Cynthia L. DeCola

Partner  |  View Latest Posts



Contact/Location
Office: Arlington Heights
cdecola@hlerk.com
847-670-9000 (office)
847-670-7334 (fax)

Download vCard

EDUCATION
Elmhurst University, B.S., Business, summa cum laude, 1993 

Chicago-Kent College of Law, J.D., Merit Scholar1997 
Partner Cindi DeCola has been practicing school law for more than 20 years and serves as general counsel to numerous school districts and other clients in education. Cindi concentrates her practice in the personnel and labor area, which includes many hours spent at the bargaining table. Cindi has extensive experience counseling employers on discipline, leave and disability issues, harassment complaints, investigations, crisis management, and communications. A self-described “HR geek,” she truly enjoys the people element of this work and loves working with, and guiding, superintendents and human resource administrators.

Cindi’s clients appreciate her communication skills and balanced, sensible approach to reaching desired outcomes. Her extensive counseling experience allows her to understand the toll that disputes and high profile matters can place on a school district, its Board, and administrative team and thus, she continually strives to ensure her clients have her full support throughout these challenges. In addition to her legal practice, Cindi frequently lectures and instructs on a variety of employment-related topics and is a certified trainer in interest-based bargaining techniques.

Beyond the office, Cindi enjoys spending time with her family, friends and two spirited yellow labs.



  • Chicago-Kent Public Labor Advisory Board, Member, 2019 – Present

  • Certified Interest-Based Bargaining Trainer, 2016 – Present

  • Lake County Superintendent’s Association Fall Leadership Conference Planning Committee, Member, 2008 – Present

  • Illinois Council of School Attorneys, Member, 1998 – Present

  • National Council of School Attorneys, Member, 1998 – Present



  • Fundamentals of Collective Bargaining, Workshop, Illinois Association of School Administrators, 2021

  • What is to come in 2021-Personnel/Labor in the post-COVID World?, Mini-Keynote Address, Illinois Association of School Personnel Administrators Annual Conference, 2021

  • An Employer’s Guide to Public Act 101-591: Appeals of Unsatisfactory” Teacher Evaluations, Illinois Association of School Personnel Administrators, 2020

  • Writing Evaluations that Withstand Scrutiny, Illinois Association of School Administrators, Workshop, 2019

  • The Importance of Maintaining Professional Boundaries with Students, various client In-services, 2019

  • The New TRS 3% “Salary Cap” and the Impact on Salary Schedules, Employment Contracts, and Retirement Benefits, Workshop, Illinois Association of School Personnel Administrators, 2018

  • The ABCs of Collective Bargaining in the Schools, various client In-services, 2016