Founded in 1904, our firm has a long and well-regarded history of serving as trusted solicitors for government entities, including townships, boroughs, police departments, planning commissions, municipal authorities and zoning hearing boards. Our public service also extends to education and special education law, where we serve educators, schools, families and students facing a variety of challenges.
Keenly aware of the breadth and impact of this area of the law, our attorneys understand the issues and challenges faced by government entities. We provide the legal counsel necessary to address those challenges.
As solicitor and “general counsel” to municipalities, the firm routinely advocates at government meetings; advises elected boards on governance, open records and other issues; litigates municipal, school, land development and zoning matters through appeal; and drafts legislative and policy documents for municipal governments.
We provide advice and representation in regulatory matters involving:
Townships & Boroughs
Zoning Hearing Boards
School Districts & Charter Schools
Our attorneys are also members of the Pennsylvania Bar Association and its Municipal Law Section, Chester County Bar Association and its Municipal and Real Estate Law Sections, the Chester County Association of Township Officials, the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors, the Pennsylvania Borough Solicitors Association and the Transportation Management Association of Chester County.
Education & Special Education Law
With more than twenty years of experience representing charter schools, school districts, parents and students – as well as an attorney who taught school for nearly a decade – Gawthrop Greenwood brings a broad and refreshing background to education and special education law. The experience we have on both sides of the table allows us greater insight and skill in resolving problems before they arise and crafting solutions when they cannot be averted.
Our representation of schools includes employee grievances, disciplinary actions, and disputes with families arising under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). We are knowledgeable about the numerous state and federal laws that govern how schools function, including the Sunshine Act, the Right-to-Know Law, and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). We have reviewed existing school policies for compliance with state regulations and have authored new policies when appropriate.
Additionally, Gawthrop Greenwood represents families struggling with special education issues arising under IDEA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as well as any instance in which a student’s rights have been compromised. Our decades of experience in advising school districts and charter schools makes us uniquely qualified to advise parents and children seeking the protection and enforcement of their right to a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). Our fundamental approach to communicating and seeking resolution of disputes regarding the most appropriate placement, the least restrictive environment and the provision of services necessary to enable a child to reach his or her potential has afforded us many years of success in securing appropriate services for children with special needs.
Our skilled attorneys have also represented individual teachers and faculty members with grievances against their schools. We have successfully negotiated with districts to provide better placements for students with special needs, and we have assisted parents seeking answers about their children’s education.