Bowles Rice LLP
Attorney Laura Lilly Sutton joined Bowles Rice in April 2018, bringing over two decades of professional experience to the firm’s top-rated Education Law Group. While the firm’s Martinsburg, West Virginia office is her “home base,” Laura travels throughout the state, assisting school districts, boards of education and their employees with a wide variety of complex legal issues.
From 1997 to early 2018, Laura served as General Counsel and Assistant Superintendent for Berkeley County Schools – a public school district in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia with over 19,000 students and 3,500 employees. In this role, she provided legal advice, counsel and representation to the superintendent of schools and senior staff, school principals and the Board of Education; reviewed policy changes, legislation and amendments; and negotiated and prepared contracts, agreements and a wide variety of other legal instruments. A Certified Superintendent, Laura also supervised the district’s Office of Human Resources, Special Education Programs and Transportation Department.
She has advised and represented school districts on a variety of topics, including student disciplinary matters, federal and state laws concerning Section 504 students, and investigations and compliance reviews initiated by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. She has vast experience in areas ranging from employee disciplinary actions to compliance with statutory rules and regulations.
In addition, Laura has provided staff development and other pertinent training to county administrators, teachers and service personnel. She is a member of the West Virginia Association of School Administrators and the National School Board Association Council of School Attorneys.