Education Law Symposium


July 5 - 8, 2018

Co-sponsored by the National Catholic Education Association (NCEA) and Loyola Marymount University's Center for Catholic Education, this nationally recognized symposium offers dynamic presentations on the law as it applies to Catholic education and ministry.

Experts in the field will present on a variety of topics, including: social media, cyberbullying, immigration law, canon law as it impacts education ministries, accommodating students with disabilities, and relevant updates on school law.

The symposium's speakers represent an outstanding group of school law experts with a wide variety of knowledge and experience. All sessions will be held at the Brown Hotel -- rated as one of the top 50 hotels in the country.

Don't miss this wonderful opportunity to learn and network!

Contact if you have any questions.

  • Featured Speakers

    Below are featured speakers from the 2017 Education Law Symposium. Featured speakers for 2018 are being finalized.

    • Mary Angela Shaughnessy, SCN
    • Dale McDonald, PBVM
    • Cindi Baughman
    • Mary Beth Boyer
    • Michael Bratcher
    • Hillary Byrnes
    • Mary Diana Dreger, OP
    • Clare Fitzgerald, SSND
    • Karen Juliano
    • Fran Lawlor
    • Michael Ligorini
    • Mary Peter Muehlenkemp, OP
    • David Peters
    • Karen Piper
    • Anthony Riegling
    • Vincent Schmidt
    • Brian E. Shultz
    • Karen Shaughnessy Schultz
    • Sara Wannemuehler
    • Sara Watson
    • Reverend Brian Zumbrum, Osfs
  • Topics

    More coming soon!

    • Reflections on Mercy and Law
    • School Law Update
    • Social Media
    • Cyberbullying
    • Faculty and Student Handbooks
    • Chief Administrators and Athletics
    • Title IX: Exemption: Gender Identity/Sexual Orientation Laws
    • Discipline
    • Accommodating Students with Differences/Disabilities
    • Dealing with Difficult Parents
    • IDEA: Special Ed Law
    • Law of Love
    • Medical Issues and Catholic Teaching
    • Child Custody
    • Legal Nightmares
    • Immigration Law
  • Agenda

    Download the 2017 Agenda here. The agenda for 2018 coming soon! 

    Thursday, July 6 
    7:00 p.m.

    Opening Prayer and Introductions
    Dale McDonald, PBVM


    Dr. Shane P. Martin


    Introduction of Speaker
    Mary Angela Shaughnessy, SCN


    Keynote Address
    Reverend Brian Zumbrum, Osfs

    Merciful like the Father: 
    Learning how to Give and Receive Mercy




    Friday, July 7 
    7:00 a.m.


    Father Zumbrum
    8:30 a.m. Prayer 
    8:45-9:45 a.m.

    Legal Issues and Case Update
    Mary Angela Shaughnessy, SCN

    10:00-11:15 a.m. 

    Accessing Federal Programs under the New Education Law
    Dale McDonald, PBVM

    Faculty Handbooks: Legal Issues
    Sarah Wannemuehler

    Supervising Marginal Teachers
    Sarah Watson

    Custody Issues
    Karen Piper

    11:30 a.m Lunch 
    12:45-2:00 p.m.

    Generational Issues: Bridging the Gap
    Sarah Watson

    International Student Management: Law and Practicality
    David Peters

    Student Handbooks
    Sarah Wannemeuhler

    2:15-3:30 p.m. 

    High School Discipline: Legal Issues
    Cindi Baughman

    Chief Administrators and Athletics: Issues and Solutions
    Karen Juliano, David Peters and representatives from area Catholic high schools

    Coping with Personnel and Legal Issues while Keeping Your Sanity
    Fran Lawlor

    3:30-3:45 p.m. Break
    3:45-5:00 p.m. Title IX Exemption: Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Laws
    Hillary Byrnes

    Crisis Management: Armed Intruder Readiness
    Tony Riegling

    IDEA: Special Education Law and Catholic Schools
    Dale McDonald, PBVM

    Dealing With Difficult Parents and Staying Within the Law
    Michael Bratcher

    Free Evening


    Saturday, July 8 
    8:30 a.m.  Prayer 
    8:45-9:45 a.m.
    Keynote:  Law and Mercy
    Clare Fitzgerald, SSND
    10:00 a.m.  Medical, Psychological and Emotional Issues Part I:  Current Legal Conundrums and Cases
    Mary Angela Shaughnessy, SCN
    11:00 a.m.  Break
    11:15-12:30 p.m.       Medical, Psychological and Emotional Issues: Part II:  Current Classroom Challenges
    Mary Diana Dreger, OP
    12:30 p.m  Lunch 
    1:45-3:00 p.m.

