Denise Nance Pierce is a seasoned school law attorney who has served public schools with excellence for 20 years. Pierce has been at the center of the development of Texas charter law and regulation and is committed to the value of quality public education.

She operated her solo practice, The Law Office of Denise Nance Pierce, P.C. from 2016-2018 and put her skills to work for charter schools across Texas. Prior to starting her own firm, she served as a Vice President and General Counsel for the Texas Charter Schools Association (TCSA) from 2009 to 2015. As General Counsel, Pierce provided sound legal advice to charter school leaders in Texas daily. She oversaw the development of model board policies, personnel handbooks, and student codes of conduct. Pierce also represented charter school interests at the State Legislature, the Attorney General’s Office, the Texas Education Agency, the University Interscholastic League, the Third Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court of Texas.

Perhaps most significantly, Pierce coordinated TCSA’s 2009 lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the current school finance system as applied to open enrollment charter schools. In September 2015, she made closing arguments to the Supreme Court of Texas urging financial relief charter schools.

Before joining TCSA, Pierce was a partner at an Austin-based law firm where she advised community colleges, traditional school districts, and open-enrollment charter schools on all matters of school operations. She started her legal career in 1995 as a staff attorney in the Legal Services Division at the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB).

Education & Honors

Pierce received a J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law and a bachelor’s degree in Economics & Political Science from Texas A&M University.

Admissions & Affiliations

Pierce is licensed to practice law at the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, the Supreme Court of Texas, the Western District of Texas, and the Southern District of Texas.

As a respected legal scholar and presenter in the charter school community, Pierce serves on the Advisory Council for the Alliance of Public Charter School Attorneys, a national network of charter school attorneys. She is also an active Member of the School Law and Employment Law sections of the State Bar of Texas and the TASB Council of School Attorneys.

Pierce has served the Austin community through service on the boards of directors for the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, the Austin Area Urban League and for the Roy F. and Joann Cole Mitte Foundation. In addition, she is an active member of the Austin chapters of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.; Jack and Jill of America, Inc.; National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; and the Urban League.