What Is Education Law?

Education law encompasses laws and regulations governing school systems and students' rights movements. Here you'll find more information about this field, schools that offer education law courses and career outlook for aspiring lawyers specializing in education law. Schools offering Juris Doctor degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Education Law Overview

Education law deals with laws and regulations that govern federal and state schools, school boards and school systems, as well as protecting students' rights. This field covers curriculum instruction methods, school athletics, operation and administration of school institutions, programs, educational materials, discrimination and school discipline. Education law developed as a legal specialization to ensure all students, faculty and staff within an educational system are treated fairly and their civil rights are not compromised. Education law primarily deals with topics in:

  • Civil rights
  • Separation of church and state
  • Discrimination
  • Public education

Important Facts About This Field of Study

Degree Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree
Online Availability Hybrid law degree available
Possible Careers U.S. Department of Education general counsel, private law firm, nonprofit and advocacy groups
Continuing Education Continuing legal education for lawyers every year or every 3 years is required in most states

Schools Offering Education Law Courses

Many 4-year universities with law degree programs offer courses in education law. Education law courses can prepare students to deal with cases in which all levels of school systems intersect with federal protections and rules. Students can learn about legal issues like unequal treatment by race or sex, affirmative action, sexual harassment, education of children with disabilities, religion within schools and the No Child Left Behind Act. Students review case studies of federal law issues involving the educational systems in the U.S. and examine how federal courts address the importance of education for everyone. Schools that offer education law courses include:

  • American University
  • DePaul University
  • Pennsylvania State University

Career Outlook for Education Lawyers

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported 603,310 people held jobs as lawyers in 2014 (www.bls.gov). Lawyers could see average employment growth of about six percent from 2014 to 2024 with strong competition expected for most positions, noted the BLS. The majority of lawyers worked in corporate and government organizations. As of May 2014, the median annual salary for lawyers was $114,970, the BLS indicated.

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