As Chief Legal Counsel for Jefferson Parish Schools, Patricia A. Adams, J.D., advises the Superintendent, Department Heads and school-based administrators on a wide variety of legal matters that arise in the K through 12 educational environment.
Representative legal matters include all aspects of the employment relationship, from recruitment and hiring to employee discipline and separation, employee grievances, employee benefits and employee rights under Title VII, Title IX, ADEA, ADA, FMLA and corresponding state law.
Typical school law matters include student rights and responsibilities under state and federal law and Board policy, constitutional issues of free speech, search and seizure and student discipline, special education under the IDEA and Section 504, and student confidentiality and privacy under FERPA and La. R.S. 17:3914.
Ms. Adams represents the district before state and federal administrative agencies, oversees the district’s response to requests for records, including requests for public records under the Louisiana Public Records Act (La. R.S. 44:1, et seq.), and is responsible for the drafting, review and revision of contracts and district policies.
Public Record Request
Anyone eighteen (18) years of age or older may make a request for public records. The requester is entitled to inspect or obtain a copy of a public record produced by, or in the possession of, a public entity. The right to make such a request is granted by the State of Louisiana through the Louisiana Public Records Act, La. R.S. 44:1, et seq., and Article 3, Section 3 of the Louisiana Constitution.
Public records are documents that are prepared, possessed, used or retained for use by a public body in the conduct, performance or transaction of public business, regardless of the physical form or characteristics, and including information in electronic format.
Not all records are subject to disclosure under the Public Records Act. Some records are expressly exempt from disclosure under the Act, while others may be withheld where there is a recognized constitutional right, such as the right to privacy under Art. I, Section 5 of the Louisiana Constitution. Examples of the records that are not subject to disclosure include records containing proprietary information, home addresses and phone numbers of school system employees, records related to school security, some information contained in personnel files and student education records.
How do I make a Public Record Request?
To make a public record request to the Jefferson Parish School Board or the Jefferson Parish Public School System, go to the link above, complete the form and submit your request to the Legal Department. You may also mail your request to the Legal Department or submit a request via e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
What happens after I make my request?
Legal Counsel will review and respond to all requests for public records. You will receive an e-mail acknowledging receipt of your request. It is important that you provide current contact information as it may be necessary to contact you in order to clarify the request or confirm that you are willing to pay for copies. While responses will be provided as expeditiously as possible, response time will, of necessity, depend on the scope of the request and how the documents are stored.
Jefferson Parish Schools Administration Building
501 Manhattan Blvd.
Harvey, LA 70058
Chief Legal Counsel
As the chief legal counsel for the Jefferson Parish Public School System, Patricia Adams advises central office and school-based administrators regarding a wide variety of legal and policy issues that arise daily in the K through 12 setting. Adams works closely with the Superintendent and other unit leaders to ensure compliance with state and federal education and employment laws. Adams represents the district before state and federal agencies and prepares contracts and other legal documents. Adams has a B.A. in political science from Tulane University and a J.D. from Syracuse University College of Law. Adams has practiced law in the New Orleans area since 1996 with an emphasis on legal issues related to employment and education. Prior to joining the district in 2012, Adams served for several years as the chief legal officer for the University of New Orleans.