McGown & Markling is dedicated to the common good of Ohio’s education community. We believe that all educational institutions and their officials should be provided with adequate school law representation. We honor this professional commitment through our exclusive School Law Hotline℠, which offers all eligible Ohio educational institutions with five hours of pro bono legal services per calendar year. As a result of this commitment, the Ohio Supreme Court and Ohio Access to Justice Foundation have recognized McGown & Markling as providing the most pro bono hours per attorney than any other law firm in Ohio. For the 2023 calendar year alone, we are offering over 5,000 pro bono hours to eligible educational institutions, which amounts to over $1 million worth of legal services offered to Ohio’s education community. To read the most recent pro bono report issued by the Ohio Access to Justice Foundation, please click here.
It should be noted that there is a significant distinction between the School Law Hotline℠ and any access that you may receive from the Legal Division of the Ohio School Boards Association (“OSBA”). While the OSBA Legal Division may provide you with “legal information and resources,” the OSBA Legal Division will make it clear to you that they “do not represent school districts or render legal advice to districts.” That is not the case with the School Law Hotline℠. By participating in the School Law Hotline℠, McGown & Markling attorneys are both representing your school district and rendering legal advice to your district.
- To participate in the School Law Hotline℠, your educational institution must be a city, exempted village, local, or joint vocational school district, an educational service center, a county board of developmental disabilities, a Department of Youth Services facility, or a community school. And your educational institution cannot have any conflicts with McGown & Markling or its clients as determined by the Firm.
- Your educational institution may participate in the School Law Hotline℠and still obtain legal services from other programs and/or law firms. In fact, McGown & Markling encourages your educational institution to take advantage of as many legal tools as are available to you.
- Any additional hours billed beyond the five pro bono hours will be billed at blended hourly rates depending on the nature of the legal services rendered – e.g., general school law work, collective bargaining negotiations, and property valuation matters. These hours may be used for any purpose including, but not limited to, special education, pupil services, school finance, governance, labor and employment, collective bargaining, in-services, and general matters.
- A note about travel time billing: if we believe that the presence of a McGown & Markling attorney at your office is required in order to provide legal services on a matter, the time traveled to and from your office will not be billed to the educational institution through the School Law Hotline℠. Travel expenses will still be billed at IRS rates. If we believe that the presence of a McGown & Markling attorney at your office is not required in order to provide legal services on a matter and you nonetheless request the attendance of an attorney, the time traveled to and from your office will be billed to the educational institution, as well as travel expenses at IRS rates, through the School Law Hotline℠.
Simply complete the information in the below form and we will send you an agreement to participate in the School Law Hotline℠. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.
The School Law Hotline℠ is a registered service mark held by the law firm of McGown & Markling Co., L.P.A.