Career Pathways: Education Law

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Education Law considers the rights of students and teachers and the various laws that affect education in the United States. An education law attorney might handle any of the many legal issues that arise in an educational setting, including student and teacher rights, health and safety, school policy, records, discipline, curriculum, dispute resolution, professional conduct, training, special education, academic freedom, employment, discrimination, and personal injury. Education law is affected by local, state, and federal laws.  Education law may deal with issues that arise in elementary, secondary, and post-secondary education.  Additionally, attorneys for schools and universities may encounter issues that arise with any organization, from property law to employment law to health law to tax law.  Because education is regulated at the local, state, and federal levels, education lawyers must be familiar with many different levels of government and legal research. 


For additional information on Education Law, see the National School Board Assocation or the National Association of College and University Attorneys

Job Types Typical Duties
Federal Agencies
  • Draft, analyze, and promulgate regulations about education.
  • Draft guidance letters for educational institutions.
  • Create policies about student financial aid or students with disabilities.
  • Investigate institutions accused of violating educational regulations.
  • Participate in education reform.
  • Uphold the civil rights of students.
  • Create policies about school safety and discipline.
State Agencies
  • Uphold the civil rights of students.

  • Participate in education reform.

  • Handle matters related to school safety and discipline. 

Local Government
  • Assist in securing increased funding for schools.

  • Adopt rules, policies, and procedures for school boards.

Private Law Firms
  • Defend the rights of students.
  • Repeal disciplinary actions.
  • Ensure students receive the help and services they need.

Student Organizations

Other Activities

Curriculum Considerations

Take a look at the Law Curriculum Mapping Guide to see courses related to a career in Education Law.  In addition, it will help you identify faculty that you can speak to regarding this area of practice.

Faculty With this Specialty