Loyola University Chicago

Civitas ChildLaw Center

School of Law

Leadership and Faculty

Dean Michael Kaufman is the founding director of the Education Law and Policy Institute. Dean Kaufman is the author of countless books and articles on education law and policy, including the leading text-book used in law school and education classes devoted to education: Education Law, Policy and Practice (3d ed. 2013). Dean Kaufman has also developed an expertise in early childhood education and has co-authored two books, The Pre-K Home Companion: Learning the Importance of Early Childhood Education and Choosing the Best Program for Your Family (2016) and Learning Together: The Law, Policy, Pedagogy, Economics and Neuroscience of Early Childhood Education (2014).   He has been a member of the law school faculty for more than 30 years and has taught courses in education law and policy and comparative education law.

Dean Kaufman also was elected to three terms as a member of the board of education for a large, diverse elementary school district in the Chicago area, and has served as its president and vice-president. Before joining the law school faculty, Dean Kaufman litigated education and disability rights issues at a leading law firm, clerked for Judge Nathaniel Jones of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and counseled the parties in the Kansas City school desegregation matter.

Miranda Johnson is the director of the Education Law and Policy Institute. She teaches the Education Law Practicum and other education law courses.  She also supervises law students in the representation of parents and students in school discipline and special education cases. She has presented at national conferences and training programs in Illinois on prevention-oriented approaches to reduce the use of exclusionary school discipline practices. Her expertise and analysis on education law and policy issues has been featured in various media, including WBEZ, Chicago Tribune, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and The Hill.

Prior to joining Loyola, Professor Johnson worked as a staff attorney at Advocates for Children of New York (AFC), where she provided legal representation in administrative proceedings and class action lawsuits related to educational equity in New York City.  She also served as a law clerk for the Honorable Allyne R. Ross, United States District Court Judge for the Eastern District of New York.  Before law school, she taught high school social studies and was a Fulbright Scholar in Tanzania. She holds a J.D. from New York University School of Law and a Master in Public Affairs from Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

Kathleen Hirsman is the Institute’s senior lecturer in residence. Professor Hirsman has over 25 years of experience in school law practice, representing and counseling school districts in board governance issues, student issues, labor and personnel matters, collective bargaining, special education, general litigation, and in a general corporate advisory capacity. She also has prior experience teaching English as a second language in public schools and at the college level.

Professor Hirsman has served as an adjunct faculty member of the graduate departments of education of Benedictine University and Concordia University, and she has taught graduate courses in school law for over 20 years. She holds a J.D. from Loyola University Chicago School of Law and a Master's degree in Linguistics from the University of Illinois.


In addition to the leadership of the Education Law and Policy Institute, the following faculty and staff members teach substantive education law courses and/or oversee volunteer opportunities in the education law field and can serve as a valuable resource to students on matters relating to curriculum and/or job opportunities:

Mary Bird, Director of Public Interest Programs 
Hillary Coustan, Adjunct Faculty
Josie Gough, Director of Experiential Learning 
Maureen Hager, Adjunct Faculty
Maureen Kieffer, Associate Director of Career Services and Public Service Law 
Monica Llorente, Adjunct Faculty
Micki Moran, Adjunct Faculty