Houston has a vast ecosystem of educational entities. There are numerous institutions focused on educating the diverse children and adults that reside in our city, as well as non-profits and organizations that support schools and advocate for education policies.
These educational entities face distinct legal challenges. Each institution can have legal issues involving everything from students, teachers, and staff to school properties and curriculum. For all these areas, there are numerous local, state, and federal regulations regarding their operations that must be followed. School districts, charter schools, private schools, and universities located here need an educational entities lawyer in Houston to provide counsel and resolve any legal disputes. Many educational entities make the mistake of thinking any lawyer can handle their issues and thus hire lawyers who are unfamiliar with their specific needs or problems.
Unique Legal Challenges Facing Educational Entities
Educational entities’ first challenge is they are expected to adhere to strict regulations. For example, school boards must comply with the Texas Open Meetings Act. Similarly, college boards are expected to adhere to civil rights laws regarding admissions. These are just a few of the many ways regulation impacts the running of a school. Education is such a closely held issue in our communities that every year there are countless examples of new laws impacting educational entities that must be followed.
Laws involving labor and employment, student services, building codes, and more impact the day-to-day operations of a school. Remaining in compliance with all of them can be tricky, as almost no administrator or board member is familiar with all these rules. Additionally, legal matters such as dealing with various contracts and agreements for employees, vendors, maintenance workers, health care administrators, and other service providers can overwhelm the educational entity’s governing body. Educational entity administrators and their boards need experienced Houston educational entities lawyers to negotiate, draft, and review these items in order to protect their organization.
In addition to ensuring all the appropriate laws and ordinances are followed and day-to-day legal matters are handled, schools often have to deal with lawsuits that arise from students, parents, or governments. Educational entities are perceived as being forces for good in the community with sterling reputations. Thus, if a scandal hits a school, like firing a teacher for making inflammatory comments, not only the school, but the entire district may also suffer reputational harm. Skilled lawyers know their job is not only to help their client with the lawsuit, but also to protect their image. It is important to handle all potential legal matters that arise with delicacy and efficiency to preserve the good standing of the entities involved. Additionally, it is smart to work with a lawyer to review and implement policies so there is a plan of action before a potential problem comes up, like how to handle employment termination, harassment issues, physical or sexual abuse, and any issues around the use of technology and social media.
Overall, there are a number of legal questions educational entities must grapple with, both mundane and scandalous. Oftentimes, the board and administrators simply do not have the background or time to address them all adequately. The consequences of falling out of compliance with a state or federal regulation, having strong contracts, putting smart policies in place, and more can be a major problem for an educational entity. Having a skilled legal team help with these matters can allow these entities more time to work on education and not administration.
Most Common Types of Educational Entities:
- Elementary school
- Community college
- Technical college
- Middle school
- High school
- Graduate school
- Private university
- Public university
- Traditional public school
- Charter school
- Traditional private school
- Magnet school
- Boarding school
- Montessori school
- Parochial school
Why Feldman & Feldman?
One of our founding partners, David Feldman, has been practicing in this area of law for over 35 years. As a Houston educational entities attorney, David has represented numerous educational institutions and organizations in legal disputes across the state of Texas. Additionally, he is particularly skilled in advising college boards. David also has extensive experience working with all types of educational entities across the city from when he served as the City Attorney for Houston from 2010 to 2015.
The entire Houston educational entities lawyer team at Feldman & Feldman has decades of combined experience helping clients with their legal issues. School districts, higher education institutions, and education non-profits can trust the educational entities attorneys in Houston at Feldman & Feldman to successfully handle both their day-to-day legal needs as well as help to resolve specific disputes or lawsuits that arise. We also work to educate our clients on current and potential laws, policies, and issues that come up which impact educational institutions. Staying on top of legal changes allows organizations to think smartly about future plans and policies. Our ultimate goal is to protect your educational entity, so you can focus on furthering your mission.
If you are facing any type of legal issue with your role serving a school, university, or educational nonprofit, don’t hesitate to call Feldman & Feldman today to schedule a consultation. We can explain your legal options and protect your interests.