Sheila Thobani

Sheila Thobani


Sheila’s practice focuses on general school law, special education law, and employment law. She counsels public, private, and independent schools on topics such as: IDEA complaints and due process hearings; IEP and 504 Plan issues; bullying, harassment, and discrimination complaints and investigations; student discipline; School Board Policies; employee and student handbooks; employment contracts; employee discipline; compliance with the Public Records Law and Open Meetings Law; and staff training. 

Prior to joining Buelow Vetter, Sheila was an Assistant City Attorney for the City of Milwaukee, where she served as General Counsel for Milwaukee Public Schools.  She advised the District in areas such as litigation, special education, employment contracts, and negotiations with the Office for Civil Rights.  She also advised various city departments (including the Milwaukee Police Department and the Department of Neighborhood Services) and represented them in State and Municipal Court and before city tribunals.


  • J.D., Marquette University Law School
  • Editor-in-Chief, Marquette Intellectual Property Law Review
  • B.A., Political Science, Austin College
  • Member, State Bar of Wisconsin
  • Member, Milwaukee Bar Association
  • Member, Wisconsin Association of African-American Lawyers
  • Member, The National Black Lawyers
  • Member, Wisconsin School Attorneys Association
  • Member, Council of School Attorneys
  • Named Top 40 Under 40 by The National Black Lawyers
  • Secretary, Wisconsin Asian American Bar Association
  • Named Rising Star by Super Lawyers
  • Board Member, Marquette University Law School Alumni Association

Up Close & Personal

Q: What do you like to do when you are not at work?

A: Experiment cooking fusion cuisines, play video games, teach my Boxer new tricks (her name is Radagast, the Brown!), and dabble in boutique cigars.

Q: If I had not gone to law school, I would have become…

A: Either a chef and open a restaurant honoring both of my grandmothers’ cuisines (Burmese and Tanzanian) or a professional world traveler (to date I have traveled to 32 countries).

Q: Who is your favorite author?

A: Kurt Vonnegut- the man knows how to create a story captivating enough to escape reality.

Q: What do you like most about being a lawyer?

A: Interaction with everyday people. Clients are humans at the end of the day and rely on us for communication skills. Helping people understand their circumstances while also solving their problems is a rewarding challenge.