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Loyola University Chicago

Civitas ChildLaw Center

School of Law

News and Past Events

The Education Law and Policy Institute collaborates with the Loyola University Chicago School of Education and other institutions to present conferences, trainings, and other special events on education law and policy issues.  The Institute also works in collaboration with other University publications and platforms to disseminate research regarding the most pressing contemporary issues confronting education law and policy.

Below are examples of the myriad programs the Institute has developed or co-sponsored, as well as news on the activities of several Institute students, faculty, and staff .


This seminar addressed important developments in the area of education law during the last year.  Topics included recent federal guidance on school discipline, bullying and sexual violence; best practices in special education due process hearings; and other hot topics in the area of education law.

As part of the Civitas ChildLaw Center’s Coffee Talk series, the Education Law and Policy Institute held a panel on “Education Law Careers and Opportunities.”  The panel featured three experienced attorneys working in the field of education law who supervise Loyola law students in field placements: 

James Ciesil (JD ‘89), Deputy General Counsel, Chicago Public Schools

Amy Kosanovich Dickerson (JD ’07), Associate, Franczek Radelet P.C.

Rachel Shapiro, Staff Attorney, Equip for Equality

Loyola law students Rupa Ramadurai, Ibie Hart and Ariel Johnson; School of Law alumnae Candace Moore (JD ’13); and Associate Director of the Education Law and Policy Institute Miranda Johnson dined with Loyola New Orleans law student Allie Conlay, Tulane law student Jessica Johnson, and Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights attorney Jessica Schneider to share strategies and experiences related to educational advocacy.  The lunch followed the ABA Town Hall Meeting on School Discipline, where the Civitas ChildLaw Clinic’s work representing students in school expulsion hearings was highlighted.

Kate Gladson, a third year law student, was awarded an Equal Justice Works fellowship funded by the Albert and Anne Mansfield Family Foundation.  This prestigious two-year fellowship funds Kate to work at LAF following graduation.  The focus of her project is to protect the educational rights of low-income students impacted by school closings and other district restructuring in Chicago Public Schools, through direct representation and community education.  

The Institute coordinated a training entitled “Navigating a Charter School’s Legal Obligations When Disciplining Special Education Students,” which was part of the 2013 Statewide Charter Conference hosted by the Illinois Network of Charter Schools.  Miranda Johnson, Associate Director of the Institute, moderated the panel, which included the following presenters:

-  Mary Kay Klimesh, Partner, Seyfarth Shaw LLP

-  Olga Pribyl, Vice President of the Special Education Clinic and Pro Bono, Equip for Equality

-  Jennifer Deutch, Parter, Hodges, Loizzi, Eisenhammer, Rodick & Kohn LLP

The Education Law and Policy Institute hosted the fall seminar of the Alliance of Public Charter School Attorneys (APSCA).  The conference was sponsored by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools and included a career panel for students from Loyola University Chicago School of Law.

The Education Law and Policy Institute and the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law partnered to conduct an independent monitoring project for two days at Chicago Public Schools when classes resumed on Monday, August 26.  Approximately 50 volunteer project monitors, including law students, lawyers, and other professionals, were assigned to schools that were expecting new students displaced by the recent CPS closings.  Monitors worked in brief shifts on the first two days of school at CPS to welcome parents and students, as well as distribute “know your rights” materials and provide legal referrals as needed.

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The Institute hosted a training on special education law in charter schools in conjunction with the Illinois Network of Charter Schools.  The training was attended by representatives from charter school design teams, non-profit organizations, and Loyola University Chicago law students.  Presenters included attorneys from Franzek Radelet, Equip for Equality and Chicago Public Schools as well as staff from the Illinois State Board of Education and Chicago International Charter School.

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The Civitas ChildLaw Center signed on in support of the Pregnant and Parenting Students Access to Education Act

This bill was introduced into the U.S. Congress on May 7, 2013.

Caitlyn Sharon, a second year law student in the Education Law Practicum, co-authored with attorney Brian Crowley a series of articles that were posted on the website of Franczek Radelet LLP.  The articles included: 

Board Candidate Files Suit After State’s Attorney Serves Quo Warranto Action (April 30, 2013)

District Court Finds Boys’ Basketball Haircut Policy Does Not Constitute Discrimination or Infringe Student Rights (March 26, 2013)

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Upholds City’s Invocation Policy for Council Meetings (April 2, 2013)

Ohio Court Rules Board Meeting Sign-In Process is Legal (March 26, 2013)

The Institute hosted a conference entitled “Early Childhood Education for the Future: The Creative Use of Public-Private Partnerships to Provide Cost-Effective, High-Quality School Readiness Programs.”  The training was co-sponsored by the Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois Resource Center:  Early Childhood Professional Development. 

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The Institute has been involved in a number of activities designed to enhance the ability of charter schools to meet the needs of students with disabilities. In 2011, the Institute organized a path breaking symposium on Special Education and Charter Schools.

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In the following years, the Institute engaged further with this important topic, collaborating with the Illinois Network of Charter Schools to organize a series of trainings on special education for charter schools.

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The Institute has also focused its outreach on issues relating to education for low-income and homeless children.  In particular, the Institute co-sponsored the 2009 Public Interest Law Reporter Symposium entitled “Separate and Unequal? The Socioeconomic Realities of Public Education in America.”

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In 2006, the Institute held the first national interdisciplinary conference on The Law and Policy of Universal Preschool, an event organized in conjunction with the Loyola University Chicago School of Education and Erikson Graduate School of Child Development.

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For information on upcoming events, please visit our Conferences, Research and Outreach page.

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SCHOOL OF LAW CIVITAS CHILDLAW CENTER
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