Improve your Legal Literacy 

The Education Law Association (ELA) is a national, nonprofit member association offering unbiased information to its professional members about current legal issues affecting education and the rights of those involved in education in both public and private K-12 schools, universities, and colleges.

Together, our professional community anticipates trends in education law and supports scholarly research through the highest value print and electronic publications, conferences, seminars, and other professional forums.

Our members include practicing attorneys; education law professors; education faculty; school board members; public/private school administrators and teachers; staff members of state and federal education agencies and professional associations; law librarians; and students.

For education professionals and legal advocates on behalf of educational institutions, ELA remains an indispensable resource.

The Education Law Association is not engaged in rendering legal or other professional advice and assumes no responsibility for the statements and opinions by any of its contributing authors or editors. If you have any questions about the application of issues raised herein to your present situation, seek the advice of a competent attorney or professional.

Our Roots

foundersFounded in 1954 during an education conference at Duke University, the National Organization on Legal Problems in Education was founded with 57 members from 15 states and the District of Columbia. While Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka was being considered by the SUpreme Court of the United States, education professionals saw a need to find a way to take complex legal issues in a fast-changing world of education and share them with those education professionals who need the information to effectively run their schools.  Within six weeks of its inception, NOLPE had 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 the membership were attorneys.




ELA Presidents 1955-2016 

(Positions held at the time of the presidents’ terms)

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

1957  Eugene S. Lawler, Florida State University, FL

1958-59  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

1973  Roger M. Shaw, Kent State University, OH

1974  Robert E. Phay, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, NC

1975  M. Chester Nolte, University of Denver, CO

1976  Irving C. Evers, Attorney at Law, Hackensack, NJ

1977  August W. Steinhilber, National School Boards Association, MD

1978  Philip K. Piele, University of Oregon, OR

1979  Kelly Frels, Bracewell & Patterson, LLP,, TX

1980  Burton R. Shifman, Shifman & Goodman, PC, MI

1981  Floyd G. Delon, University of Missouri-Columbia, MO

1982  William F. Paton, Oconomowoc Public Schools, WI

1983  Ralph D. Stern, Whitmore & Kay, CA

1984  Dale Gaddy, National School Board Association, VA

1985  Martha M. McCarthy, Indiana University-Bloomington, IN

1986  John F. Lewis, Squire Sanders & Dempsey, OH

1987 D. Parker Young, University of Georgia-Athens, GA

1988  William C. Bednar, Jr., Eskew, Muir & Bednar, TX

1989  Marvyn D. Jaffe, Staples High School, CT

1990  Stephen B. Thomas, Kent State University, OH

1991  Joseph C. Beckham, Florida State University-Tallahassee, FL

1992  James C. Ullman, Jennings, Strouss & Salmon, AZ

1993  Steve W. Batson, West Virginia State College, WV

1994  Nelda Cambron-McCabe, Miami University of Ohio-Oxford, OH

1995  Ivan Gluckman, National Association of Secondary Schools, VA

1996  Perry A. Zirkel, Lehigh University, PA

1997  Richard Dickinson, Ohio School Boards Association, OH

1998  Jeffrey J. Horner, Bracewell & Patterson, LLP, TX

1999  Charles J. Russo, University of Dayton, OH

2000  Terrence Leas, Valley Community College, MN

2001  Ralph D. Mawdsley, Cleveland State University, OH

2002  R. Craig Wood, McGuire Woods LLP, VA

2003  Allan G. Osborne, Jr., Snug Harbor Community School, MA

2004  Philip T.K. Daniel, The Ohio State University, OH

2005  P. Tyson Bennett, Reese & Carney, LLP, MD

2006  Lois F. Berlin, Falls Church City Public Schools, VA

2007  M. David Alexander, Virginia Tech, VA

2008  Christopher P. Borreca, Bracewell & Patterson, LLP, TX

2009  Kathleen Crume, Academy School District 20, CO

2010  Brad Colwell, Bowling Green State University, OH

2011  Edwin C. Darden, Appleseed, VA

2012  Susan G. Clark, University of Akron, OH

2013  William E. Thro, University of Kentucky, KY

2014  Kenneth E. Lane, Southeastern Louisiana University, LA

2015  Patrick D. Pauken, Bowling Green State University, OH

2016  R. Craig Wood, University of Florida, FL






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