About UsThe Section

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The School Law Section of the State Bar of Texas is dedicated to providing a forum for information related to legal issues arising in public schools, junior colleges, and universities in Texas to a wide range of legal practitioners and education law related associations. Section membership includes individuals who represent the interests of parents, students, employees and employee organizations, educational institutions and governing bodies of institutions, and state and national education-related agencies and associations. A broad diversification of interests and an atmosphere of professional cooperation help to make the School Law Section a unique group committed to the interests of all its constituents. Attorneys who wish to become members of the School Law Section should use the form that accompanies your State Bar of Texas membership.

Message fromThe Chair

Welcome to the School Law Section of the State Bar of Texas! We are the home for all things “school law,” a unique and wonderful practice area that focuses on representing clients in the field of education. Our section is somewhat unusual in that we welcome members from both sides of the Bar – our members represent school boards and students/parents, administrators and teachers, public and private schools. Our goal as a section is to promote congeniality and civility amongst our members, regardless of who they represent, so that when you encounter each other “out in the real world,” you will already have a personal relationship that will help you better assist your clients in resolving their disputes. We believe that you can zealously represent your clients without sacrificing professionalism. Members of our section will tell you that some of their best friendships were formed in the section, with attorneys “from the other side.”

I am privileged to serve the section this year as Chair. I would like to personally thank my predecessors, Marney Sims (2019-2020) and Mari McGowan (2020-2021) for guiding us through the bizarro world that has been the COVID pandemic, which has been particularly hard on all our clients in the world of education. Their leadership was a model of grace and dignity, and I hope to live up to the high standards that they and those who came before them have set. We really have a great group of attorneys!

I am excited to announce our section initiative for this year, “School Law 101.” I serve as the hiring partner for Thompson & Horton, and as I talk to students at law schools, I hear the same thing over and over: “Wow – I really liked my school law class, but I didn’t know you could really practice school law in real life.” Our goal this year will be to create a “curriculum” (we are school lawyers, after all) that we can use to educate college and law school students about what “school law” is and what they can do now to prepare to practice in the field, whether it is representing school districts, teachers, or students and their parents. Our goal will be to eventually send out multi-disciplinary teams to Texas law schools (and maybe beyond) to meet with students to further educate them about who we are and what we do. Hopefully this will increase the already high quality of our membership, and will prepare a new generation of school lawyers.

This is going to be an exciting (although hopefully more normal) year! If you are interested in helping with “School Law 101,” or in any capacity, please do not hesitate to contact me at cbg@thlaw.com, Meredith Walker the Senior Co-Chair for the Communication Committee at mwalker@wasba.com, or any member of our Executive Committee.

Chris Gilbert
Section Chair 2021-2022
cbg@thlaw.com

Executive Committee

2021-2022 Council
Vice-Chair
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Treasurer
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Immediate Past Chair
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Directors

Third Year of Three-Year Term

Leslie Story
Executive Committee
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Amanda Moore
Executive Committee

Second Year of Three-Year Term

Leticia McGowan
Executive Committee
Brandon Brim
Executive Committee

First Year of Three-Year Term

Cory Hartsfield
Executive Committee
Christie Hobbs
Executive Committee

One-Year Appointment

Tiger Hanner
Retreat Planner
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Amanda Bigbee
Retreat Planner
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Click Here for a List of Past Chairs

The purposes of this Section shall be to promote the objectives of the State Bar of Texas…related to all matters involving schools and colleges

Read the Bylaws