Our Mission

Committed to Increasing Your Legal Literacy

Committed to Increasing Your Legal Literacy


Education Law Association is a uniquely diverse fellowship for all professionals in education who are interested in practical knowledge, scholarship, and interdisciplinary dialogue about legal and policy issues affecting education. 

We are a nonprofit member association, based in the U.S. but with international members, that offers unbiased information to a wide range of professional members about current legal issues affecting education and the rights of those involved in education, in both public and private K-12 schools, as well as in universities and colleges. For education professionals and legal advocates who represent either educational institutions or clients in their dealings with educational institutions, ELA is an indispensable resource.

ELA does not provide legal or professional advice, and the statements and opinions of its contributing authors or editors are their own. If you have questions about how issues discussed by ELA may apply to your own personal situation, you are encouraged to seek the advice of an attorney or other professional. ELA does not make legal referrals, although we can identify practicing attorneys who are ELA members.

Our members include practicing attorneys; education law professors; education faculty; school board members; public and private school K-12 and higher ed administrators; teachers; staff members of state and federal education agencies and professional associations; law librarians; hearing officers; policy-makers; advocates; graduate students and law students; and more.

Together, by presenting pertinent legal information our community strives to anticipate trends in education law and support scholarly research. Our reporting, through our network of volunteer members, provides information on case law and legislation in myriad formats, allowing members to make legally solid and confident decisions in policy and action. We also accomplish this through high quality print and electronic publications, conferences, seminars, webinars, and other professional forums.

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Benefits of Belonging

The History of ELA

foundersfoundersFounded in 1954 during an education conference at Duke University as the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Brown v. Board of Education loomed, the National Organization on Legal Problems in Education was founded with 57 members from 15 states and the District of Columbia. Within six weeks of its inception, NOLPE had grown to 205 members from 40 states, the District of Columbia, and Guam.

The first annual meeting was held in the fall of 1955 at the University of Chicago, and the first full-sized book was published in 1958, titled Law and the School Superintendent. By 1963, nearly one-third of NOLPE's members were attorneys.

Over the years the annual conferences convened by NOLPE attracted hundreds of participants and attendees annually from around the United States and a number of other countries. The conference has been held in cities throughout the U.S., in Vancouver, British Columbia, and in Nassau, Bahamas. In 1994, NOLPE officially became known as the Education Law Association.

At that time, the organization's headquarters were in Topeka, Kansas. In 1997, the Education Law Association moved to the University of Dayton's campus and was housed in the School of Education and Allied Professions, until 2013 when ELA found a new home at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law at Cleveland State University. In 2020, ELA became a virtual organization.



ELA Presidents 1955-Present

ELA Presidents 1955-2019

(With affiliations at the time of presidential terms) 

1955-56 Madaline Kinter Remmlein, National Education Association, VA

1957 Eugene S. Lawler, Florida State University, FL

1958 Reynolds C. Seitz, Marquette University, WI

1960 Edward C. Bolmeier, Duke University, NC

1961 Marion A. McGhehey, U.S. Office of Education, VA

1962 Walter L. Hetzel, Ames, Iowa, Schools, IA

1963 Marlin M. Volz, University of Louisville, KY

1964 Lloyd E. McCann, University of Arizona, AZ

1965 Lee O. Garber, University of Pennsylvania, PA

1966 Henry E. Butler, Jr., University of Rochester, NY

1967 E. Edmund Reutter, Jr., Columbia University, NY

1968 Martha L. Ware, National Education Association, VA

1969 Joseph E. Bryson, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, NC

1970 John Philip Linn, University of Denver, CO

1971 Manny S. Brown, Attorney at Law, Racine, WI

1972 Thomas A. Shannon, Deputy Superintendent and School Attorney, VA