Thomas A. Mickes

Thomas A. Mickes

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Schools & Education Attorney in St. Louis, MO

Mickes O'Toole, LLC
 | 12444 Powerscourt Drive, Suite 400
St. Louis, MO 63131
Phone: 314-878-5600
Fax: 314-878-5607
Selected To Super Lawyers: 2006 - 2009, 2011 - 2015, 2018 - 2019
Licensed Since: 1979
Practice Areas:
  • Schools & Education (40%),
  • Employment Litigation: Defense (30%),
  • Employment & Labor: Employer (30%)
Attorney Profile

Attorney Thomas A. Mickes is a founding partner and firm chairman of the Mickes O'Toole, LLC, law firm in St. Louis, Missouri. Widely regarded as one of the top education law attorneys in the country, Mr. Mickes represents the rights and interests of hundreds of public school districts, private learning institutions, colleges and universities during all types of complex litigation involving employment disputes, alleged civil rights violations, constitutional issues and other matters.

An attorney with over 35 years of legal experience, Mr. Mickes also holds a Ph.D. in educational administration, and he has served in a number of teaching and administration roles along with maintaining a successful legal practice. Through these roles, he gained firsthand knowledge of the unique challenges that face educators, making him more effective as an attorney, and he has received numerous awards and honors for his professionalism and service.

Along with helping to establish Mickes O'Toole, LLC, Mr. Mickes also co-founded the Missouri Council of School Attorneys, where he served as president for two terms. He also serves on the board of directors of the National Council of School Attorneys, and he is heavily involved with the National School Boards Association and the Missouri School Boards' Association.

After receiving his undergraduate degree from the University of Missouri in 1968, Mr. Mickes earned his master's degree in education from the University of Missouri in 1971. He obtained his Juris Doctor from Saint Louis University School of Law in 1979 and his Ph.D. in Education Administration from Saint Louis University in 1983.

He is admitted to practice in Missouri and Florida as well as before the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Missouri, the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 8th and 11th Circuits and the U.S. Supreme Court.

A recognized leader in his field, he writes extensively and conducts lectures across his region on a variety of topics related to school law, and he serves on the adjunct legal faculty at Maryville University.

About Thomas Mickes

Admitted: 1979, Missouri

Professional Webpage:


  • Recognized by US News & World Report as one of the Best Education Law Firms Nationally and the Best Education Practice in Missouri; and Recognized by Kansas City Magazine and St. Louis Magazine, Best Lawyers - Education Law 2018, 2019
  • Celebrating Distringuished Leaders in Law., Icon Award, Missouri Lawyers Media, 2019

Special Licenses/Certifications:

  • Florida, 1984 U.S. Supreme Court, 1989 U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Missouri U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri

Bar/Professional Activity:

  • Adjunct Professor Maryville University
  • Board of Directors and Past President, St. Louis National Charity Horse Show
  • Board of Directors, President, Linda Vista School
  • Board of Directors, President, St. Alban's Parish Council
  • Past Director, Board of Education, St. Louis Archdiocesan School System
  • Former Board of Directors, Enterprise Bannk
  • Former Board of Directors, St. Joseph Hospital (SSM)
  • Former Board of Directors, St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf
  • Missouri Bar, School Law Committee, Vice Chairman
  • The Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
  • American Bar Association
  • National School Boards Association COSA Member (Former Board Member)
  • Missouri Bar Association Member
  • Co-Founder and former Chairman Missouri Council of School Attorneys
  • Missouri School Boards Association COSA Member

Scholarly Lectures/Writings:

  • Mr. Mickes presented at the NSBA 2012 School Law Practice Seminar in Santa Fe, New Mexico in October, 2012.  He presented on "Don't Filter Me:  Examining the Children's Internet Protection Act and the New Era of First Amendment Claims." Mr. Mickes spoke about CIPA and the new wave of challenges from students and website publishers who claim that the filtering of certain websites by school district Internet filters violates their First Amendment rights.
  • Presented on "Safeguarding Our Students and Reducing District Liability in the Use of Technology" to the Mississippi Association of School Superintendents, Presenter, Mississippi Association of School Administrators Association, School Superintendents/Education, 2018
  • Mr. Mickes presented at the 2013 NSBA Annual Conference in San Diego, California.  He spoke on "Open Meetings and Records in the Digital Age" on April 12, 2013. 
  • Presentations in San Francisco, Cozumel, Mexico, Bermuda, Stetson University, University of Missouri School of Law, University of Vermont, Vancouver, New Orleans, San Diego, Lake Tahoe. Spoken at Missouri Association for Business Officials, Missouri Association for School Administrators, and Missouri United School Insurance Council for over 20 years and will again in 2018. Will address the Mississippi Association of School Administrators in Biloxi in July 2018.

Representative Clients:

  • School Districts and Universities

Other Outstanding Achievements:

  • Board Policy ServiceEstablished school board policy services fifteen years ago. At present, provides policy service for over 250 Missouri Public School Districts.
  • FirmServed as Managing Partner of Firm since its inception until past year when assumed position of Chairman Presided over Firm as it become the most diverse law firm in the St. Louis area 50% of equity partners are African-American 60% of the Firm’s attorneys are female. Initiated a public finance practice group. In two years, group served as underwriters counsel in more financings than all but two Missouri law firms.
  • Professional AssociationFounder of Missouri Counsel of School Attorneys Served two terms as President Merged state associations with National School Boards Association Council Served two terms on Board of Directors of the National Council of School Attorneys
  • 2016 testified before Joint Commission of Missouri House and Senate regarding school child abuse.   2017 testified before Senate and House Committees resulting in substantial positive changes in the Missouri Human Rights Act.

Educational Background:

  • University of Missouri, M.E., 1971
  • St. Louis University School of Law, J.D., 1979
  • St. Louis University, Ph.D., Major: Education Administration, 1983
  • University of Missouri, B.A., 1968
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Office Location for Thomas A. Mickes

12444 Powerscourt Drive
Suite 400
St. Louis, MO 63131

Thomas A. Mickes:

Last Updated: 12/13/2019

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