Student Affairs

Students need a safe and dynamic educational environment in which to learn and thrive. Ensuring this can lead to significant challenges for school personnel who must understand and navigate through the legal rights and responsibilities of students and staff, ongoing parent-teacher-student expectations and relationships, academic and behavioral challenges, and financial considerations and limitations. 

Best Best & Krieger LLP Education Law attorneys have decades of experience providing effective counsel and representation to K-12 school and school districts, public and private colleges and universities, county offices of education, charter schools, special education local plan areas and education foundations. 

We advise on all student affairs matters, including: 

  • Student rights – free speech, religious exercise and expression
  • Nondiscrimination, gender equity and Title IX compliance
  • Search and seizure, drug and alcohol testing
  • Sexual harassment, bullying and cyberbullying
  • Inter-district transfers, open enrollment and related appeals
  • School closures and boundary adjustments
  • Pupil records and privacy issues
  • Attendance, residency and enrollment issues
  • Complaint procedures, investigations, responses and training
  • Custody issues and parent rights and responsibilities
  • Student discipline, including suspension and expulsion procedures, hearings and appeals
  • Uniform Complaint Procedure investigations and reports
  • Office for Civil Rights complaint investigation response and resolution
  • California Department of Education complaint investigations
  • Student athletics
  • School safety and campus security 
  • Free school guarantee – restriction on student fees
  • Dress code issues, policies and procedures 
  • Foster and homeless youth rights
  • Special Education support and services
  • Section 504 disability accommodations


Further, we help clients create and revise student handbooks, school policies, practices and procedures; offer training to assure staff compliance; and assert and defend our clients’ interests in federal and state courts, before regulatory bodies and before government agencies. 

Jack B. Clarke

Jack B. Clarke

Partner

(951) 826-8233

Areas of Focus: Board Governance & Administration | Business Services & School Facilities | Charter Schools | Education Law | Education Litigation | Special Education
Maria E. Gless

Maria E. Gless

Partner

(951) 826-8333

Areas of Focus: Education | Education Law | Education Litigation | Special Education | Student Affairs
Dina O. Harris

Dina O. Harris

Partner

(619) 525-1340

Areas of Focus: Board Governance & Administration | Business Services & School Facilities | Charter Schools | Education Law | Special Education | Student Affairs
Cathy S. Holmes

Cathy S. Holmes

Partner

(951) 826-8218

Areas of Focus: Board Governance & Administration | Business Services & School Facilities | Charter Schools | Education Law | Special Education | Student Affairs
Karen L. Van Dijk

Karen L. Van Dijk

Partner

(949) 263-6563

Areas of Focus: Education Law | Education Litigation | Eminent Domain | Public Agency Litigation | Special Education | Student Affairs

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