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The "New" Normal and the "Next" Normal: Education Law in the Wake of the Pandemic (2021 Education Law Section Program)

8:55        Welcome and Introductions

9:00        So, We're Online Now: COVID-19 and Technology in the Education Space

Jerry D. Blakemore, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro
Tara N. Cho, Womble Bond Dickinson (U.S.) LLP, Raleigh
Christine T. Scheef, North Carolina School Boards Association, Raleigh

After the onset of COVID-19, technology played an integral role in providing education and services, as well as employment in the school setting. The virtual space was ground zero for the intersection of several legal issues: privacy, data security, free speech and expression, and even activism. Speakers talk through some of the thorny issues that arose in both the student and employee spaces and how they were addressed when it came to the delivery of instruction, provision of services to students and teleworking.

10:02      Serving the Whole Child in the Midst of a Pandemic: The Role of Student Services and Other Educators

Patricia R. Robinson, Tharrington Smith LLP, Raleigh
Mari Ross-Alexander, North Carolina Central University, Durham
Sarah M. Saint, Brooks Pierce McLendon Humphrey & Leonard LLP, Greensboro

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of student support professionals and meeting the needs of the whole student at both the K-12 and higher education levels. Hear insights from attorneys and practitioners regarding how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted student service providers and students — including legal issues associated with telehealth and access during periods of distance learning, changes to legislation that impacts student mental health services, student engagement, English-language learners, and the role of educational professionals to address the impact of stressors on student performance and outcomes.

11:02      Break

11:12      Personnel and the Pandemic: The Future of Work

Beth Tyner Jones, Womble Bond Dickinson (U.S.) LLP, Raleigh
April Kuhn, Pfeiffer University, Misenheimer

COVID-19 has uprooted virtually every aspect of the pre-pandemic workforce, and the employment outlook for the education sector has not been spared. How much of the "new normal" — teleworking, physical distancing, health screenings, vaccine requirements — will impact the future of work? Education law practitioners who specialize in employment and human resources discuss common issues with workplace accommodations during the pandemic, best practices for navigating difficult scenarios, and insights on how future employment trends may impact educational institutions.

12:12      Lunch Break

12:42      The Dreaded D's: Death, Disability, Disbarment and Disappearance*

Stacey A. Phipps, North Carolina Attorney General's Office, Raleigh

What happens if you suddenly can't work? Who will take care of your clients and how? Does anyone have your password or access to your case management system? Can anyone get in your office and find a client contact list and court calendar? Learn about planning for the "what-ifs" which is both essential and ethical.

1:43        Title IX Updates: Implementation and Enforcement Trends

Sarah O. Edwards, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte
Howard I. Kallem, Rebecca Leitman Veidlinger PLLC, Chapel Hill
David Noland, Tharrington Smith LLP, Raleigh

The past year has brought about significant changes for K-12 and higher education institutions navigating the requirements of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Panelists discuss the changes and legal implications faced in the K-12 and higher education spaces for hearings and investigations, innovative ways to work within the new legal frameworks imposed by courts and the U.S. Department of Education, and what may be up ahead.

2:43        Break

2:53        Case Law Update

Brian C. Shaw, Schwartz & Shaw PLLC, Raleigh

Last but certainly not least, our program ends with this popular update on case law and legislation relevant to education law practitioners. Hear updates on legal challenges that emerged during COVID-19 and continue to impact the work of education law practitioners.

3:50        Adjourn

* Indicates portion providing Ethics/Professional Responsibility credit

Thank you

Thank you for joining us for The "New" Normal and the "Next" Normal: Education Law in the Wake of the Pandemic (2021 Education Law Section Program).


  • Jerry D. Blakemore

    Jerry D. Blakemore serves as General Counsel for UNC Greensboro. UNC Greensboro has more than 20,000 students and 2,800 faculty and staff. UNC Greensboro is the largest state university in the Piedmont Triad and has an annual economic impact of more than $1 billion. UNC Greensboro takes pride in being a learner-centered public research university.

