Federico G. Barrera III

Rico Barrera counsels an array of public and private sector clients, with an emphasis on school districts and universities. His practice focuses on civil litigation, labor and employment matters, cooperative agreements, and regulatory compliance in the K-12 and higher education fields. He routinely advises on issues such as contract administration, employee grievances, arbitrations, and discrimination, with experience defending employers against charges before the Ohio Civil Rights Commission (OCRC) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Rico also advises public sector clients on matters such as FERPA, the Ohio Open Meetings Act, the Ohio Public Records Act, compliance with Ohio Ethics laws and constitutional issues.

Rico works closely with higher education clients to ensure their compliance with Title IX, the Clery Act, NCAA regulations, and other federal and state regulations. As a trained civil rights investigator specializing in trauma-informed investigatory practices in sexual misconduct investigations, he has experience performing investigations into issues of student conduct as well as faculty/employee conduct. He has also helped institutions conduct department-specific assessments to gauge organizational climate.

Rico previously served as an Assistant Attorney General for the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, Executive Agencies Section. With extensive experience practicing before a diverse array of administrative agencies, including the Ohio Department of Commerce and the Ohio Department of Public Safety, Rico helps his clients proactively address compliance issues and, when necessary, vigorously defends them in administrative actions.

Professional & Community Activities

  • Member, Ohio Council of School Board Attorneys
  • Mentor, Hispanic National Bar Association Mentorship Program
  • Mentor, Ohio Attorney General’s Teen Advisory Board, 2015–2016
  • Judge, Ohio High School Mock Trial Competition, 2015–2016

Presentations & Published Works

  • Speaker, "OASBO Essentials of Human Resources, 2018-2019", August 2018
  • Speaker, "Legal Update: #MeToo, Immigration, and Transgender Issues," OSBA Diversity and Inclusion in the Law: Implicit Bias, April 2018
  • Speaker, "Constitutional Potpourri," OASSA/OAESA Legal Seminar, February 2018
  • Webinar, "Hot Topics in Labor & Employment for Higher Education: Overtime Rules and Unionization of Students,” November 2017
  • Speaker, "The First Amendment and the Cultural Shift," BASA Legal Issues for Superintendents, October 2017
  • Speaker, "Legislative Update," Stark County Educational Service Center, August 2017

Bar Admissions & Activities

  • Admitted, State of Ohio, 2013
  • Admitted, United States District Court, Southern District of Ohio
  • Member, Ohio State Bar Association
  • Member, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association; Labor & Employment Subcommittee, Young Lawyers Subcommittee
  • Member, Hispanic National Bar Association - Region X


  • Case Western Reserve University (J.D.), 2013; Dean’s Honor List; Regional Runner-Up Best Negotiation, LawMeets Transactional Law Competition
  • The Ohio State University (B.A. in Economics), 2010