Criteria Used by Boards of Education in the Selection of a School Attorney
Thomas, Woodie H.
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The problem. The purpose of this field report was to analyze the criteria for use by the members of a board of education in the selection of a school attorney to represent and advise the school district on actual or potential legal controversies. Procedure. If a legal service was cited in the introduction to the review of related literature or in the personal interviews, the legal service was expanded in the body of the review of related literature. The body of the review of related literature, and personal interviews were conducted to develop a specific set of criteria for use as a checklist by the board of education which, in turn, are based on the type of legal services the school attorney may perform on behalf of the school district. Findings. A list of twenty-five criteria were offered as a set of specific recommendations for boards of education to use as a checklist in the selection of a school law attorney. Conclusions. A list of criteria was established from a review of related literature and personal interviews which the board of education may use as a checklist to select a school attorney. This is based on the type of legal service, that is, according to the legal knowledge, skills, experience, and personality, needed by the school district to resolve actual or potential legal problems. Recommendations. The criteria established must be continuously updated, expanded, and adapted to the legal needs of individual school districts. More research is needed to learn how a school district may make better use of the services of a school attorney. This could reduce the need for legal services by anticipating potential legal problems and, thereby, practice preventative law.
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