Legal Services for Pennsylvania Schools and School Districts

Municipal Law Services

As recently as the 1950′s, students in the area still attended one room schools. At that time, most school issues could be addressed by teachers and parents. Today 298 public schools and 359 private schools serve more than 250,000 students in Bucks and Montgomery Counties.

We want our school officials to be experts on meeting the educational needs of our children. However, today’s schools must also address a broad range of legal issues including curriculum requirements, special education, discipline, immigration matters, employment and labor relations, and administration. At the same time, schools must remain accountable to students, parents, teachers, district employees, and taxpayers. Maintaining this balance is impossible without professional legal counsel.

Rudolph Clarke, LLC provides legal advice and services to local schools and school districts. Our attorneys represent school districts in Bucks County, Montgomery County and the greater Philadelphia area. We currently serve as Solicitor for Norristown Area School District
and Pennsbury School District, as well as Upper Perkiomen School District (Special Counsel) and George School (Special Counsel).  We serve as Special Counsel to the Bristol Township School District and have acted as general counsel on particular projects. Our Pennsylvania school law attorneys understand the diverse and complex legal issues faced by modern schools. We provide a full range of school law services and strive to find creative, timely, and effective solutions to the legal challenges facing local schools.

School Board Matters

Schools, school boards and school districts are regulated by a number of federal and state law. Our attorneys provide legal advice and representation to Pennsylvania school boards. Our services for school boards include assistance with:

  • Review and interpretation of board policies
  • Training in open meeting law and procedures
  • Public relations
  • Media relations
  • Election issues
  • Data practices law
  • Competitive bidding and contracting
  • Employee issues
  • Contracts and business transactions
  • Insurance and risk management
  • Individual board member liability
  • Litigation

Student Matters

Every child in Pennsylvania has a right to a good education in a safe learning environment. The attorneys at Rudolph Clarke help schools address the rights of students within the requirements of national, state and local laws. Our attorneys advise school boards and administrators on complex student issues, including:

  • Student discipline and expulsion
  • School violence and student safety concerns
  • Issues involving religion and free speech
  • State and national curriculum requirements
  • Claims of discrimination and/or harassment
  • Equal protection claims
  • Investigations of alleged wrong-doing by students, faculty and staff
  • School violence and safety
  • Immigration and residency issues
  • Parental rights
  • Review of school handbooks and school policies

Special Education Law

Students with disabilities are protected under a number of Pennsylvania laws. Our school law attorneys help school officials comply with these regulations and offer advice on conflict resolution and litigation avoidance. We help schools in the areas of:

  • Due process hearings
  • Compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
  • Compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act
  • Discrimination claims
  • State and federal complaint procedures
  • State and federal court proceedings
  • Mediation
  • Litigation

Employment Matters

Our school law attorneys have extensive knowledge of human resource issues and employment law. We provide the legal advice that school districts need in order to comply with federal and state employment and discrimination laws and avoid litigation. If a lawsuit should arise, our experienced trial lawyers can skillful defense. We provide legal counsel on:

  • Employee discipline and discharge
  • Employee policies, and procedures
  • Employee handbooks
  • Teacher tenure
  • Veterans’ Preference Act
  • Family and Medical Leave Act
  • Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Workplace injury and workers’ compensation
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) claims
  • Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC) claims
  • Civil rights (OCR) claims
  • Workplace discrimination claims
  • Sexual harassment claims
  • Due process and First Amendment issues

Labor Relations and Collective Bargaining

Teachers’ unions are powerful organizations. Our attorneys can help your school districts with all aspects of contract negotiations, collective bargaining and labor relationships. We have experience with the following:

  • Collective bargaining agreements
  • Resolution of labor disputes
  • Drafting and interpretations of contracts
  • Grievance proceedings
  • Arbitration
  • Investigation of allegations of unfair labor practices
  • Mediation
  • Strike preparation
  • Litigation

School Construction and Real Estate Law

Some areas of Bucks and Montgomery Counties are experiencing high rates of population growth. As more people move into the area, school districts must renovate existing schools and construct additions and new buildings. Our school law attorneys understand the complex legal issues involved in school districts construction and real estate projects. We able to provide due diligence, negotiation, and legal review of the following:

  • Land acquisition
  • Land development and permits
  • Financing
  • Title issues
  • Leasing of property
  • Construction contracts
  • Soliciting and awarding of bids
  • Joint powers agreements
  • Compliance with environmental and regulatory agencies
  • Litigation

Bonding and Public Finance

Rudolph Clarke assists school districts with all aspects of financing, including bond referendums and annual school levies. Our lawyers provide public financial services, including:

  • School finance advice
  • Bond counsel
  • Financing for lease purchase and construction projects
  • Election and referendum law

If you are interested in our legal services for schools and school boards, please contact Rudolph Clarke, LLC at 215-633-1890.