Holly McIntush is a Partner in our Austin office.  She is experienced in representing public schools and colleges in civil and appellate litigation in both state and federal courts.  She also has experience advising school boards on a variety of matters, including personnel matters, the Open Meetings Act and the Texas Public Information Act.  Prior to joining Thompson & Horton, Ms. McIntush litigated complex healthcare fraud cases for the Texas Attorney General’s Office and served as a clerk for Justice Diane Henson on the Texas Third Court of Appeals.  Before attending law school, she spent four years as the Legislative Director for former Texas State Representative Scott Hochberg, focusing on public education and school finance policy, and one year as a Research Specialist for the Office of House Bill Analysis, focusing on public education and health and human services legislation.

While in law school, Ms. McIntush clerked for the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago.  She also represented parents and children in child protective cases through NYU Law’s Family Defense Clinic and Children’s Rights Clinic, co-chaired the NYU Education Law and Policy Society, co-founded the Suspension Representation Project through which law students represent New York City public school students in school disciplinary proceedings, and served as a Notes Editor for the Journal of Legislation and Public Policy.


Obtained favorable trial verdict for 88 public school districts in challenge to the constitutionality of Texas school finance system in Texas Taxpayer and Student Fairness Coalition v. Williams (Tex. 2015).

Upheld dismissal of federal lawsuit by school district employees alleging civil rights violations in appeal to Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Achieved summary judgment for large urban school district against claims of free speech retaliation, free association retaliation, and due process violations.

Secured dismissal of free speech retaliation and due process violations claims by former school district employees on governmental immunity grounds.

Successfully defended Commissioner’s decision upholding termination as part of a reduction in force due to financial exigency before the Texas Third Court of Appeals.

Drafted amicus curiae brief on behalf of the Texas Association of School Boards Legal Assistance Fund, the Texas Charter School Association, and the Instructional Materials Coordinators Association that resulted in a Attorney General Opinion that limited the authority of the State Board of Education to regulate the local textbook selection process.

Drafted multiple amicus curiae briefs on behalf of the Texas Association of School Boards Legal Assistance Fund on matters of statewide import for submission to the Texas Supreme Court.

Developed successful federal appellate strategy regarding the application and extent of the False Claims Act before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.


Ms. McIntush has prepared materials for and/or has given presentations on the following topics:

“Young and Attractive is Never a Defense: Creating a bright line policy to Prevent Title IX Violations,” with Janet L. Horton and Bradley J. Domangue, presented at 2016 TASA Midwinter Conference.

“School Finance: Appeal and Legislative Update,” presented at Region 13 Superintendent’s Meeting, April 2015.

“School Finance Litigation, Education Legislation, & How You Can Help,” presented at the Texas School Public Relations Association Annual Conference, February 2015.

“From Policy to Procedure: Connecting Legislators, Rulemakers, and Practitioners,” with Edna Butts (Austin ISD), Ashlea Graves (Houston ISD), and Bradley J. Domangue, presented at 2015 TASA Midwinter Conference

“Effective Advocacy: Communicating with Lawmakers,” with Bradley J. Domangue and Rebecca Flores (Moak, Casey & Associates), presented at 2015 TASBO Conference

“Money Makes the World Go Round: Recent Developments in State Constitutional Challenges to School Finance Systems,” panelist at 2014 Education Law Association 60th Annual Conference.

“School Finance Litigation: Post-Decision Update,” presented at Region 6 Superintendent’s Meeting, September 2014.

“School Finance Litigation: Post-Trial Update,” presented at Region 14 Superintendent’s Meeting, May 2014.

“From Policy to Procedure: Legislators, Rulemakers, and Practitioners,” with Bradley J. Domangue, presented at the 2013 TASA/TASB Annual Conference.

“Going Paperless in Litigation: What’s Not There Can Cost You (and Help You!),” with Philip D. Fraissinet, presented at the 2013 Annual School Law Section Retreat.

Differences in Legal Requirements for Public School Districts and Open Enrollment Charter Schools, with J. David Thompson, April 2012.

“Overview of Public School Finance and Litigation”, presented at the Texas First Foundation Policy Conference, Austin, Texas, April 2012.

Public Education” in Putting Texas First: A Policy Primer for Elected Officials and Every Day Texans by the Texas First Foundation, March 2012.

“Political Truancy: George Bush’s Claim to the Mantle of ‘The Education President’” in The Rhetorical Presidency of George H. W. Bush (Martin J. Medhurst, ed. 2006).

“Communication, Structure and Health Care Policymaking”, with Charles R. Conrad, in Handbook of Health Communication (Teresa L. Thompson, et al, eds 2002).

“Defining Education: The Rhetorical Enactment of Ideology in ‘A Nation at Risk’”, in Rhetoric & Public Affairs 3:419 (Fall 2000).

“Efficient Equality: Edgewood v. Kirby 1989”, presented at the National Communication Association’s 86th Annual Convention, November 2000.

Robin Hood v. Horatio Alger: How We Talk about School Finance (M.A. Thesis, Texas A&M University, 2000) (winner of the Association of Former Students’ award for Distinguished Research at the Master’s Level).