Education Law Symposium

Seventeenth Annual Education Law Symposium, July 11-14, 2019, Brown Hotel, Louisville, Kentucky


July 11-14, 2019

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.  This is geared toward all levels of Catholic school administration: from diocesan superintendents to emerging leaders at the school site.

This year, a full complement of experts in the field will present on a variety of topics, including: social media, cyber security, immigration law, canon law as it impacts education ministries, crisis management, accommodating students with disabilities, personnel legal issues, 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.

This wonderful opportunity to learn and network should not be missed!

Questions and request for more information can be directed to

  • Featured Speakers

    The 2018 slate of Ed Law Symposium speakers come with unprecedented breadth and expertise. Please welcome the featured speakers!

    • Mary Angela Shaughnessy, SCN
    • Dale McDonald, PBVM
    • Cindi Baughman
    • Cara Tuttle Bell
    • Mary Beth Boyer
    • Michael Bratcher
    • Hillary Byrnes
    • Clare Fitzgerald, SSND
    • Michael Huggins
    • Annette Jones
    • Karen Juliano
    • Fran Lawlor
    • Joy Lopez
    • Valerie Mara
    • Mary McManus-McElroy
    • Courtney Milam 
    • Joe Milam
    • David Peters
    • Bryan Pham, S.J.
    • Karen Piper
    • Anthony Riegling
    • Vincent Schmidt
    • Cat Timmerman
    • Robert T. Walsh, S.J.
    • Sara Wannemuehler

    2018 Law Symposium Speaker Biographies

  • Topics

    Topics for 2018, more relevant than ever! 

    • Adolescent Discipline: Issues and Solutions
    • Canon Law and Civil Law Intersection
    • Chief Administrators and Athletics
    • Crisis Management, Armed Intruder Readiness
    • Custody Issues
    • Cyber Security and School Obligations
    • Difficult Parents and Staying within the Law
    • Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity
    • Faculty and Student Handbooks
    • Gender Equity and Sexual Harassment
    • Generational Issues
    • IDEA: Special Education Law 
    • Immigration Issues
    • Information Highway In Locos Parentis
    • Justice and Compassion
    • Law and Mercy
    • Learning Differences and Special Ed
    • Legal Issues and Case Updates
    • Medical Issues and Legal Ramifications
    • Navigating the Accreditation Process
    • Personnel and Legal Issues
    • Public Policy Updates  
    • School Violence and Preparedness 
    • Title IX Exemption: Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Laws
    • Youth Mental Health and Legislation
    • School Violence and Preparedness
  • Agenda

    Download Ed Law Agenda 2018

    Thursday, July 5 
    7:00 p.m.

    Dale McDonald, PBVM

    Introduction of Speaker
    Mary Angela Shaughnessy, SCN

    Keynote Address

    Justice and Compassion: A Catholic School Administrator's Experience
    Robert T. Walsh, S.J.


    Friday, July 6 
    7:00 a.m.


    8:30 a.m.

    8:45-9:45 a.m.

    Legal Issues and Case Update
    Mary Angela Shaughnessy, SCN

    10:00-11:15 a.m.

    Gender Equity and Sexual Harassment
    Cara Tuttle Bell

    11:30 a.m


    12:45-2:00 p.m.

    Student Handbooks
    Sarah Wannemeuhler

    IDEA: Special Education Law and Catholic School Students
    Dale McDonald, PBVM

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

    Title IX Exemption: Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Laws
    Hillary Byrnes

    2:15-3:30 p.m.

    Canon Law and Civil Law: Where is the Intersect?
    Bryan Pham, S.J.

    Adolescent Discipline: Issues and Solutions
    Cindi Baughman

    Cyber Security and School Obligations
    Joy Lopez

    Immigration Issues
    Mary McManus-McElroy

    3:30-3:45 p.m.

    3:45-5:00 p.m.

    Kentucky State Troopers' View of School Violence and Preparedness
    Joe Milam (rt., Anderson County) and Courtney Milam, Kentucky State Police

    Dealing with Difficult Parents and Staying within the Law
    Michael Bratcher

    Custody Issues
    Karen Piper

    Free Evening

    Saturday, July 7 

    8:30 a.m.

    8:45-9:45 a.m.

    Keynote: Law and Mercy
    Clare Fitzgerald, SSND

    9:45-10:00 a.m.


    10:00-11:30 a.m.

    Medical Issues and Legal Ramifications
    Michael Huggins and Mary Angela Shaughnessy, SCN

    11:30 a.m.

    12:45-2:00 p.m.

    Faculty Handbooks
    Sarah Wannemuehler

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

    Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity
    Joy Lopez

    Navigating the Accreditation Process
    Valerie Mara

    2:00-2:15 p.m.


    2:15-3:30 p.m

    In Loco Parentis along the Information Highway
    Mary Beth Boyer

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

    Generational Issues: Bridging the Gap
    Annette Jones

    Custody Issues
    Karen Piper

    3:30-3:45 p.m.


    3:45-5:00 p.m.

    Crisis Management: Armed Intruder Readiness
    Tony Riegling

    Youth Mental Health and Legislation
    Mary Beth Boyer

    Custody Issues
    Karen Piper

    5:30 p.m.

    6:30 p.m.

    Vigil Mass
    Robert T. Walsh, S.J.

    Dinner and Awards

    Sunday, July 8 

    9:00 a.m.

    9:15 a.m.

    Ask the Lawyers
    Hillary Byrnes, Mary McManus-McElroy, Bryan Pham, S.J., Karen Piper and
    Mary Angela Shaughnessy, SCN

    10:15 a.m.

    Public Policy Updates and Concluding Remarks
    Dale McDonald, PBVM

    11:00 a.m.

  • Award Nominations

    Two national awards are given at the Education Law Symposium each year.  Nominations are now being sought for the 2018 awards. 

    One award is presented by the Shaughnessy family: The Edward M. Shaughnessy III Serving All God’s Children Inclusive Award  honors an educator, administrator, or other person who has made an outstanding contribution to furthering inclusive Catholic education for all, especially those students with special needs.    

    A second award was established in 2017 to honor the memory of Michael Thomas Peters, an outstanding young man and LMU student, who died in January 2017 while awaiting a kidney transplant.  His parents, Dr. David and Nancy Peters, have set the following criteria for the awardee: One who has overcome or is overcoming obstacles in the face of adversity; exhibits dedication/devotion to friends and family; is a champion of the underdog. These traits were exemplified in the first award winner, Brian Schultz, who overcame adversity in the form of learning to flourish in school and college. Dr. and Mrs. Peters will make the selection. 

    For either award, 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 or rationale supporting the nomination to Sr. Angie by e-mail (

    Nominations close May 15, 2018. 


  • 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. 

    While the NCEA and Loyola Marymount University are co-sponsors of the symposium, LMU serves as the symposium's fiscal agent.  As such, any checks submitted for symposium registration should be payable to "Loyola Marymount University" with Ed Law Symposium and attendee's name in the memo. In addition, checks will require a mail-in registration.  Please email to request a mail-in registration form.

    Checks and mail-in registration should be sent to LMU Center for Catholic Education, 1 LMU Drive Suite 1760, Los Angeles, CA 90045, attn: Catholic Ed Law. 

  • 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 credit card payment via the online registration form. If paying by check, please email to request a mail-in registration form.

Registration Fees

  • $595 by 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.