    Jerry has more than 25 years of experience in higher education administration, policy development and the providing of legal services, 14 of which as General Counsel for major institutions of higher education. Jerry served as Vice President and General Counsel at Southern Illinois University from July 2004 through March 2011 and as Vice President and General Counsel for Northern Illinois University from April 2011 to December of 2016. Jerry was appointed General Counsel for The University of North Carolina at Greensboro in January 2017.

    Jerry is a graduate of Princeton University from which he received his B.A. Degree in Political Science. Jerry was the 1976 recipient of the Princeton University Frederick Douglass Service Award for his community service. Jerry is a graduate of the John Marshall Law School in Chicago, Illinois, and is licensed to practice law before the United States Supreme Court, the Illinois Supreme Court and is a member of the North Carolina Bar.

    Click here for more information about Jerry.

  • Tara N. Cho

    Tara N. Cho chairs Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP's Privacy and Cybersecurity Team in Raleigh. Her practice is dedicated to counseling clients on privacy and data security issues across industries such as technology, retail, e-commerce, healthcare, health-tech, and life sciences. She advises clients on matters related to the CCPA, CPRA and other state privacy laws, HIPAA, Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, TCPA, CAN-SPAM, and other state and federal privacy, cybersecurity and data breach laws in the U.S. She also advises clients on the GDPR (and UK GDPR) and related requirements of European data protection laws.

    Tara helps companies establish and assess compliance programs, respond to data breaches and security incidents, conduct risk analyses, negotiate contracts that govern data use and security, respond to regulator requests and investigations, and address new and evolving issues stemming from the development of mobile and web-based applications, cloud computing, machine learning and AI tools, IoT devices, and other technology solutions that rely on personal data.

    Tara became certified as a legal specialist in Privacy and Information Security Law by the North Carolina State Bar Board of Legal Specialization in 2018 as part of the inaugural class of specialists in this field. She is also recognized by the IAPP as a certified information privacy professional for the US (CIPP/US) and Europe (CIPP/E).

    Click here for more information about Tara.

  • Amy L. Clay

    Amy L. Clay graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2011 with a degree in Psychology and second major in Sociology. She subsequently completed a JD at Campbell University in 2016, and a PhD in School Psychology from North Carolina State University in 2018. During her time at NC State, she was involved in numerous program evaluation projects at the university, local, and state levels with a focus on research related to child welfare. Amy currently is a member of the North Carolina Bar Association Young Lawyer's Division, the Wake County Bar Association, and the Campbell Law Alumni Association.

    Amy grew up in Asheville and is happily married to her husband Joseph. They reside in Raleigh and share their home with their two cats, Franklin and Bash.

    Click here for more information about Amy.

  • Sarah O. Edwards

    Sarah O. Edwards joined the Office of Legal Affairs in 2012. Prior to assuming her role at UNC Charlotte, she spent two years as a judicial clerk in the North Carolina appellate court system and one year as a legal fellow in UNC Chapel Hill's Office of University Counsel.

    Sarah earned her BA in Political Science from Wake Forest University and her JD from the University of North Carolina School of Law.

    Sarah focuses her practice on student affairs, including student safety and student discipline; harassment and discrimination complaints in both student and employment realms; institutional compliance, including Title IX and the Clery Act; policy development and revision; and institutional governance. In addition, she has an active leadership role in the North Carolina Bar Association Education Law Section and has held an adjunct faculty appointment with UNC Charlotte's Graduate Faculty.

    Click here for more information about Sarah.

  • Benita N. Jones

    Benita N. Jones is of counsel with Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP in Research Triangle Park where she is a member of the firm's Education and School Law Team. She has extensive experience providing legal support and counsel to educational institutions on a broad array of state and federal legal issues including Title IX, VII, Americans with Disabilities Act, constitutional law, contract law, tort law, policy development and governance, employment law, and student legal issues. She has worked collaboratively on litigation matters with the North Carolina Attorney General's Office and attorneys from the UNC System Office.

