School & College Legal Services of California (SCLS) is a duly established joint powers authority that was formed to provide high quality legal and labor relations services for community colleges, school districts, and county offices of education at a reasonable cost. Operationally, we combine the best features of private law firms and governmental law offices. Because we provide legal services exclusively for community colleges, school districts, and county offices of education, we have significant expertise in areas of law that directly relate to our clients. Our attorneys have over 200 years of combined experience in school and college legal and educational matters. We strive to provide high quality, cost-effective legal services in the areas of student rights and discipline, special education, personnel, discrimination complaints, collective bargaining, grievances, facilities issues, contracting and purchasing, real property, Brown Act and other governance issues, and other areas of education law.
We are strongly committed to the practice of preventive law. The mission of SCLS is not only to assist our clients in resolving legal issues that arise, but to also assist our clients in avoiding legal issues entirely. We help clients address issues proactively through frequent workshops, timely newsletters, useful templates, checklists, and other tools to ensure compliance and reduce legal costs. Recent workshops covered such topics as employee leaves, student discipline, special education, Section 504, classified and certificated layoffs, sexual harassment prevention, the Brown Act and ethics for new board members, compliance with the Public Records Act in a digital age, and a review of new legislation impacting education.
SCLS began as the legal department of the Sonoma County Office of Education. Over time, we realized that numerous community colleges, school districts, and county offices of education would benefit from having access to attorneys with experience in education law who would provide cost-effective legal and labor relations services. To better serve this community, SCLS was formed as a joint powers authority. As public employees of this joint powers authority formed by education agencies, our attorneys are uniquely situated to understand our clients’ circumstances and meet their legal needs.