When it comes to schools and other education-related programs and ventures, our education lawyers are the go-to choice for many entrepreneurs, individuals, businesses and organizations because of their unique needs and our comprehensive capabilities and experience in the areas of law that relate to schools specifically and education in general. We provide our clients with the support they need so they can focus on providing educational opportunities and programming for students and families.
Our team of education attorneys represent charter schools (and the various businesses and organizations that support them), private schools, nursery schools, daycare programs, proprietary schools, camps and “Friends Of” organizations. We also represent individuals, businesses and organizations that invest in schools, and educational service providers that provide a variety of products and services online or in traditional brick-and-mortar settings.
What we do
Schools and education-related business and organizations can operate in several forms. Whether not-for-profit or for-profit, our education lawyers work with clients on building their legal and corporate governance foundation, starting with selecting and forming a legal entity such as a corporation, not-for-profit corporation, limited liability company or education corporation.
Schools and organizations that support schools have boards of directors/trustees that have obligations driven by law, rules, regulations contracts. Boards also want to operate with best practices in mind and have the benefit of experienced counsel who focus on schools. Our team of education attorneys routinely advise boards and support their efforts as they provide oversight and guidance to schools and organizations, and we do so by assisting boards with the creation of policies and procedures, leading and facilitating strategic planning sessions, conducting internal investigations and compliance reviews and attending/facilitating board meetings and committee meetings.
For our not-for-profit clients and charter schools, after formation, our nyc education lawyers assist our clients in obtaining and maintaining tax-exempt (e.g. 501(c)(3)) status at the federal and state levels. We draft and submit applications for tax exemption, working with tax agencies throughout the process and after-tax exemption is granted, we work with our clients (and their team of accountants and auditors) to help them comply with various ongoing requirements needed to maintain their tax-exempt status.
Licenses and Permits
Many schools require some type of license, permit or certification to operate. From the New York State Education Department and its various offices (and other states’ education departments), to the New York City Department of Health, we work with our clients to prepare their initial applications for approval, their renewal applications as well as maintaining their licenses and permits throughout their term. Our NYC education lawyers also represent clients whose are faced with challenges to their licenses (e.g. suspension or revocation) and advocate on their behalf at hearings related to their licenses before various administrative agencies and tribunals.
One of the most important aspects of schools’ operations is their facilities. We work with our clients and their teams of real estate professionals on the leasing, purchasing, licensing, financing, development, and renovation of school facilities of all shapes and sizes.
Policies, Procedures, and Manuals
By-laws, conflict of interest policies, codes of conduct, student discipline policies, parent handbooks, employee handbooks, safety plans, grievance/compliant procedures, social media policies—we draft, review and train our clients and their staff on the various policies, procedures and manuals that are needed to successfully govern their operations.
Like other businesses, for-profit schools and educational programs have may have investors, shareholders, and partners. We assist both investors and the companies in which they invest by structuring and documenting investments.
Our team of education lawyers counsels our clients through the employment process, from assisting with the onboarding process (e.g. offer letters and employment contracts) to drafting employee handbooks, providing anti-harassment training and other professional development and providing advice on employee discipline and termination. We also conduct internal investigations and work with various agencies (e.g. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) when complaints by employees are filed.
Review of contracts and agreements, disputes over same, general questions, concerns and requests—on a daily basis, our education clients reach out to our team of professionals for advice and assistance.
At conferences, board meetings, and retreats and during professional development/in-service, we supplement our clients’ training by presenting on legal topics that affect our schools and the students they serve.
Whether developing their own intellectual property or using the intellectual property of others, we advise our education clients on trademarks, copyrights, license agreements, work for hire agreements and more.
Special education compliance, student discipline policies, matters, hearings, test security, child welfare agencies, child custody matters—these are examples of areas in which we commonly support schools.
When disputes over contracts, money, products, services and other matters arise, our experience as both business and education lawyers provides our clients with zealous advocacy they require coupled with the practical, informed perspective that experienced education lawyers possess that account for the unique needs and circumstances important to schools.
Whether operating pursuant to a license or permit from a government agency or providing a program, product or service that is regulated by one, we represent our clients before a wide range of federal, state and local agencies in matters ranging from employment, tax exemption, governance, real estate, compliance, advertising, students rights and general compliance-related matters.