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2024 Education Law Section Annual Program

8:55        Welcome and Introductions

9:00        Title IX

Erica Solosky, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte
Rebecca Williams, Poyner Spruill LLP, Raleigh

Experienced panelists discuss the highly anticipated changes to the federal Title IX regulations, as well as practical implications for K-12 schools and institutions of higher education. Attendees gain a deeper understanding of how attorneys can provide practical support and advice to clients in implementing and complying with Title IX.

10:02      Employment Law: Significant Issues and Implications for Educational Institutions

Ivey Brown, Winston-Salem State University, Winston-Salem
André Lindsay, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte
RaShawnda Murphy Williams, Cranfill Sumner LLP, Raleigh

During this session, panelists discuss some of the significant issues in employment law and consider implications for K-12 schools and institutions of higher education. They also offer attendees practical advice for navigating common scenarios (and conundrums) faced by clients.

11:04      Break

11:14      A Balancing Act: Ethical Considerations for Attorneys Representing Governmental Entities*

Tawanda Foster Artis, North Carolina Community College System, Raleigh

Receive practical guidance on how to balance client interests and uphold our professional responsibilities and duties when the client is a state or local government entity.

12:13      Lunch Break

12:43      Special Education: Administrative Rule Changes for Due Process Petitions

Eva Dubuisson, Tharrington Smith LLP, Raleigh
Maura O'Keefe, Tharrington Smith LLP, Raleigh

Gain insight into potential administrative rule changes for due process petitions filed in the Office of Administrative Hearings.

1:46        The Parents Bill of Rights

Kris Caudle, Campbell Shatley LLP, Asheville

Hear about the Parents' Bill of Rights and its implications for educational institutions in North Carolina.

2:49        Break

2:59        Case Law Update

Brian Shaw, Poyner Spruill LLP, Raleigh

Our program ends with a welcome constant, the case law update. Find out about recent decisions that are shaping this brave new world in which we practice.

4:00        Adjourn

* Indicates portion providing Ethics/Professional Responsibility credit


Education law is a uniquely complex area of practice that is constantly evolving. Education attorneys serve institutions that must balance the challenges of creating an environment that is conducive for student learning while adapting to the ever-changing legal landscape.

This program explores several important areas of education law, including the recently enacted Parents Bill of Rights, common issues in employment law, and the much-anticipated changes to the Title IX regulations. The content is designed for education law practitioners who represent public and private elementary, secondary and post-secondary schools, and includes topics of interest to both the junior and seasoned attorney.


  • Isabel Alele

    Isabel Alele is the Assistant General Counsel at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She joined the Office of Legal Affairs in 2021. Her practice focuses on issues related to purchasing and contract services, materials management, compliance and risk management, construction and real estate.

    Prior to assuming her position at UNC Charlotte, she worked for a boutique law firm in Winston-Salem that specialized in education and employment law.

    Isabel earned her B.A. in Philosophy from Covenant College and a J.D. from Wake Forest University School of Law. During law school, she interned for the Employee Classification Section of the North Carolina Industrial Commission and was involved in the Black Law Students Association.

    Click here for more information about Isabel.

  • Tawanda Foster Artis

    Tawanda Foster Artis is the General Counsel and Vice-President of Legal Affairs & Human Resources for the North Carolina Community College System in Raleigh.

    With nearly 20 years in state government legal roles, Tawanda has been a senior staff attorney at the North Carolina General Assembly, drafting legislation and advising lawmakers. She served as Chief Editor for the guidebook, "Summaries of Substantive Ratified Legislation." She has also been appellate counsel at the NC Administrative Office of the Courts, an assistant attorney general, and an assistant district attorney.

    Before law school, Tawanda worked in corporate human resources. Passionate about community service, she volunteers with child literacy programs, hunger relief charities, and has served on several boards, including "A Place at the Table" in Raleigh. Recognized for her contributions, she received the Statewide Citizen Lawyer Award in 2020 and the Wake County Bar Association's President's Award in 2022. Tawanda enjoys traveling, live music, volunteering, and family time.

    Tawanda earned her B.A. in Interpersonal and Organizational Communications from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her J.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Tawanda.

  • Ivey Brown

    Ivey Brown is Chief Legal Counsel, Office of Legal Affairs at Winston-Salem State University in Winston-Salem. Since 2016, he has served in this role providing legal and business advice on a broad range of issues facing WSSU and other historically black universities in the University of North Carolina System including employment law, student issues, and contracts.

