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Sonja can be contacted at strainor@NSAA.legal.

NSAA Welcomes Sonja Trainor!

The National School Attorneys Association (NSAA) is thrilled to welcome Sonja Trainor as its Executive Director.  NSAA is an independent, self-governed national organization formed in the Spring of 2023. With Sonja Trainor on board, NSAA advances our core purpose to unite and support attorneys in legal advocacy on behalf of our nation's public schools. Sonja's leadership and strategic vision will be invaluable to NSAA and its members.

Sonja has an impeccable reputation among school attorneys, educational organizations, and agencies.  She brings a wealth of experience and a proven track record of leadership and advocacy on behalf of our K-12 public schools. Sonja grew up in Springfield, Illinois, and attended Washington University in St. Louis, with degrees in both English and Education in 1993. While earning her J.D. at the University of Illinois College of Law, she served as a research assistant in the College of Education. Sonja represented schools with a school law firm in Illinois and then joined the National School Boards Association's legal team in 2010. By 2024, she was leading the legal advocacy program, overseeing school law programming for school attorneys, and regularly writing and speaking on school law topics. Sonja is known in Washington education policy circles for plain-speaking, practical approaches to legal issues affecting public schools that will enable educators to focus on student learning and safety. 

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Upcoming Lunch & Learn Webinars! Save the date!

Wednesday, August 7 - Noon (Eastern)

Title IX on Trial: Injunction Update and the Legal Battle over the 2024 Title IX Rules

This timely presentation will provide an update on litigation over the 2024 Title IX regulations. The presenters will survey all pending cases in district and appellate courts, analyze the scope and impact of the injunctions, and discuss strategies for schools whether or not they are in a jurisdiction affected by an injunction.

Presenters: Lisa Brown, Katie Long, Holly McIntush, and Oleg Nudelman of Thompson & Horton, Texas

To register, email Cheryl at crichardson@nsaa.legal

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Monday, September 16 - Noon (Eastern)
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS AND RELATED ISSUES REGARDING RELIGION:  How to respond to requests for the posting of the Commandments in the classroom and the inclusion of religious texts in the curriculum.
Presented by Jim Walsh, Walsh Gallegos, TX
To register, email Cheryl at crichardson@nsaa.legal
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Monday, October 21 - Noon (Eastern)
Is This Still a Good IDEA?  Or Has Inclusion Reached a Tipping Point? 
I represent school districts.  At a recent state-level school law conference, I came to the realization that none of my colleagues were happy about the state of Special Education with respect to the demands of students whose needs are increasingly primarily related to emotional and mental health.  The SPED attorneys are at a loss.  The teacher attorneys are concerned about the safety of their clients.  The parent attorneys are increasingly arguing for more restrictive placements. The attorneys who represent the school boards are struggling to explain the obligations and costs associated with increasing calls for nonpublic and residential placements. This presentation examines the foundational principle of inclusion upon which IDEA is based and attempts to reconcile that idea with the reality that the general education setting may no longer be the least restrictive environment for an increasing number of children.
Presented by Dean Micknal, Leasor Crass, Mansfield, TX
To register, email Cheryl at crichardson@nsaa.legal
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Find video links for past webinars under the Professional Development Opportunities tab!

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Become a Dues-Paying Member of NSAA

Click here to join NSAA! We are keeping dues for FY24 (July 1, 2023 - June 30, 2024) as low as possible (set at $200 per attorney).  Dues will not increase for FY25 (starting July 1, 2024).  There is great value in being a member of NSAA, including but not limited to:

  • NSAA’s Lunch and Learn Webinars: NSAA offers monthly webinars at no charge on topics of interest to school attorneys across the U.S.
  • NSAA Listserv:  Make sure you get the best interactive experience with your colleagues by engaging in the listserv.  You can pose questions or information that is useful to school attorneys. Contact Wendy Brenden at wbrenden@mtsba.org if you are not getting real-time postings on the listserv.
  • Mark your Calendars for NSAA’s Annual National Conference in Indianapolis:  Our 2nd Annual National Conference will be held on October 9-11, 2024.  It is sure to be a success and great opportunity to collaborate with your colleagues. 

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If your State School Boards Association is not collecting dues for the school attorneys in your state, here is an online link for instructions to pay your NSAA Membership Dues.

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NSAA Listserv continues to expand:

As you likely know by now, we have created an NSAA listserv. We have over 1,300+ attorneys from around the U.S. populated on the listserv. As you also likely know, several state associations and others have volunteered in-kind services for NSAA. The Montana School Boards Association (MTSBA) has volunteered to host our NSAA listserv. The MTSBA website is built on a community platform, and this will give NSAA our own secure community where we can interact, share ideas, answer questions, and stay connected as we build our new association. NSAA Community Guide

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