    Immediately prior to joining Womble Bond Dickinson, she served as the Assistant University Legal Counsel at NC Central University. In this role, she represented the University in administrative complaints before the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and provided trainings to University administrators, faculty, and staff on a variety of legal and policy issues. In addition to her experience providing legal counsel in higher education, Benita has worked previously with a number of North Carolina school districts across the broad range of K-12 matters.

    Benita graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Yale University before earning her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.

    Click here for more information about Benita.

  • Beth Tyner Jones

    Beth Tyner Jones is a leader of the firm's Education and School Law Team, head of its Employment and Pensions Service Team and Managing Partner of the Research Triangle Park and Raleigh, NC offices. She builds upon her experience as an HR professional, in-house employment lawyer and a college faculty member to defend employers and serve as a trusted adviser to educational institutions.

    Click here for more information about Beth.

  • Howard I. Kallem

    Howard I. Kallem is currently "of counsel" to the law firm of Rebecca Veidlinger Esq PLLC. He retired in June 2019 after five years as Duke University's Assistant Vice President and Director for Title IX Compliance; before that, he had been the Director of Title IX Compliance at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for a year.

    In both positions, he led a team to coordinate the universities' efforts to ensure gender equity and nondiscrimination, with a particular emphasis on prevention and response to sexual misconduct. He came to these positions with over 20 years of experience with the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, serving for 15 years as the chief regional attorney for the field office covering DC, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina and for five years as the leader of the Title IX policy team; in the latter position, he coordinated the development of OCR’s original guidance on sexual harassment. He took a year off during his time with OCR to work as a senior equal opportunity specialist George Mason University. Previously, he had been with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for 14 years.

    Howard received his law degree from Catholic University of America and his undergraduate degree from the State University of New York at Binghamton.

    Click here for more information about Howard. 

  • April Kuhn

    April Kuhn is a Salisbury native, and a UNC-Chapel Hill graduate. She received her J.D. from Stetson University College of Law in St. Petersburg, FL, where she served as a Research Assistant. Kuhn also served as an intern with the Pinellas County State Attorney's Office.

    Outside of work, April, her husband, and daughter enjoy cheering on the Buffalo Bills, the UNC Tarheels, the New York Yankees, and now the Pfeiffer Falcons!

    Click here for more information about April.

  • Keir D. Morton-Manley

    Keir D. Morton-Manley is assistant university legal counsel at North Carolina Central University (NCCU), first joining NCCU's Office of Legal Affairs as the Higher Education Legal Fellow. She is a graduate of Campbell Law School and holds a master's degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a bachelor's from Duke University.

    Prior to joining NCCU, Keir worked in the Education Section of the North Carolina Attorney General's Office, externed with the Special Education Attorney Team at Disability Rights North Carolina and served on the Education Law Section Council. Her prior professional experience includes 20 years in housing and community development, including fourteen years with the State of North Carolina.

    Click here for more information about Keir.

  • David Noland

    David Noland is an experienced education litigator and advocate. He is a graduate, magna cum laude, of Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York, where he was a member of the Order of the Coif and Associate Editor of the Cardozo Law Review. He holds an undergraduate degree in Government and Legal Studies and Sociology from Bowdoin College in Maine.

    Prior to joining Tharrington Smith in 2018, David was a senior associate at Debevoise & Plimpton in New York, with a practice focused on general commercial litigation. David was counsel of record in a landmark constitutional challenge to the state educational funding system in Connecticut. The multi-year litigation culminated in a five month trial, followed by an appeal before the Connecticut Supreme Court.

    Click here for more information about David.

  • Stacey A. Phipps

    Stacey A. Phipps grew up in Arkansas and graduated with a degree in Elementary Education from U of A Fayetteville in 1990. She moved to North Carolina in 1992 and went to work in state government. Stacey is a 1999 graduate of NCCU's evening law program and continued to work full time in state government while attending law school.

    Stacey has over 15 years of government work as well as eight years in private, solo practice, where she primarily handled personal injury plaintiff's litigation. She currently works in the Labor Section of the Attorney General's office.

