Dear NYSASA Colleagues:
My name is Sara Visingard and I am NYSASA’s President for 2021. Welcome to the NYSASA website, which provides school attorneys with resources and information pertinent to our practice area.
NYSASA is a membership association dedicated exclusively to school attorneys. Our members serve as legal counsel to boards of education of school districts and boards of cooperative educational services (BOCES) across the state. NYSASA’s mission is to support school districts and BOCES by supporting the attorneys who represent them. We are committed to assisting school attorneys to provide their clients with the highest quality legal representation.
NYSASA is a knowledgeable and pragmatic resource for school boards and administrators, New York State governmental officials and the general public. For example, our Board of Directors has worked diligently to grow critical relationships with legislators, State Education Department officials and statewide stakeholders, so that school attorneys have a place at the table when important decisions are made. These efforts have paid off, as NYSASA is called upon frequently to provide critical input on legal and policy issues. These relationships allowed NYSASA to weigh in on key emerging issues and seek direct guidance from government officials during the pandemic.
The NYSASA website is just one of the many initiatives that NYSASA has undertaken to assist school attorneys throughout the state. Other endeavors include:
We regularly offer continuing legal education opportunities specific to the practice of school law. For example, in typical years, we annually host a School Attorney Law Conference at the Sagamore Hotel in Lake George, which is a three-day program providing the latest information on hot topics in school law. This conference also provides opportunities to network with other school attorneys from across the state, to share experiences and best practices in representing school districts and BOCES. We also co-sponsor, with the New York State School Boards Association (NYSSBA), the Annual Pre-Convention School Law Seminar. This seminar is attended by a large number of school district and BOCES board members, superintendents and other officials. It is a valuable opportunity to spend time with clients as well as colleagues.
In partnership with NYSSBA, the NYSASA membership writes a monthly column in On Board, NYSSBA’s newspaper, to address cutting edge legal issues. Our members-only listserv also provides school attorneys with access to our entire membership to pose questions and seek input and experiences from other school attorney members throughout the state.
Sara E. Visingard