Ph: 404.844.4130
Fax: 404.844.4135
3212 Northlake Pkwy #450906
Atlanta, GA 31145

Debra E. Schwartz

Admitted to Georgia Bar (1982)
Emory University School of Law, J.D. (1982)
State University of New York at Binghamton, B.A. with honors (1979)


Georgia Bar Association

Atlanta Bar Association

National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA) & Georgia Affiliate

Stonewall Bar Association



Fellow, College of Labor and Employment Law, 2006-present

Martindale-Hubbell, AV Preeminent rated, 35+ years

The Martindale-Hubbell Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers

“Best Law Firms,” U.S. News & World Report, 2013-present

“Best Lawyers,” U.S. News & World Report, 2012-present

“Georgia Super Lawyers, The Top Attorneys in Georgia,” March 2000-present

“Georgia Super Lawyers, Top 100 Lawyers in Georgia,” 2002 – 2017

“Georgia Super Lawyers, Top 50 Female Lawyers,” 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2021

“The Legal Elite: Georgia’s Most Effective Lawyers,” Georgia Trend Magazine, 2002 – 2017

“Top Lawyers, The American Lawyer, 2011 – 2017

The National Advocates Top 100 Lawyers 2015 – 2017

Leading Plaintiff Employment Lawyers, Lawdragon, 2020-present

2017 Advocacy Award from NELA




Anti-Defamation League

The Temple


Emory University School of Law Alumni Association

Southern Center for Civil Rights

The Holocaust Museum

Planned Parenthood

Poverty Law Center

I have exclusively dealt with employment law since the first day I started practicing law. For more than 4 decades, I have been dedicated to and striving for equal treatment in the workplace. I’ve represented employees who believe they have been passed over for a job or terminated because of the color of their skin, their sex or age, or because they have a disability. I’ve assisted employees who need an accommodation because of their disability to be able to meaningfully continue their employment. I have helped employees who have been sexually assaulted or harassed at work  or who are treated differently because of their sexual orientation.  Whether I am helping to oppose discrimination under the Civil Rights Act, recovering overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act, or ensuring that an employee is permitted to return to work following medical leave, I attempt to provide personalized attention and seek the best possible results for each  of my clients regardless of how large or small their legal matter may be and regardless of their net worth.

My extensive knowledge of employment law, coupled with my intense advocacy and compassion for the well-being of my clients, has given me a reputation as a  challenging opponent in the courtroom.  However, I understand that while some cases necessitate an aggressive approach and litigation, many cases can be settled outside of court.  I will always seek the most amicable and efficient path to resolution first.  My goal is to efficiently and effectively advance the rights and interests of my clients, even if that means accepting a quick settlement and moving on, but I will not hesitate to tenaciously advocate for my clients in the courtroom when necessary.  And for those individuals that come to me with a separation agreement or severance offer that needs to be reviewed, I will thoroughly explain the ramifications of signing, as well as the pros and cons of litigation. 

While keenly focused on helping to protect individuals from legal abuses in the workplace, I have come to realize that the vast majority of small to mid-sized employers have no desire to deprive employees of their rights.  These employers are merely trying to stay afloat and  retain their existing work force.  However, they are overwhelmed by the vast number of federal laws related to every aspect of hiring, firing, retaining, paying, and keeping safe their employees.  Neither their medical nor engineering degrees, their MBAs, nor even their entrepreneurial spirit prepared them for the ever-evolving landscape of employment laws. Even the most well-meaning employers can find themselves caught in the legal intricacies and shifting rules while trying to do right by their employees. Thus, I enjoy representing small to mid-size businesses to assist them in understanding and implementing their obligations under the law, and also to help them establish workplace rules and policies, or provide severance agreements to exiting employees that are being laid off. I also defend these clients against unwarranted or spurious EEOC charges, overtime claims or sexual harassment law suits. I help them to quickly resolve valid claims and provide guidance for how to avoid such claims in the future.

To assist my corporate clients, I conduct comprehensive internal audits, draft policies and procedures, coach them through disciplinary and termination issues, and perform employee trainings and investigations. These companies are amazed at the positive impact of our writing and implementing a new employee handbook.  I also represent these employers in court or before administrative agencies.  Having represented employees suing their employers for more than 40 years, I bring a unique understanding of the specific mistakes that cause employers to find themselves in the courthouse.  Therefore, I am able to help my corporate clients minimize their legal risk by, for instance, helping them to communicate personnel decisions in a manner that will be better received and more easily adapted or offering them an alternative to their proposed employment action that satisfies both the Company’s and employee’s needs.

The work I have done in the employment law arena has itself  been incredibly rewarding. However, it  has also been nice  to see that this work has resulted in my receiving many accolades from my peers, such as being named as a Super Lawyer every year for more than 20 years, and being  named as one of the top 50 female lawyers in Georgia on multiple occasions.  Additionally, I have been recognized as a Best Lawyer for at least the last 20 years, and SCHWARTZ ROLLINS  has been named as a Best Law Firm in America in employment law by U.S. News for the past 5 years.  I have been awarded the prestigious honor of being named to “Best Advocate” by the Georgia Chapter of the National Employment Lawyers Association, a group of those attorneys that predominantly represent individuals in employment matters.

Always inspired to share my experience and give back to the community, I have been a long-time member of the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA) and one of the original founders for the Georgia Chapter of this leading organization for attorneys representing U.S. workers. In addition, I have served formally as a mentor for both NELA Georgia and the Georgia Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Law Section’s Mentorship Academy.

Outside the office, I enjoy gardening, traveling with my college sweetheart (husband), spending time with our adult children, and most of all, playing with our grandchildren.