    Preceding his position as Chief Legal Counsel, Ivey served as Associate University Counsel for 10 years and served intermittently as an adjunct professor at WSSU teaching healthcare law and ethics for the School of Health Sciences. Prior to joining WSSU in 2006, he interned for three years at the North Carolina House of Representatives where he worked with lobbyists and constituents to achieve the legislative goals of state representatives.

    Ivey is very active in his community. He is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., a founding board member of Winston-Salem's Camel City Jazz Orchestra, and the Twin City High School (a charter school planned for the Triad). He has volunteered with the Big Brothers Big Sisters Senior Academy as a mentor, and he currently serves as a mentor to undergraduate students through the WSSU Elite Lawyers in Training Program.

    Within the legal community, Ivey volunteers his legal services as a member of the North Carolina, Winston-Salem, and 21st Judicial District Bars and he was admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court in 2013. His involvement and accomplishments in the community have earned him several awards, including The Business Journal 40 Leaders under Forty (2013), Young Dreamers' Award (2014), WSSU 40 under 40 (2015), and ECU 40 under 40 (2018).

    Ivey earned his A.A. in English from Craven Community College, B.A. in English and Communications from East Carolina University, J.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his M.B.A. from Winston-Salem State University. In December of 2018, he completed his Doctor of Education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

    Click here for more information about Ivey.

  • Kris Caudle

    Kris Caudle is an associate attorney at Campbell Shatley LLP in Asheville. He has devoted his entire career to supporting public education. He has experience representing K-12 boards of education in a wide-variety of legal matters, including personnel investigations, employment disputes, bond forfeiture issues, special education litigation and appeals to state and federal courts.

    During the 2017-18 and 2018-19 academic years Kris served as the Higher Education Legal Fellow at UNC-Charlotte. As a Legal Fellow, he worked directly with UNC-Charlotte's Office of Legal Affairs advising University clients in contract and risk management issues, Title IX compliance, and Title VII litigation. During his fellowship he also served as an adjunct professor in Conflict Resolution and Mediation.

    Kris graduated from The University of North Carolina at Wilmington, earning his B.A. in History. Prior to law school, he was a North Carolina Teaching Fellow and served as a high school social studies teacher in Wake County Schools. He earned his J.D. from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he was a member of the Client Counseling team, an extern for the Education Section of the North Carolina Attorney General's Office and Executive Editor of the First Amendment Law Review.

    Click here for more information about Kris.

  • Eva DuBuisson

    Eva DuBuisson is a Partner at Tharrington Smith LLP in Raleigh. She specializes in education law. She has represented public school systems across North Carolina with Tharrington Smith since 2007 and serves as general counsel to multiple boards of education. She has successfully represented her clients in state and federal court and the N.C. Office of Administrative Hearings, and before agencies including the EEOC, U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights, and N.C. Department of Public Instruction.

    Eva has served as a member of the Education Law Section Council for the NC Bar Association and has been named a "Rising Star" by North Carolina Super Lawyers. She is a frequent speaker to legal and educational audiences on legal issues impacting public schools.

    Eva earned her A.B. and M.A. in Public Policy Studies from Duke University and her J.D., with high honors, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law.

    Click here for more information about Eva.

  • André Lindsay

    André Lindsay is Senior Associate General Counsel at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He joined the Office of Legal Affairs in 2022. His practice is primarily devoted to advising, counseling, and training campus partners with respect to all aspects of employment law.

    Prior to joining the University, André was the Second Deputy County Attorney for the County of Monroe, NY, where he served as lead labor and employment counsel as well as General Legal Services counsel to various County departments. He began his legal career as an Assistant Corporation Counsel in the Labor and Employment Law Division of the New York City Law Department before transitioning to private practice. While in private practice, he practiced labor and employment law and commercial litigation.

    André earned his B.A. and M.A. from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and his J.D. from the University at Buffalo (SUNY) School of Law. He is licensed to practice law in New York and is pending admission to the North Carolina bar.

    Click here for more information about André.

  • RaShawnda Murphy Williams

    RaShawnda Murphy Williams is an associate attorney at Cranfill Sumner LLP in Raleigh. She practices in the firm's civil litigation section and focuses her practice primarily on matters involving education, employment, and municipal law.

    Before RaShawnda began her civil litigation career, she served the state of North Carolina as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Chief Justice Cheri L. Beasley at the North Carolina Supreme Court.

