Industries & Practices

Education Law

Education Law

    We are a reliable and cost-effective resource for education leaders. 

    As the single largest legal group in Ohio dedicated specifically to education, our attorneys represent a wide range of educational entities, including well over 200 public school districts and numerous educational service centers across the state. We work with administrators to put proactive plans in place and, when needed, address any student, employee and community issues that may occur.

    Types of clients we represent:

    • Pre-K to 12 schools
    • Career/technical schools
    • Colleges and universities
    • Community schools
    • Education service centers
    • Information technology centers

    "We are fortunate to work with Bricker & Eckler. They are very responsive and available, and are truly partners with us!"

    Valerie Browning-Thompson, Pickerington Local School District (recently-retired superintendent), as quoted in Best Law Firms, 2018

    "Bricker & Eckler is large enough to provide very specific expertise but small enough to form personal and trusting relationships."

    William Wise, South-Western City School District, as quoted in Best Law Firms, 2018

    "The attorneys at Bricker & Eckler are extremely conscientious, hardworking, and determined to put my interests first. Whatever my issue happens to be, they are the first people I call. I want my school district to be legally compliant, and Bricker & Eckler is always there to make it happen!"

    Doug Ackermann, Lockland City School District, as quoted in Best Law Firms, 2018

    Areas of Focus

    Student Rights & Responsibilities

    We advise educators on social, technological and legal student issues. These include student suspension/expulsion, student policies and handbooks, bullying, transportation, open enrollment, student privacy, discrimination, religious speech/activities, school fees and extracurricular activities, to name a few. Our attorneys also practice in every aspect of special education and disability law.

    Personnel & Employment

    Our attorneys advise administrators on public employment law relating to contracts, nonrenewal/suspension/termination, licensure, misconduct, compensation, benefits, retirement, workers' compensation claims and more. We vigorously defend employers in all phases of employment discrimination claims. We also have extensive skill in collective bargaining matters and have helped hundreds of public sector entities conclude contract negotiations positively, cooperatively and efficiently.

    Board Governance

    Ensuring compliance with sunshine laws and ethics laws, we help board members, administrators, and other employees of public entities maintain the trust of their public constituents. We also counsel clients regularly on resolutions, policy language and ethical compliance and provide training to prevent problems before they arise.

    Finance & Facilities

    We adopt a collaborative approach to protect school funding and solve a school finance issues, including tax levy planning, the protection of assessed property valuation, and tax abatement and exemption. Many members of our team had first-hand involvement in DeRolph vs. State, earning a deep understanding of taxation and school funding. Likewise, we help schools acquire or dispose of real estate and personal property, as well as finance and construct new school facilities.

    Innovative Options

    We advise school districts that may wish to pursue alternative educational delivery options to meet the needs of their communities. Options include creating STEM schools, entering into collaborative agreements with other entities or implementing other innovative programs. 

    Civil Rights

    To protect individuals from discrimination or harassment on the basis of age, sex, race or disability, we help our school clients create and maintain policies and procedures that address allegations quickly and effectively. When a dispute does arise, we represent schools before the Office for Civil Rights, the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and in court in cases involving civil rights laws such as Title IX, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title VII, and other state and federal laws.

    Title IX & Sexual Misconduct

    The U.S. Department of Education’s spotlight on Title IX and the Clery Act pursuant to the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) makes this a quickly evolving area of law. We help colleges and universities understand these requirements, put proactive measures in place, and address allegations quickly and effectively by applying experience-based guidance to real-life, rapidly changing situations. We also investigate and develop an appropriate institutional response to high-profile, highly sensitive allegations. Visit our Title IX Resource Center >>

    Higher Education

    We represent state universities, independent colleges and universities, community colleges, and non-traditional education providers. Our higher education attorneys provide guidance in the areas of institutional governance obligations, student rights, employee rights, tax exemption, real estate and construction, environmental sustainability, government advocacy, intellectual property protection and courtroom representation.