What is Education Law? How to Find an Education Lawyer

 Education Law

What is Education Law?

Education law governs school organizations, educational facilities, and all of the policies implemented within them. It also extends to educational requirements for students, whether they attend private, public, or home schools. It handles funding and certification requirements for educators as well. A specialized portion of education law deals with discrimination, coinciding with the Civil Rights Act and the EEOC’s educational counterpart. It also corresponds with constitutional rights as they apply to education.

Governing Law

Education law is enforced at both the state and the federal level. While states may craft their own codes to handle education though, all of these laws must comply with federal requirements such as the No Child Left Behind Act. States are also responsible for creating various versions of minimum standard tests. It is primarily codified with some interpretation through case law. It also implicates a certain component of constitutional law in matters such as free speech and the rights of parents to direct the upbringing of their children. Constitutional law issues are case law based.

The jurisdiction involved depends on the issue you are raising. If it is a state issue, you will need a lawyer licensed in that state. If it is a federal issue, then the state in which you are located is fine, provided the lawyer is licensed to practice in the federal system. If it is a blend, then the attorney will need to satisfy both requirements.

Reasons for Hiring an Attorney

Education law attorneys are brought in for a number of reasons ranging from unfair expulsion to discriminatory practices related to access to school facilities. Parents defending their right to determine the method of their children’s upbringing and education often meet with education lawyers as well. In most cases, you will need an attorney from an education law firm to assist you in matters where your rights as a parent or your child’s rights are infringed upon in some way or when the school following practices that violate the law. However, to bring the case, you will have to have standing. If you are not involved in the case directly, then the consultation with the attorney should reveal whether you have standing to bring the case before the court.

Things to Look for in a Education Lawyer

Education law is not as complex as tax or bankruptcy laws, but it is still a complicated body of law. You will want a lawyer who has experience in education cases as well as in your individual case. For instance, if your child has been expelled for a reason that you disagree with or is facing discrimination, you will want an attorney or a law firm that handles similar cases. You would need a different focal point if you need representation to continue homeschooling your children. Most state bars include certifications of established education lawyers, provided the star bar has such a certification or specialization.

For matters directly involving the interests of your children, it is good to hire an attorney who works well with the child. In situations involving older children’s rights, the child may be called upon to testify. A good rapport with the attorney will make this process far simpler. The attorney’s track record is also quite important. Look to see what other cases like yours the attorney or law firm has handled and how they were resolved. Read the full holdings of the case to determine whether the result was good or not as sometimes the findings are quite narrow and do not equal a simple win or loss for either side.

Education Law Blogs

  • Complying with Your State`s Homeschooling Laws

    More and more families have started turning to homeschooling so that they can better meet their children’s academic needs. Parents have a right to direct their children’s education, but if you do decide to homeschool, then you must make s...