Robert W. Burns


Labor & Employment | Municipal Law | School & Higher Education

Bob approaches matters from the perspective of his clients. He keeps the big picture in mind even when contemplating seemingly minor issues.

Workplaces and schools are two of the most dynamic and sometimes controversial areas in our society, and often times the “laboratories” for legislative policy enactment. Bob’s practice serves both. He helps employers and school administrators navigate a wide variety of legal issues.

Bob represents employers of all sizes, including those with union and non-union workforces. He handles labor negotiations, discrimination defense, disability and ADA issues, wrongful discharge or employment contract disputes, non-compete issues and other sensitive personnel transactions. He provides advice on a wide variety of school law issues. Bob also works with businesses and governmental entities as general or special counsel.


J.D., Willamette University College of Law

B.A., History, St. Norbert College

Published Articles/Presentations

  • Published:  "Employers: “Wisconsinize” Your Handbooks and Policies", The Business News, September 16, 2019
  • Presentation: 34th Annual School Law Seminar, Dealing with Applicant/Employee Criminal Issues
  • Presentation, Defending Discrimination Claims Filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Wisconsin Equal Rights Division, Seminar; Green Bay, WI, September 21, 2022
  • Presentation, Green Bay Chapter SHRM Annual Legal Update, Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Seminar, September 14, 2022
  • Presentation, 44th Annual Public Officials Seminar, 44th Annual Public Officials Program; De Pere, WI, April 27, 2022
  • Presentation, 42nd Annual Public Officials Program, April 29, 2020


  • Martindale Hubbell AV® Peer Review Rated
  • Selected to the Wisconsin Super Lawyers list: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023
  • Selected to The Best Lawyers in America®in Employment Law – Management: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024
  • Selected to The Best Lawyers in America®in Labor Law – Management: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024
  • Selected to Best Lawyers®in Labor Law - Management "Lawyer of the Year" in Green Bay: 2015, 2017, 2019, 2021, 2024
  • Selected to Best Lawyers®in Employment Law - Management "Lawyer of the Year" in Green Bay: 2012, 2014, 2018, 2020, 2022, 2024
  • George Tipler Award, WSAA (2017)
  • Leader in the Law, Wisconsin Law Journal(2012)
  • Fellow, Wisconsin Law Foundation
  • Norbert College: Distinguished Service to the College Award, 1998; Ambassador Award, 1992, 1993

Professional Activities

  • Member, State Bar of Wisconsin
  • Member, Brown County Bar Association
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, Society of Human Resource Management - Green Bay, Sheboygan
  • Member, St. Norbert College President's Advisory Council
  • Member, The Hon. Robert J. Parins Legal Society of Northeast Wisconsin
  • Member/Former President, Wisconsin School Attorneys Association (WSAA)

Community Involvement

  • Former Game Day Assistant, National Football League Officiating Department
  • Board Member, St. Thomas More Society, Diocese of Green Bay
  • Former Board Member, Brown County United Way; St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center of Green Bay, Inc.; St. Vincent Hospital of the Hospital Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis; Meyer Theatre Corporation; Freedom House Ministries, Inc.
  • Former Board Chair, Family Services of Northeast Wisconsin, Inc.
  • Former President/Former Board Member: Green Bay Country Club, Inc.;
  • Board Member/Secretary, Brian LaViolette Scholarship Foundation