Elizabeth Schleuning


While I love being in trial, my greatest satisfaction comes from being able to help my ‎clients avoid the stress and distraction of litigation in the first place.

How I represent clients at Schwabe

I help clients comply with the ever-changing laws ‎governing employment and defend them vigorously at ‎trial when needed. Drawing on 30 years of trial ‎experience, I provide legal advice that helps clients ‎avoid litigation altogether or build strong ‎defenses in case litigation ensues. I have been ‎described as a lawyer who “impresses with her deep ‎subject matter knowledge” and “thinks outside the box ‎and is able to deal with complex matters in ways that ‎actually work,” also known by clients for my strategic, ‎practical advice and friendly, timely responsiveness.‎

Working with healthcare and technology clients is my area of ‎focus, while also advising numerous medical and dental groups, including ‎small and large single-specialty groups, individual physicians, ‎multi-specialty groups, and hospitals. I assist with everything from ‎contracting and litigation to enforcement of non-competes and ‎general legal advice. My technology clients have expressed that ‎they value my straightforward advice and my significant enforcement ‎of their non-competition, non-solicitation, and confidentiality/NDA ‎agreements.‎

Working with Schwabe’s nationally-ranked Forest Products team, I also represent the natural ‎resource industry. I regularly assist these companies in litigation, administrative agency complaint ‎responses, and policy development.‎

I also handle wage and hour class action lawsuits as lead counsel and local counsel for various ‎industries, including retail and banking.‎

Chambers & Partners USA, client highlights

“Elizabeth is a top employment lawyer and our go-to person for difficult employment matters.”


  • Won a defense verdict in a cutting-edge case against a senior living company involving claims of breast-feeding discrimination. Handled a three-week trial in King County, Washington, and successfully defended the case up through the Washington Supreme Court (2013).
  • Tried a multi-million dollar case against a dental group in Lane County, Oregon to a 10-1 defense verdict (2014).
  • Advised a healthcare client in a manner that successfully avoided a qui tam claim threat by a C-level employee.
  • Obtained a unanimous defense verdict on behalf of a solo healthcare provider in a multi-million dollar lawsuit in Clatsop County, Oregon (2015).
  • Successfully enforced a non-compete against a departing physician from a single specialty group.
  • Negotiated a separation agreement for a C-level executive resulting in over $1 million payout.
  • Advised a financial institution on a significant and complex downsizing resulting from a merger.


  • Willamette University, College of Law, Juris Doctor degree, cum laude (1985)
  • Pomona College, Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude (1982)


  • Oregon State Courts
  • Washington State Courts
  • U.S. District Court - District of Oregon
  • U.S. District Court - Eastern District of Washington
  • U.S. District Court - Western District of ‎Washington


  • Litigation Counsel of America, Fellow (past member)
  • U.S. News Best Lawyers in America award, Employment Law-Management, Litigation-Labor and Employment (2012-2020)
  • Durfee Foundation’s American/Chinese Adventure Capital Program, recipient of a yearlong grant to explore alternative dispute resolution in the People’s Republic of China (1989)
  • Oregon Association of Defense Counsel, Member
  • Oregon State Bar Association, Member
  • Litigation Counsel of America, Member


  • Recognized by The Best Lawyers in America®, “Lawyer of the Year”, Portland Employment Law – Management (2022)
  • Recognized by The Best Lawyers in America®, Employment Law – Management & Litigation – Labor and Employment (2012-2024)
  • Selected to Oregon Super Lawyers, Employment & Labor (2016-2022)
  • Ranked for Labor and Employment Lawyers in Oregon, Chambers USA (2018-2023)

Additional Events

OASCA Annual Conference: Updates in Employment Law
Ambridge Event Center – Portland, OR
August 11-12, 2016

Community Activities

  • New Avenues for Youth, Board Chair
  • University Club of Portland, Vice President

Outside Interests

Adventure traveling, including camping across the continent of Africa and crossing the main chain of the Himalayas on foot.

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