:45 pm - 5:00 pm
Location:  Tower A

Does a transgender student have the right to use the bathroom or locker room of the gender with which they identify? Can a teacher refuse to use a student’s preferred name or pronouns? This session will help administrators understand state and federal law and guidance and case precedent related to transgender staff and students. Takeaways: Participants will learn the current status of how civil rights laws apply to transgender students and staff and how to apply the law to common circumstances.

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