Jobs as education attorneys are critical to our society because they are in place to keep our educational system a fair, safe and equitable place for students to learn.
There are many educational laws put in place to protect the interests of students, educators and administrators, but the primary focus is often on the needs of the students, who do not have the experience or ability to advocate for themselves.
Education attorneys specialize in this field because they focus solely on education laws and how to enforce current laws and implement new laws.
Their primary goal is to advocate for students who have faced discrimination or another barrier preventing them from receiving the same level of education as their peers. This may be access to education, lessrestrictive environment settings for students with disabilities, and the power of the school district as a whole.Other issues may look at the legality of home schooling, alternative schooling and the actual school day.
A good education attorney is aware of all the school polices as well as local, state and federal laws and how to apply these laws in school systems. He or she should also be knowledgeable about a variety of disabilities as well as abilities in students. There should also be a degree of empathy in working with students and parents as well as being fair with educators at the same time.
Often, education attorneys begin as a teacher who then goes to law school. These former teachers are naturally qualified because they have been in the front lines of the classroom and know the many issues that can come up in a school day, particularly in the life of students with disabilities. Parents of students with disabilities may also become interested in this legal avenue because they may have dealt with access to education issues themselves.
Regardless, an education attorney needs to complete undergraduate school with a BA as well as the requisite three year law school graduation with a juris doctorate degree. Additionally, these individuals need to successfully pass the bar exam in their state.
Salaries for attorney education jobs vary greatly and are dependent on the state the attorney works in, the organization they work for and the level of experience the attorney has.