Law & Courts Federal File

Ex-Secretary Riley Gets a New Position: Capital Rainmaker

By David J. Hoff — May 06, 2008 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Former Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley has always acted more like a soft-spoken Southern lawyer than a busy Cabinet officer in the limelight of the nation’s capital.

Now, he’s expanding his law practice to Washington.

Mr. Riley announced last month that he would head a new section of his law firm that will focus exclusively on education law, specializing in federal issues facing states, school districts, and nonprofit groups.

Mr. Riley said he would be active in advising the team of 12 lawyers—many of whom worked for him when he was education secretary under President Clinton from 1993 to 2001.

“I’ll be spending more time [in Washington] and advising them when called upon,” Mr. Riley, 75, said in a phone interview from Greenville, S.C., where he lives. “I’ll mostly be in an advisory role, meeting with top clients and lawyers, and talking about strategy and tactics.”

See Also

For more stories on this topic see our Federal news page.

The new office will be called EducationCounsel and will be affiliated with Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough—the Atlanta-based firm that in 1987 merged with the firm founded by Mr. Riley’s father.

EducationCounsel will be led by Arthur L. Coleman and Scott R. Palmer, both of whom worked in the Education Department’s office for civil rights during Mr. Riley’s tenure as secretary, which lasted all eight years of the Clinton administration.

Since leaving the federal government, Mr. Coleman and Mr. Palmer have built a practice advising state education agencies and nonprofits on federal education policy and legal matters. They have most recently been with the Washington office of the Holland & Knight firm, also based in Atlanta.

Mr. Palmer has worked closely with the Council of Chief State School Officers and several states individually on No Child Left Behind issues.

“This is an opportunity to expand to the next level in terms of service capacity,” Mr. Palmer said in an interview.

Mr. Riley’s leadership role in Nelson Mullins and his prominence in education circles are two of the reasons Mr. Palmer and his colleagues decided to form the new alliance, he said.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Privacy & Security Webinar
K-12 Cybersecurity in the Real World: Lessons Learned & How to Protect Your School
Gain an expert understanding of how school districts can improve their cyber resilience and get ahead of cybersecurity challenges and threats.
Content provided by Microsoft
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Trauma-Informed Schools 101: Best Practices & Key Benefits
Learn how to develop a coordinated plan of action for addressing student trauma and
fostering supportive, healthy environments.
Content provided by Crisis Prevention Institute
Jobs Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Law & Courts Georgia Educators Plan to Sue Over the State's 'Divisive Concepts' Law
Georgia's could be the sixth lawsuit to challenge state laws limiting classroom discussion of race and racism.
3 min read
Image of a pending lawsuit.
gesrey/iStock/Getty
Law & Courts As a Skeptical Supreme Court Weighs Race in College Admissions, 'Brown' Looms Large
The cases heard Monday involve Harvard and the University of North Carolina, but a decision could be felt in K-12 education.
8 min read
Members of the NAACP Youth and College division rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court as justices heard oral arguments on two cases on whether colleges and universities can continue to consider race as a factor in admissions decisions Oct. 31, 2022.
Members of the NAACP Youth and College division rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court as justices hear oral arguments on whether colleges and universities can continue to consider race as a factor in admissions.
Francis Chung/E&E News/POLITICO via AP Images
Law & Courts 4 Things to Know About the Affirmative Action Showdown Before the Supreme Court
The justices on Monday weigh the use of race in admissions at Harvard and the University of North Carolina, with K-12 implications.
9 min read
supreme court SOC
Getty
Law & Courts What Do 'Parents' Rights' Mean Legally for Schools, Anyway?
Conservatives rely on century-old U.S. Supreme Court precedents but want to bolster parental rights with a constitutional amendment.
9 min read
A protester holds signs at a Moms for Liberty rally at the state Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa., on Oct. 9, 2021. About 100 people attended the rally to protest mask and vaccine mandates.
A protester holds signs at a Moms for Liberty rally at the state Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa., October 2021 protesting mask and vaccine mandates.
Paul Weaver/Sipa via AP Images