In Their Own Words

In Their Own Words


What's it like to belong to Education Law Association? Here's what ELA people themselves have to say about membership in our vibrant community. Members: Would you like to add your comments to this page? Please contact us! Add your own endorsement today.

"ELA offers excellent balance between scholarly discourse and practitioner-oriented materials for attorneys and administrators at the public school and college university levels."

–Joseph C. Beckham, J.D., Ph.D.

"ELA’s annual conference offers a great opportunity to hear presentations on cutting-edge issues from the nation’s top authorities in education law. You will also get to meet many of the nation’s leading scholars and attorneys who work in this field. I first began attending ELA’s conferences when I was a young attorney practicing education law in Alaska. Since then I have become a professor of education law, and the ELA conferences are just as important to me as a professor as they were when I was a practicing lawyer."

–Richard Fossey, J.D., Ed.D.

"I joined ELA as a graduate student and now make a point of telling my students about ELA. I look forward to the conferences each year as they always provide the most current information on a variety of school law issues and provide an opportunity to hear from leaders in the field. I especially appreciate getting to hear from academics, attorneys, and administrators. Sharing ideas with folks from multiple perspectives is what makes an ELA conference so uniquely valuable. It’s easily the best conference I attend each year. I wouldn’t miss it."

–Julie Mead, Ph.D.

"I joined NOLPE in 1994 and immediately was impressed with the rich discussions among school administrators, school law professors and school attorneys. I know part of the success [in my career] is due to my learning’s at ELA seminars and conferences."

–Kathie Crume, M.A.

"I attribute the vast majority of success I have had in my career to the connections I have made through ELA. This is an incredibly welcoming and collaborative environment. Regardless of career phase or constituency, all members are valued...."

–Joy Blanchard, Ph.D.

"ELA is the one annual conference I attend where I ALWAYS learn something new! The conferences are extremely substantive, and the participants are so welcoming of new members. I’m very proud to be associated with this organization."

–Martha McCarthy, Ph.D.

"I joined NOLPE in 1983 with the encouragement of my doctoral chair Nelda Cambron McCabe. ELA has been a great asset in the various educational positions that I have held--public school principle, superintendent, parochial administrator, and university professor. The conferences and the publications have been excellent. As an administrator, the collaboration/networking between school attorneys, university professors, and fellow school administrators has been outstanding."

–William Shula

"I joined ELA in the mid '90s at the recommendation of my law professor in my doctoral program. I was a principal at the time and attended my first conference in Kansas City. The information and knowledge regarding the law that I gained at that conference and at subsequent conferences has proven invaluable in my practice as a principal, assistant superintendent, and superintendent."

–Lois F. Berlin, Ed.D., Superintendent

"I have been affiliated with ELA through several stages of life: as a law student, as a PhD student, and as a practitioner, and there are few things that I can point to that have more strongly prepared me in a well-rounded way to be a practitioner of education law as well as to evaluate charter school compliance. I learn something from every mailer,and every conference that stretches my knowledge to reach more breadth and depth.."

–Emily Richardson, J.D., Ph.D., Indiana Charter School Board

"I want to take this opportunity to thank you for all the opportunities that ELA is providing and for the way that membership has enhanced my professional activities. I began teaching school law as an adjunct professor three years ago, and the resources available through ELA have been invaluable in my work."

–Melinda Scott Krei, Education Consultant

"I joined this organization more than two decades ago on the recommendation of a school superintendent that had attended one of the conferences and raved about the depth and breadth of the presentations. Over the years, I have continued to be impressed by the quality of the presenters and materials. Although I attend other school law conferences, the ELA annual conference consistently exceeds all others in its range of topics and its treatment of significant trends."

–P. Tyson Bennett, J.D., Attorney

"I joined the ELA as a doctoral student and attended its national conferences. When I became a professor, the opportunities I had over the years to review books and publications made available to me at the conference by vendors that I knew helped me to select my course materials."

–Susan G Clark, J.D., Ph.D., Attorney and Professor

"The annual ELA conference provides an opportunity not otherwise available for all interested individuals, including, for example, attorneys on both sides, administrators, and academics, to exchange information, views, and contacts, in a cozy, comfortable, and supportive atmosphere."

–Perry Zirkel, Ph.D., J.D., LL.M., Professor

"During the past two decades education administrators have been charged with implementing a vast new array of laws. For that reason the annual ELA conference had become the most valuable meeting a school administrator can attend. This conference attracts the top people in the field of school law and thus an attendee is presented with the latest and the best information available on what is required under current law."

–Allan Osborne, Ed.D., Retired Principal

"Legal issues in education have been a profound impact and shaped education policy and practice. Over the 35years of my career, the Education Law Association is the only learned society in education where the implications of legal decisions and laws are the primary focus. The association also brings educators, lawyers, administrators and policy makers to the discussion. The annual conference is a forum where research and policy analysis of these legal issues can be fully explored."

–Robert Hendrickson, Ed.D.

"My first ELA conference was in 1979, and since then I have only missed one, In all those years, I have seldom been to a session within those conferences where I didn’t learn something. As a practicing administrator (principal, assistant superintendent and superintendent), conference participation developed my knowledge base in school law; it spurred my later interest in becoming both a university professor and a school board attorney. Participation in ELA and its conference has brought me many professional relationships as well as many of my closest friends."

–David Dagley, Ph.D., J.D.

"Shortly after finishing my doctorate at Duke University, where my mentor was the late professor E.C Bolmeier, one of the founding members of NOLPE (ELA), I joined our organization. Over the past forty years, I have never once been disappointed in the quality programs and services made available to me and my colleagues in ELA. Also, my graduate students in education law at the master’s and doctoral levels have, over the years, consistently relied on the comprehensive research materials published by ELA to complete legal commentaries, term papers, and dissertations. ELA has been and remains this country’s leading education law association."

–Richard S. Vacca, Ph.D.

"I [have] found such gracious and knowledgeable school attorneys and educators that I have felt at home. Surely, I learned from these colleagues over the years. More importantly, I gained life-long friends that I cherish and I always looked forward to “same time, next year”- or the ELA conference."

–Jim Ullman, Attorney