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 PSBSA was organized for the purpose of improving 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 extremely collegial group of professionals with a strong and uncommon tradition of willingness to share expertise, experience and useful materials with fellow practitioners, 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.
For more than half its history, PSBSA also has enjoyed “affiliated membership” status in the Council of School Attorneys sponsored by the National School Boards Association (as do state councils of school attorneys in 36 other states), through which all state members are automatically enrolled in COSA 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 multi-faceted 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. Together, these programs offer 13 PA. CLE approved credits (12 substantive and one ethics). Speakers are known for providing comprehensive written materials prized by practitioners as permanent subject matter references.
- 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 PA. CLE credit. The PSBSA annual meeting and election of officers is held at mid-day.
Each year, PSBA’s Legal Services Team writes and presents our popular annual school law update – Spring Legal Roundup. Spring Legal Roundup is held at various locations around the Commonwealth during March and April, and offers three hours of substantive CLE credit.
Membership / How to Join
- The School Law Information Exchange (SLIE) and Public Sector Arbitration (PSA) e-newsletter is distributed electronically every other Friday. 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.
- The School Leader News Daily EDition is distributed electronically every day, providing a snapshot of issues impacting public education.
- Electronic access to the PSBA Bulletin, PSBA's award-winning official magazine and professional journal, published six times a year, which highlights a forum of opinion, research and articles on current events and issues in education. A regular feature of each issue is the “It's the Law” column written by PSBA Outside General Counsel Michael I. Levin, Esq., discussing legal concepts and problems of significance to local school district governance.
- Email alerts on hot issues and important developments in school law.
- PSBA member rates for attendance at PSBA conferences and programs.
- PSBA member rates for books and handbooks, including the extremely helpful School Law Handbook.
- Access to PSBA subject matter reference information and consultation with PSBA staff attorneys.
Members of the Association are solicitors to the vast majority of Pennsylvania's public school entities. 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).
Although only solicitors are eligible for membership under current bylaws, nonmembers are able to purchase PSBSA publications and are welcome to register for programs.
Nonmember Attorney Subscription Package
By special arrangement, a nonmember attorney subscription package is available for firms or attorneys who, while not appointed solicitors, regularly represent public school entities and their 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, as well as valuable networking opportunities, participation in selected e-mail updates. The nonmember solicitor package also includes membership in NSBA/COSA (see description of COSA benefits and publications, above).
- Solicitors Association membership dues for the current calendar year are $535
- Nonmember attorney subscription package – $635
Officers & Board
Patrick J. Fanelli Esq., President
Fanelli Willett Law Offices, Duncansville
Erin D. Gilsbach Esq., President-Elect
King, Spry, Herman, Freund & Faul, Bethlehem
Andrea C. Parenti Esq., Secretary
Dillon, McCandless, King, Coulter & Graham, Butler
Carl N. Moore Esq., Immediate Past President
Knox McLaughlin Gornall & Sennett, Erie
- Region 1: Christopher M. Byham Esq., Stapleford & Byham, Warren
- Region 2: Thomas E. Breth Esq., Dillon, McCandless, King, Coulter & Graham, Butler
- Region 3: Rachel K. Lozosky Esq., Peacock Keller, Washington
- Region 4: Richard Brown Esq., Meyer & Wagner, St. Marys
- Region 5: Orris C. Knepp III Esq., Knepp & Snook, Lewistown
- Region 6: Vincent L. Champion Esq., Champion Law Office LLC, Carlisle
- Region 7: John G. Audi Esq., Sweet, Stevens, Katz & Williams, Pittston
- Region 8: Daniel Corveleyn Esq., Newman, Williams, Mishkin, Corveleyn, Wolfe & Fareri, P.C., Stroudsburg
- Region 9: Brooke E. D. Say Esq., Stock and Leader, York
- Region 10: Miles H. Shore Esq., General Counsel, School District of Philadelphia
- Region 11: Amy T. Brooks Esq., Wisler Pearlstine LLP, Blue Bell
- Region 12: Patrick J. Barrett III Esq., Canton
- 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
If you have any questions with regard to PSBSA membership or the Pennsylvania School Board Solicitors Association in general, please contact Katherine Fitz-Patrick Esq. (ext. 3414).