The goal of the Education Practice at Hodgson Russ is to provide high-quality legal services to help our school clients establish the best possible educational and work environments. Over the past 40 years, our attorneys have advised on the operations and employment matters of school districts and legal issues involving students.

As a full-service law firm, we have attorneys who are well versed in virtually any area of law that affects school districts. From litigation, tax assessment proceedings, real estate, and employee relations to construction contracts and bonding, environmental law, and intellectual property, Hodgson Russ attorneys are thoroughly equipped to assist you.

Public School Districts

Hodgson Russ operates on the premise that we work first and foremost for the board of education. In the area of employee relations, we generally represent management only. Nevertheless, our approach to labor relations is resolutely non-confrontational. We recognize that the district must work together with employees and their unions for mutual interests to be served. However, there are times when management has to take a firm stand, and members of Hodgson Russ’s Education Practice have an excellent reputation as persuasive advocates for school management when dealing with difficult situations.

College and University

Hodgson Russ advises colleges and universities ranging from large public and private universities to four-year and community colleges and all types of related entities on the full range of their legal matters.

Our college and university team is multidisciplinary in nature, involving attorneys who regularly counsel higher-education providers on the full range of legal issues affecting higher education. Our higher-education team has a broad and deep understanding of the special and complex nature of issues faced by colleges and universities.

  • Capital projects
  • Corporate and tax issues
  • STEM and skilled professional immigration
  • Intellectual property and university technology transfers
  • Litigation
  • Acquisitions and financings of student housing
  • Arbitrations and general labor matters
  • Employment law matters
  • Bond financings
  • Charitable trusts
  • Contract negotiations
  • Dormitory projects
  • Endowment fund matters
  • Federal employment tax audits
  • Fraternity and sorority matters
  • Gifts of property and real estate
  • Naming rights
  • Real estate matters
  • TSA programs
  • Vendor contracts 

Charter Schools

Our attorneys have extensive experience serving the complex legal needs of charter schools. We understand the full spectrum of laws governing charter schools and advise clients on every aspect of charter school law, including:

  • Charter application preparation and approval
  • Charter compliance and audits
  • Authorizer relations
  • Charter renewal application and approval
  • Charter amendment and dissolution
  • Board governance and policy development
  • Representation before state agencies
  • Student recordkeeping
  • Labor relations and employment law
  • Compensation of personnel
  • Policy development
  • Teacher and staff discipline
  • Student discipline
  • Special education
  • Compliance with Section 504
  • Financing
  • Real property acquisition and lease negotiations


We have an experienced team of attorneys that concentrate on analyzing special education law disputes. They regularly help schools understand their legal obligations to disabled students and guide schools in determining the best solution to a particular situation. Our goal is to be proactive and help schools avoid formal complaints. When a dispute cannot be avoided, our attorneys have extensive experience representing schools in administrative, state, and federal lawsuits.

We have extensive experience counseling school clients on a multitude of federal and state laws, including:

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act
Article 44 of the New York Education Law

We also represent schools during Office of Civil Rights (OCR) and State Education Department (SED) investigations.

Our Experience

  • Administration of collective negotiations agreements in school districts and the Taylor Law
  • Constitutional Issues
  • Contingency budgets in New York State
  • Discipline of classified and certified employees
  • Federal and state civil rights laws
  • Public Officers Law
  • Regulations and decisions of the New York State Commissioner of Education
  • Rehabilitation Act (§504) and Americans with Disabilities Act
  • School Transportation Issues
  • Student rights and discipline


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Education / News & Insights