    Click here for more information about Stacey.

  • Patricia R. Robinson

    Patricia R. Robinson is an associate attorney in the education section at Tharrington Smith, where she has practiced education law since 2016. She regularly advises clients on issues related to special education, student access, discrimination, policy, and compliance.

    A former middle school language arts teacher, Patricia received her J.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Law in 2016 with High Honors and was inducted into the Order of the Coif.

    Click here for more information about Patricia.

  • Mari Ross-Alexander

    Mari Ross-Alexander was appointed assistant vice chancellor of Health and Wellness in the Division of Student Affairs. She guides the Office of Student Accessibility Services, Department of Student Health, Department of Student Counseling and the Department of Campus Recreation. She has a strong track record of driving strategies and solutions in areas of student health and behavioral health policy. She previously served at Tennessee State University.

    Click here for more information about Mari.

  • Sarah M. Saint

    Sarah M. Saint is an attorney in the Greensboro office of Brooks Pierce McLendon Humphrey & Leonard LLP, where she counsels and litigates on behalf of school boards, private schools, and institutions of higher education so that they can focus on what they do best: educating students. Sarah's background in school counseling informs her practice as she helps school districts navigate complex laws that impact students and educators. She has a particular focus on broadening awareness of diversity issues within organizations and counseling educational institutions on compliance with state and federal civil rights laws and regulations. Sarah's pro bono practice focuses on representing trans individuals in discrimination litigation and aiding trans individuals obtain legal name- and gender marker-changes.

    Sarah is the YLD Liaison and a Council member of the NCBA Education Law Section, as well as a delegate to the ABA House of Delegates, the Bar Outreach Division Director for the North Carolina Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, and a member of the NCBF Pro Bono Committee. Sarah has been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America as "One to Watch" for Labor and Employment Law – Management.

    Sarah went to Wake Forest University School of Law, where she was recognized by the North Carolina State Bar for her pro bono service and National Jurist as a "Law Student of the Year." Sarah also holds a Master's degree in School Counseling and uses her experience to counsel educational institutions on state and federal regulatory compliance and civil rights issues.

    When not practicing law, Sarah enjoys playing board games, kayaking, cooking, and hiking with her wife and their three dogs.

    Click here for more information about Sarah.

  • Christine T. Scheef

    Christine T. Scheef recently became the Legal Counsel and Director of Policy at the North Carolina School Boards Association (NCSBA). She has been with NCSBA for more than nine years, spending four years as the Assistant Litigation Counsel and five years as a Staff Attorney.

    Prior to joining NCSBA, Christine spent six years in the Education Law section at Tharrington Smith, LLP, representing local boards of education in various matters.

    Christine is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

    Click here for more information about Christine.

  • Brian C. Shaw

    Brian C. Shaw is a partner at Poyner Spruill in Raleigh. He has extensive education law experience and provides counsel to public school systems throughout the State. Brian is also an Adjunct Professor at the Norman A. Wiggins School of Law at Campbell University.

    Brian is a Past Chair of the Education Law Section of the North Carolina Bar Association and has served on the Board of Directors of the National Council of School Attorneys. He is a member of the North Carolina Council of School Attorneys and the National Council of School Attorneys. He is a frequent speaker at the district, state and national level on many different topics dealing with education law. 

    After serving as law clerk for the Honorable Edward J. Schwartz, Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court in San Diego, California, and graduate work at Oxford University in England, Brian joined the law firm of Jensen Baird Gardner & Henry in Portland Maine, where he served as Chairman of the Education Law Department. In 1993, he joined then Richard A. Schwartz & Associates, became Partner in 1997, and the law firm changed its name to Schwartz & Shaw PLLC.

    Brian graduated cum laude in 1976 from Harvard College, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and received his J.D. degree, cum laude, from Harvard Law School in 1980.

    Click here for more information about Brian.

September 14, 2021
Tue 8:55 AM EDT

Duration 6H 55M

This live web event has ended.

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