At Hinshaw, we have more than 50 years of experience representing school districts, boards of education and their school district administrative teams, and private educational entities from throughout the United States. We have the insight needed to provide effective legal counsel to educational organizations.
We handle the full range of educational entities’ transactional activities. In doing so, we bring an unparalleled scope and experience-based familiarity to provide effective and efficient solutions. We are particularly well-versed in:
- Acting as bond or underwriter’s counsel
- Assisting with public law and finance issues
As counsel to school boards, we assist with all legal aspects of local government organization and operations. We routinely handle matters that are unique to board functioning. These include:
- Employee and student disciplinary hearings
- General and bond elections and election contests
- Meeting minute reviews
- Open Meetings Act compliance
- Parliamentary procedures
- Policy development
- Public bidding contracting
We also help establish intergovernmental cooperation agreements designed to benefit the participating entities.
Hinshaw also has extensive experience in advising school districts on diverse labor and employment subjects involving:
- Certification and tenure issues
- Collective bargaining and negotiation
- Employee and management handbooks and contracts
- Employment discrimination claims and investigations
- Employee benefit claims
- Terminations, lay-offs, reductions in force, and suspensions
- Unfair labor practice claims
Additionally, we advise and represent education clients on both complex and routine real estate and property subjects. Some of the matters with which we have experience include:
- Construction and professional services contracts
- Environmental issues, including indoor air quality matters
- Sales and acquisitions of real estate
We also provide school districts a full range of legislative advocacy services at the federal, state, county and local level, including:
Educational and Student Issues
- Drafting legislation
- Representing clients before regulatory agency hearings
We have broad experience advising on special education matters involving the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and comparable state laws. Our school law attorneys routinely represent clients in mediation, complaint and due process proceedings. We also assist with procedural compliance' student eligibility'; Free Appropriate Public Education and reasonable accommodation determinations' placement in the least restrictive environment' and parental cooperation.
In addition, we consult daily with school district administrators on a wide variety of student-related matters regarding, among many other issues, bilingual and alternative education matters, curricular changes, desegregation and discrimination claims, free speech and assembly issues, and student records release and confidentiality.
We know how to position school districts to avoid or cut short litigation. We also count among our distinguished ranks the author of the leading treatise on tort immunity in Illinois. But when necessary, we manage complex and more common litigation matters. Our dispute resolution experience includes defense of: civil rights claims under Sections 1983, 1985 and 1986; suits brought by students and others for assault, battery, defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress and personal injury/wrongful death; and class-action claims.