NSBA’s Council of School Attorneys elects new leadership

NSBA’s Council of School Attorneys (COSA), the national network of attorneys representing K-12 public school districts, elected new leaders and directors at the School Law Seminar in Denver for 2017-18.

Pilar Sokol became COSA Chair. Sokol is the deputy general counsel for the New York State School Boards Association (NYSSBA) in Latham, New York, and has served in that capacity for 20 years. She regularly provides legal information and training to school board members throughout New York state regarding their legal rights and responsibilities. She is also a member of the Association's advocacy team before the New York State Education Department and serves as a public member of the Department’s Professional Standards and Practices Board for Teaching, appointed by the New York State Board of Regents. Sokol is a graduate of Albany Law School.

Diane Marshall-Freeman became Chair-elect: Marshall-Freeman is a partner in the Sacramento, California, office of Fagen Friedman & Fulfrost LLP and serves as general counsel to the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF). She received her law degree from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Phil Hartley became Vice-Chair: Hartley is a managing partner in the Gainesville, Georgia, law firm of Harben, Hartley & Hawkins LLP, general counsel for the Georgia School Boards Association, legal advisor to the Georgia School Superintendents Association, and legal advisor to the Georgia Association of Educational Leaders.

Jim Keith became Secretary. Keith is a partner in the Jackson, Mississippi, office of Adams and Reese LLP, and serves as counsel to the Mississippi School Boards Association. He practices in the areas of employment, education, and administrative law. He received his law degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law.

Promoting and defending public education is a prime focus for NSBA, said Francisco M. Negrón, Jr., NSBA’s General Counsel and Associate Executive Director, Legal Advocacy. “COSA’s new slate of officers and directors, experienced and committed law practitioners from across the country, will play a pivotal role in both strengthening and expanding our legal advocacy efforts in the coming year.”

COSA supports school attorneys and provides leadership in legal advocacy for public schools; its 22-member Board of Directors oversees its continuing legal education programming and working groups for its more than 3,000 members across the United States and Canada.



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