Nancy E. Rafuse

Shareholder | Labor and Employment Department Chair Polsinelli

Member Details

  • Georgia

Exclusive IR Member for:

  • Employment Law (Corporate)
1201 West Peachtree Street NW Suite 1100
Atlanta GA 30309 United States

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"Our priority for our clients is to provide them with practical advice for the situation presented, help them search for solutions that work in their particular business and industry, and, of course, partner with them when assessing the risk associated with decisions they face."

Nancy Rafuse represents and advises employers on the full range of employment law and litigation issues in today’s business environment. She has served as lead trial counsel in all areas of employment litigation, including cases filed under the anti-discrimination statutes (Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act, Section 1981, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination Act, the Equal Pay Act) as well as other employment-related statutes (the FMLA, FLSA, OSHA, ERISA). Nancy serves as lead counsel defending companies in response to alleged Rule 23 class actions, as well as alleged FLSA collective actions. She has developed a national reputation over her 25 plus years of practice as an “expert on experts,” working with and cross-examining statisticians, labor economists and industrial and organizational psychologists. Nancy is also called upon by clients to assist with the review of employment tests and hiring and promotional assessments.  She is regularly invited to speak to national bar associations, industry groups, and management and human resources groups on employment and labor related issues, and also regularly presents to industry and expert groups on the subjects of statistics and labor economics.

Nancy is frequently called upon to advise clients concerning high-level, executive employment-related issues, including drafting and interpreting executive contracts and compensation agreements, enforcing restrictive covenants and advising clients with respect to confidential executive placements, investigations and departures.

Areas of Focus

  • Labor and Employment
  • Employment Class Actions
  • Employment Disputes, Litigation and Arbitration
  • Restrictive Covenants, Enforcement and Trade Secrets
  • Workforce Development, Investigations and Compliance


  • J.D., magna cum laude, University of Georgia School of Law, 1991, Order of the Coif; Georgia Law Review, Notes Editor
  • B.B.A., cum laude, University of Georgia, 1988, Finance

Bar Jurisdictions

  • Georgia

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Georgia
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Georgia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit 
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
  • Supreme Court of Georgia
  • United States Supreme Court


  • Benchmark Litigation, Top 250 Women in Litigation, 2013-2018
  • Ranked in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Labor and Employment (Georgia), 2004-2019
  • Ranked in Chambers USA,Band 1, Labor & Employment, Georgia (2004-2018)
  • Local Litigation Star recognition by Benchmark Litigation, 2013-2019
  • Benchmark Litigation, Top 250 Women in Litigation - South, 2016-2018
  • Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America®
    • Litigation - Labor & Employment, 2007-present
    • Employment Law - Management, 2007-present
    • Civil Rights Law, 2007-present
  • PLC Cross Border Labour and Employee Benefits, "Highly Regarded"
  • Intercontinental Finance magazine Legal Excellence Awards
  • Intercontinental Finance magazine, Top 500 Leading Lawyers
  • Georgia Trend magazine, "Georgia’s Legal Elite"
  • Selected for inclusion in Georgia Super Lawyers, 2004-2018
  • Georgia’s Top 100 Lawyers
  • Georgia’s Top 50 Women Lawyers 
  • National Law Journal, "40 under 40", 2005
  • The Lawdragon 500, New Stars, New Worlds
  • Fulton County Daily Report, "On the Rise", 2003
  • Marquis Who's Who in the World (24th Edition)
  • Who's Who in America (61st Edition)
  • Who's Who in the South and Southwest (33rd Edition)
  • Who's Who of American Women (25th Edition)
  • The International Who's Who of Business Lawyers


  • Board of Visitors, University of Georgia
    • School of Law, 2019-present
  • GEEARS Board of Directors, 2016-present
  • Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Foundation
    • Board Member, 2012-2016
  • Leadership Atlanta – Class of 2011
  • The Atlanta Zoo
    • Board of Directors & Audit Committee, 2005-2011
    • Chair, Audit Committee, 2010
    • Vice Chair HR & Diversity Committee, 2008-2010
    • Search Committee for President/CEO, Chair, 2010
    • Vice Chair and Executive Committee, 2011
  • State Bar of Georgia
    • Formal Advisory Opinion Board, 2008–2010
      Legislative Research Committee, Chair, 2008-2009
  • Atlanta Urban League
    • Board of Directors, 2001-2008
    • Vice Chair, 2005-2008
  • United States District Court, Northern District of Georgia
    • Bar Council and Disciplinary Committee, 2002-2005
  • Atlanta United Way’s Women’s Leadership Council
  • Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta
    • Second Century Circle Host Committee, 2013 
    • Camp CEO, 2011, 2013
  • Dress for Success
    • Champions for Success Award Recipient, 2013
  • Ladybug for Girls
    • Community Partner Award Recipient, 2012
  • American Bar Association
    • Labor and Employment Law Section
    • EEO Committee
  • American Employment Law Council
  • Litigation Counsel of America Wage and Hour Defense Institute
  • State Bar of Georgia
  • Atlanta Bar Association
  • Georgia Bar Association Diversity Program
  • Diversity Law Institute
  • Trial Law Institute

Firm Description

Polsinelli is an Am Law 100 firm with more than 875 attorneys in 21 offices nationwide. Recognized by legal research firm BTI Consulting as one of the top firms for excellent client service and client relationships, the firm’s attorneys provide value through practical legal counsel infused with business insight, and focus on health care, financial services, real estate, intellectual property, middle-market corporate, labor and employment and business litigation.