    Legal Nightmares: How We Coped
    Karen Juliano, David Peters, Fran Lawlor & Cat Timmerman

    Learning Differences, Special Ed and What It All Means
    Vince Schmidt

    Immigration Law and Student Status
    Michael Ligorano

    Social Media and Catholic School Responsibilities
    Mary Beth Boyer

    3:00-3:15 p.m  Break
    3:15-4:30 p.m.

    Mary Beth Boyer

    Brian Graduates Cum Laude (with honor)
    A Learning Differences Success Story
    Brian Schultz, Karen Schultz & Tony Riegling

    Custody Issues
    Karen Piper 

    5:00 p.m.

    Vigil Mass
    Father Zumbrum 

    6:00 p.m. 

    Dinner and Awards
    Speaker:  Mary Peter Muehlenkamp, OP 


    Sunday, July 9 
    9:00 a.m.
    9:15 a.m.

    Ask the Lawyers
    Hillary Byrnes, Michael Ligorano, Mary Peter Muehlenkamp, OP,
    Karen Piper and Mary Angela Shaughnessy, SCN            

    10:15 a.m.

    Public Policy Updates and Concluding Remarks
    Dale McDonald, PBVM

    11:00 a.m.   Farewell
  • Inclusion Award Nominations

    Each year the Shaughnessy family presents the Edward M. Shaughnessy III Serving All God’s Children Award to a Catholic school, educator, administrator or other person who has made an outstanding contribution to furthering inclusive Catholic education for all, especially those students with special needs.  Nominations are now being sought for the 2018 award. Nominations close May 1, 2018.   

    Please send the nominee’s name, contact information (including whether he or she can be present on July 7th to receive the award) and a brief statement supporting the nomination to Sr. Angie by e-mail (

  • Title II Funds

    Title II-A funds for professional development under ESSA may be available to attend the Education Law Symposium. Funds may be used for registration as well as travel and lodging. Requests must be made to the local public school district (LEA) that controls the government funding for this program. 

  • Location

    The Brown Hotel

    335 West Broadway • Louisville, KY 40202

    Participants must make their own reservations at the hotel by using this link or calling 502.583.1234. If calling, please note that The Brown Hotel is on Eastern Time. Indicate that you are with the LMU/NCEA Education Law Symposium and you will be charged the special rate of only $112 (single) and $126 (double), both of which include a full hot breakfast daily. Hotel reservations at this special symposium rate cannot be guaranteed after June 11, 2018.

  • Testimonials

    August 2017

    "I have attended the Law Symposium for several years now. The Symposium helps me as an educator, leader, and administrator to understanding and appreciate what is going on in school law. The updates are beneficial, the presentations are practical, and the candid conversations help me throughout the school year. If you are discerning summer professional development, I strongly encourage you to attend the Law Symposium."

    Michael Bratcher, Ed.D.
    Principal, Sacred Heart Model School
    Louisville, Kentucky


    January 2018

    "I mark my calendar every year with the symposium dates.  It provides a wonderful opportunity to stay abreast of the ever-changing rules and regulations that impact education on a daily basis.  The variety of topics offers something for everyone and the presentations are rich and engaging."

    Dr. Debbie Hall
    Chairperson, Social Studies Department
    Presentation Academy, Louisville, Kentucky


    January 2018

    "The School Law Symposium provides information on legal issues affecting schools and dioceses across many different areas.  Each year is new and addresses current challenges.  This should be a 'must attend' on everyone in Catholic administration’s list."

    Sandra Leatherwood
    Superintendent of Catholic Schools
    Diocese of Charleston, South Carolina 


    January 2018

    "The annual Education Law Symposium is an opportunity to bring together educators in dialogue regarding the current societal challenges faced by our Catholic schools in working with our educators, students and parents. With the diversity of issues that can overwhelm, this conference provides a framework of understanding of legal issues through outstanding presenters and deep conversation.  It keeps diocesan and school personnel strong in serving our students in the best legal context possible and should be a priority focus for attendance by dioceses and schools each year."

    Sally Todd
    Interim Superintendent 
    Diocese of Orange, California 


    September 2017

    "I was fortunate to be a part of the Education Law Symposium at its inception in 2003 and have been a presenter and a participant 14 out of the last 15 years. My professional roles have evolved from teacher to principal to higher education, but the Education Law Symposium has remained an integral part of my continued professional development. I am always eager to encourage others to attend and each year look forward to expanding my collegial network of those committed to the ministry of education."

    Sarah Wannemuehler, Ed.D.
    Associate Professor
    Director of Early Field Experience
    University of Southern Indiana

Register Now!

Submit your Education Law Symposium registration and payment via the online registration form.

Registration Fees

  • $595 before June 1
  • $650 after June 1

Price includes all symposium attendees' lunches, receptions and Saturday evening award dinner. A full hot buffet breakfast is included in the room rate for those staying at the Brown Hotel. Space is limited to 150. Cancellations received by June 14 will be charged a $100 fee. No refunds after June 14.