Preti Flaherty's Education Law group is prepared to meet the rapidly emerging legal challenges and opportunities facing educational institutions, both private and public. Our attorneys have knowledge and experience in education law, as well as laws of general applicability that impact educational institutions, such as employment law, taxation and tax exemption, real estate and corporate law.
By working closely with Preti Flaherty's Government Affairs, Business Law, Employment Law and Litigation Groups, our Education Law attorneys provide strong advocacy in legislative, administrative agency and court proceedings. We also collaborate with clients to fashion clear documentation of transactions and agreements among education service providers, and to develop sound state and local policies, all of which help educational institutions avoid adversarial legal conflict.
Our Education Law Group helps clients identify opportunities and deal with difficult issues that exist within education policy, such as:
- School Reorganization – Our Maine Legislative Team was deeply involved in reforms made to the reorganization laws to accommodate small, rural communities. Our attorneys can support and guide clients who are undertaking or responding to Regional School Unit formation/amendment and with withdrawal/accession processes. We also have extensive experience with the distinctive Alternative Organization Structure.
- Charter Schools – Our Education Law attorneys helped Maine's first public charter school address legal issues essential to its successful application and then negotiated the terms of its charter contract. We continue to monitor and assist in the development of charter school legislation in Maine and are well positioned to assist organizations in developing new opportunities in this growing area. Preti Flaherty's successful track record of working with the government on creative programs and policies makes us an ideal fit for this new area of law. Given the novelty of this area, clients considering charter schools will be well served by our team's experience in carving out innovative public sector solutions.
- Unique Solutions – By drawing on our firm's diverse strengths in legislative advocacy, administrative law, litigation, business organizations, and transactions, and our deep experience in creative problem solving on a wide range of matters, we have a unique ability not only to manage complicated legal challenges related to secondary education, but to do so in creative, innovative ways that step outside conventional thinking about how to solve legal problems in this field. When clients need an unusual exemption or a policy change to meet new educational objectives, we have the tools and experience to develop a practical solution tailored to their circumstances.
Preti Flaherty has maintained an active presence in higher education policy for decades, representing numerous institutions of higher education on legislative or legal matters. Our Education Law Group offers these institutions a unique level of service by integrating with the firm's many other practice areas. By preparing comprehensive legal strategies, we help our clients maximize opportunities and gain the full benefit of Preti Flaherty's diverse skills.
- Higher Education Policy – Our Education Law Group closely monitors developments in higher education policy, both at the federal and state level. We serve as strategic counselors to our clients in these areas, helping them to identify areas of growth available through new laws and to avoid penalties or other problems as a result of regulation. As representatives of Maine's primary association of private higher education institutions, our attorneys participate in most of the major state policy discussions for this sector.
- General Legal Services – Preti Flaherty provides direct legal services to individual institutions to support their day-to-day needs, ranging from employment law to 501(c)(3) issues to First Amendment questions. We serve as General Counsel to institutions of higher education and provide for their diverse legal needs
The education sector represents a significant business opportunity for many companies. Building on our extensive experience with the various levels of the education system and utilizing the resources of our Government Affairs Group, Preti also assists a variety of businesses with their legal issues related to education. Our attorneys help businesses working in the area of education with legislative issues, litigation and government procurement issues. It is often the case that grant opportunities and/or historical factors make non-profit, tax-exempt organizations a necessary or desirable choice in structuring new or renewed educational enterprises. Preti Flaherty's Business Law Group has deep experience in handling IRS filings and compliance, as well as state-specific statutory frameworks for transactions involving nonprofits, adding another dimension to our capacity to counsel and represent our education clients.