    RaShawnda earned her B.A. in Psychology and Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her J.D., magna cum laude, from North Carolina Central University School of Law. During her time in law school, she worked as a summer clerk for Supervisory Administrative Judge Regina Stephens of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. She also worked as an extern of the North Carolina Central University Office of Legal Affairs and served as Articles Editor of the Science and Intellectual Property Law Review.

    Click here for more information about RaShawnda.

  • Maura O'Keefe

    Maura O'Keefe specializes in education law at Tharrington Smith LLP at Raleigh. She joined Tharrington Smith's Education Section in mid-2016 following a two-year fellowship at the Office of University Counsel at UNC, where she focused on student and employment matters.

    Maura earned her B.A., with distinction, in English and History from the University of Virginia, where she was a recipient of the Jefferson Scholarship. After graduating, she taught high school English as a member of Teach for America's Eastern North Carolina corps. She earned his J.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she was a member of the Holderness Moot Court National Team and certified student lawyer in the Juvenile Justice Clinic.

    Click here for more information about Maura.

  • Grace S. Pennerat

    Grace S. Pennerat is an Associate Attorney in the Education Law Section at Poyner Spruill LLP in Raleigh. She regularly presides over routine and special board meetings and committee meetings for local boards of education. She also advises local boards of education, superintendents, and central office personnel regarding student, employee, and community matters. She is a Title IX investigator and decision-maker.

    Grace started her career in the UNC-Chapel Hill Department of Public Policy where she was a research assistant and course administrator for the Honors Carolina Burch Field Research Seminar in Washington, DC.

    In addition to education law, Grace also helps clients sponsor prospective employees for non-immigrant visas and green cards and attract and enroll international students. Additionally, she assists clients with family-based immigration needs, from K visas through permanent residence to naturalization.

    Grace earned her B.A. in Political Science and Global Studies, with a Minor in Art History, from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her J.D. from Wake Forest University School of Law. In law school, she served as the 2016-17 Student Bar Association President, a member of the Journal of Law of Policy, and an active participant in the Pro Bono Project. In 2022, Grace earned a M.A. in Higher Education Administration and a certificate in College and University Teaching from Appalachian State University.

    Click here for more information about Grace.

  • Brian C. Shaw

    Brian C. Shaw is a partner at Poyner Spruill LLP 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.

  • Erica Solosky

    Erica Solosky is Associate General Counsel and Director of Ethics, Policy, and Compliance at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She joined the Office of Legal Affairs in 2022. She works closely with campus partners to address compliance questions, interpret University policies, and advise on ethics matters. She also focuses her legal practice on international programs and immigration matters, public records reviews, and NCAA compliance.

    Prior to beginning her role at UNC Charlotte, Erica was an Assistant Chief Counsel in the New York City Office of the Principal Legal Advisor with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. In that role, she represented the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in immigration removal proceedings before the Executive Office for Immigration Review.

    Before transitioning to DHS, Erica served on active duty for more than 5 years as a Judge Advocate in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's (JAG) Corps. Her practice with the U.S. Army JAG Corps included a focus on administrative, civil, and fiscal law. Her legal practice in higher education began at the United States Military Academy, where she held a supervisory role over military justice matters, administrative hearings, and criminal prosecutions.

    Erica earned her B.A., magna cum laude, in Political Science and Government from the University of South Carolina and her J.D., magna cum laude, from Northern Kentucky University—Salmon P. Chase College of Law.

    Click here for more information about Erica.

  • Rebecca Williams

    Rebecca Williams is an Associate Attorney at Poyner Spruill LLP in Raleigh. She assists public school systems in all aspects of education law.

    Rebecca brings several years of experience as an educator to her practice. She previously taught Spanish at the high school, community college, and college levels.

    Rebecca is a member of the North Carolina Council of School Attorneys, the National Council of School Attorneys, and the Education Law Section of the North Carolina Bar Association.

    Rebecca earned her B.A. in Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics from West Virginia University, M.A. in Spanish Language and Literature from the University of New Hampshire and her J.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

    Click here for more information about Rebecca.

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If paying by check, click here for a printable registration form. Please reference the live webcast program code 283RWC.

Certificate of Completion and Archived Video: Your certificate of completion and archived video will be available approximately two weeks of the program date and can be found in your CLE account. MCLE credit is available to registrants only on the day(s) of the live event. This archived content is offered solely for review purposes and is not a substitute for live attendance.

August 7, 2024
Wed 8:55 AM EDT

Duration 7H 5M

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