Joel Shields is Board Certified in Labor & Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Joel focuses his practice on representing employees and companies in employment matters. Whether Joel represents a wrongfully terminated employee, or advises a business on how to comply with complex areas of the law, he aggressively advocates for his client and provides sound guidance.
Joel’s representation of employees and companies includes almost all areas of employment law, including sexual harassment; discrimination based upon religion, race, sex, age, or disability (failure or refusal to accommodate); Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) claims; wage and hour claims (including overtime claims); retaliation claims; workers’ compensation retaliation claims; whistleblower claims; and employment contracts. Before becoming a lawyer, Joel worked as an insurance claims adjuster for a major carrier and understands how insurance companies make decisions on claims and in lawsuits.
Joel helps employers protect themselves from litigation by conducting investigations and advising employers in matters of employee discipline and termination. As an employment law advisor, he guides employers through the termination process and points out the steps to take to avoid retaliation lawsuits. He reviews and updates existing handbooks and policies or, if needed, drafts new ones to suit the legal needs of his clients. He helps businesses protect their trade secrets from competitors by drafting non-compete agreements, anti-solicitation agreements, and non-disclosure agreements. He drafts and negotiates executive employment agreements and severance agreements for employers and employees. Joel also represents companies in administrative proceedings before the EEOC and Texas Workforce Commission, and defends businesses in lawsuits in state and federal courts.
Joel earned his J.D. in 2003 from South Texas College of Law Houston, where he was an Assistant Articles Editor on Law Review. He earned his B.A. in 1996 from Sam Houston State University, the place where he met his lovely wife, Marsha. They have two children, Caleb and Anabeth. Away from work, Joel enjoys spending time with his family and friends, participating in strength classes at D1 Sports, and visiting wineries across the great State of Texas.
Please find our Potential Employment Claim Intake form here.
South Texas College of Law Houston (J.D. 2003)
Sam Houston State University (B.A. Criminal Justice, 1996)
Labor and Employment Law
State Bar of Texas, 2003
U.S. District Court – Southern District of Texas, 2004
U.S. District Court – Western District of Texas, 2007
U.S. District Court – Northern District of Texas, 2010
U.S. District Court – Eastern District of Texas, 2011
U.S. Court of Federal Claims, 2017
Professional Activities and Memberships
Labor and Employment Law Section, State Bar of Texas, 2008 – present
National Employment Lawyers Association, 2020 – present
Texas Employment Lawyers Association, 2021 – present
Waco-McLennan County Bar Association, 2007 – present
Waco-McLennan County Young Lawyers Association, Board of Directors, 2008-2009
Leadership Waco Class XXXIV, 2017-2018
Live Oak Classical School, Grammar School Basketball Coach, 2014 – 2016
Midway Little League, Boy’s Baseball Coach, 2015
Upward Basketball League, Basketball Coach, 2011 – 2013
Live Oak Classical School, Long Range Planning Committee, 2012 – 2013
Woodway Family Center, T-Ball Coach, 2008 – 2009
Antioch Community Church, Member, 2007 – Present