Formed in 1963 as a department of PSBA, the Pennsylvania School Board Solicitors Association (PSBSA) is among the nation’s largest and most active state associations of school attorneys. The First organized to improve legal services to school boards, the PSBSA accomplishes this through conferences and publications, providing a venue for solicitors to share ideas and expertise and keeping members informed of case law, legislation and issues in education law impacting public schools.
The PSBSA is an collegial group of professionals with an uncommon tradition of willingness to share expertise, experience and useful materials, whether during seminars, in ad hoc issue-specific working groups, in articles written for PSBA publications, via email discussions, or on the telephone. Members particularly value their ability to consult with PSBA staff attorneys about issues they encounter, getting a head start on analysis and research, learning about approaches used in similar situations in other school districts, receiving mailed, faxed or emailed sample forms or documents from PSBA reference files, or simply brainstorming strategies and testing theories or arguments.
All PSBSA members are also automatically members of the Council of School Attorneys sponsored by the National School Boards Association at discounted dues rates. The resulting combination of benefits and resources has been one of the most powerful tools available to practitioners needing to stay on top of the multifaceted and rapidly changing issues comprising today’s school law practice.
PSBSA sponsors two major CLE events each year focused on topics of special significance to the practice of school law, with a lineup of highly regarded speakers featuring Pennsylvania's best known experts in various areas of school law practice.
- Summer Solicitors’ Symposium — this day-and-a-half program held each July in State College usually offers 7.5 hours of Pa. CLE credit; 6.5 substantive hours and one ethics hour.
- Fall School Law Workshop — a full-day program held in conjunction with the PASA-PSBA School Leadership Conference each October in Hershey. This program usually offers 5.5 substantive hours of CLE credit.
Each year, PSBA presents our popular annual Spring Legal Roundup, which is held at various locations statewide March through April, and offers three hours of substantive CLE credit.
Become a member
Under current bylaws, membership is open to firms or individual attorneys who serve as appointed solicitor for a school district board of directors or the board of another public school entity eligible for PSBA membership (intermediate units, area vocational schools and community colleges). Member benefits include:
- The biweekly School Law Information Exchange and Public Sector Arbitration e-newsletter. This publication includes summaries of and links to the complete text of cases and arbitration decisions, as well as supplementary information on other important school law issues.
- PSBA Daily EDition electronic newsletter.
- Online access to the PSBA Bulletin, PSBA's award-winning magazine, including “It's the Law,” a column written by PSBA General Counsel Michael I. Levin, Esq., discussing legal concepts and problems of significance to local school district governance.
- Email alerts on issues and important developments in school law.
- PSBA member rates for attendance at PSBA conferences and programs, as well as books including the School Law Handbook.
- Access to PSBA subject matter reference information and consultation with PSBA staff attorneys.
Nonmember attorney subscription
A nonmember attorney subscription package is available to firms or attorneys who, while not appointed solicitors, represent public school entities and officials as defense counsel, labor counsel or other special counsel, or who are counsel to charter schools. Subscribers receive the same comprehensive PSBA publications package as Solicitors Association members, attendance at PSBA programs at member rates, and participation in selected e-mail updates. The nonmember solicitor package also includes COSA membership.
- Solicitors Association membership dues for the current calendar year — $550
- Nonmember attorney subscription package — $650
Get the PSBSA membership enrollment form (updated November 2018)
Officers & Board
Andrea C. Parenti, Esq., President
Dillon, McCandless, King, Coulter & Graham, Butler
Vincent L. Champion, Esq., President-Elect
Champion Law Office, LLC, Carlisle
John G. Audi, Esq., Secretary
Sweet, Stevens, Katz & Williams, LLP, Pittston
Erin D. Gilsbach, Esq., Immediate Past President
Steckel and Stopp, Slatington
- Region 1: Gregory J. Merkel, Esq., Dale Woodard Gent McFate, Franklin
- Region 2: Thomas E. Breth Esq., Dillon, McCandless, King, Coulter & Graham, Butler
- Region 3: Barbara A. Graham, Esq., Peacock Keller, Washington
- Region 4: Richard Brown Esq., Meyer & Wagner, St. Marys
- Region 5: Nicholas E. Newfield, Esq., BMZ Law, Huntingdon
- Region 6: Benjamin L. Pratt Esq., Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel LLP, Harrisburg
- Region 7: Jarrett J. Ferentino, Esq., Pugliese, Finnegan, Shaffer & Ferentino, Kingston
- Region 8: Timothy E. Gilsbach, Esq., King, Spry, Herman, Freund & Faul, LLC., Bethlehem
- Region 9: Sean A. Fields, Esq., CGA Law Firm, York
- Region 10: Lynn Rosner Rauch Esq., General Counsel, School District of Philadelphia
- Region 11: Amy T. Brooks Esq., Wisler Pearlstine LLP, Blue Bell
- Region 12: Christopher R. Lantz Esq., Cox, Stokes & Lantz, P.C., Wellsboro
- Region 13: Ira Weiss Esq., School District of Pittsburgh
- Region 14: Paul J. Giuffre Esq., Giuffre Law Office, Aspinwall
- Region 15: Katherine H. Meehan Esq., Raffaele & Puppio, Media
For questions regarding the PSBSA contact Stuart Knade Esq., senior director of legal services.