Central Texas Based Trial and Appellate Lawyers
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Joel Shields
Specializing in Employment Claims
“I believe in righting wrongs, standing up for those without a voice, and seeking just results for my clients. This is what I was meant to do.”

Joel Shields is Board Certified in Labor & Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Joel focuses his practice on representing workers and companies in employment matters. Whether Joel represents a wrongfully terminated employee, or advises a business on how to comply with complex areas of the law, Joel aggressively advocates for his client and provides sound guidance.

Joel’s representation of workers and companies includes almost all areas of employment law, including sexual harassment; discrimination based upon religion, race, sex, age, or disability (failure or refusal to accommodate); Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) claims; wage and hour claims (including overtime claims); retaliation claims; workers’ compensation retaliation claims; whistleblower claims; and employment contracts. Before becoming a lawyer, Joel worked as an insurance claims adjuster for a major carrier and understands how insurance companies make decisions on claims and in lawsuits.

Joel helps employers protect themselves from litigation by conducting investigations and advising employers in matters of employee discipline and termination. As an employment law advisor, he guides employers through the termination process and points out the steps to take to avoid retaliation lawsuits. He reviews and updates existing handbooks and policies or, if needed, drafts new ones to suit the legal needs of his clients. He helps businesses protect their trade secrets from competitors by drafting non-compete agreements, anti-solicitation agreements, and non-disclosure agreements. He drafts and negotiates executive employment agreements and severance agreements for employers and employees.

Joel earned his J.D. in 2003 from South Texas College of Law Houston, where he was an Assistant Articles Editor on Law Review. He earned his B.A. in 1996 from Sam Houston State University, the place where he met his lovely wife, Marsha. They have two children, Caleb and Anabeth. Away from work, Joel enjoys spending time with his family and friends, participating in strength classes at D1 Sports, and visiting wineries across the great State of Texas.

Practice Areas

  • Employment Litigation
  • Employment Transactions
  • Personal Injury Litigation
  • Business/Commercial Litigation


South Texas College of Law Houston (J.D. 2003)

Sam Houston State University (B.A. Criminal Justice, 1996)


Labor and Employment Law

Bar Admissions

State Bar of Texas, 2003

U.S. District Court – Southern District of Texas, 2004

U.S. District Court – Western District of Texas, 2007

U.S. District Court – Northern District of Texas, 2010

U.S. District Court – Eastern District of Texas, 2011

U.S. Court of Federal Claims, 2017

Professional Activities and Memberships

Labor and Employment Law Section, State Bar of Texas, 2008 – present

Texas Employment Lawyers Association, 2021 – Present

Waco-McLennan County Bar Association, 2007 – Present

Waco-McLennan County Young Lawyers Association, Board of Directors, 2008-2009

Judge Abner V. McCall American Inn of Court, 2014 – Present

Community Involvement

Leadership Waco Class XXXIV, 2017-2018

Live Oak Classical School, Grammar School Basketball Coach, 2014 – 2016

Midway Little League, Boy’s Baseball Coach, 2015

Upward Basketball League, Basketball Coach, 2011 – 2013

Live Oak Classical School, Long Range Planning Committee, 2012 – 2013

Woodway Family Center, T-Ball Coach, 2008 – 2009

Harris Creek Baptist Church, Member, 2022 – Present

Leadership Waco Alumni, 2022 – Present

"SYT Firm has invested deeply in the Waco community through our work among the poor and marginalized. They continue to make civic engagement a priority of their practice to give back through hands-on compassion. We love ’em!"

Jimmy Dorrell

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7901 Fish Pond Road, Suite 200
Waco, Texas 76710
Phone: 254-399-8788
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