Telephone Consultation for Community Colleges
Legal Services Phone Consultation
Policy Service Phone Consultation
TASB Legal Line 800-580-5345
Your college district's TASB membership includes access to the TASB Legal Services' telephone consultation service, the TASB Legal Line. The TASB Legal Line can be accessed by the decision makers of the college district at no additional charge to the college district. Here are some pointers on how to use the TASB Legal Line.
Who can call the TASB Legal Line?
The TASB Legal Line phone consultation service is available, at no additional charge, to college district decision makers, including each trustee and the college president or chancellor. Additionally, the board and college president or chancellor may authorize others to seek and act upon legal advice for the college district. Legal Services also provides phone consultation to representatives of TASB's other active and associate members: school districts, ESCs, educational cooperatives, and central appraisal districts.
How does the TASB Legal Line work?
Consulting with TASB Legal Services is easy. Simply call our toll-free number, 800-580-5345, and leave your information with our administrative staff. Amy Magee, Community College Counsel, will return your call. Calls are answered between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm most business days. Calls initiated after 4:30 pm may be returned the following business day.
Will a conversation with the TASB Legal Services attorney be kept confidential?
Yes. We have purposefully structured our consultation service to preserve the confidentiality of the TASB Legal Services attorney's conversations with college districts. Unless we have your permission, we do not share the contents of the phone conversations with anyone outside of TASB Legal Services or duly authorized representatives of the college district.
Occasionally, more than one representative of a college district will call with related questions about the same issue. In these circumstances, please bear in mind that our confidential relationship rests with the college district as an entity, not with any individual person. Consequently, the content of conversations may be disclosed to other representatives of the same college district.
Does the TASB Legal Services attorney give legal advice to people other than college district representatives?
No. Because TASB Legal Services serves TASB's college district members as if they were clients, offering legal advice to members of the public would be a conflict of interest. Similarly, the TASB attorney does not advise employees of a college district about their employment rights.
Will the TASB Legal Services attorney advise a trustee who is on the minority side of an issue?
Yes. Each trustee is an elected official who represents the college district, and the TASB Legal Services attorney responds to calls from all members. Remember, however, that we are here to serve the best interests of the board as a whole, not individual members.
Can the TASB Legal Line take the place of a college district's private attorney?
No. We offer a free service that can be a money and time saver for college districts. We offer advice on a wide range of topics, our community college attorney has several years of experience working on higher education-law issues, and our statewide scope and deep connection to the policy and governmental relations functions of TASB give us a bird's eye view of Texas higher education that can be valuable to college district officials and college attorneys alike.
That said, the service has its limits. We do not provide direct representation of college districts. If your college district were to choose a course of action and later be challenged on the decision, we in Legal Services would not be the attorneys you would call upon to defend the choice. We are also limited in our knowledge of the relevant facts and circumstances to the information provided in a brief phone conversation. Even seemingly simple legal issues can become complicated as one gathers more information about the factual context. In such circumstances, the college district's own attorney is in a superior position to assimilate the relevant facts.
The TASB Legal Services attorney does attempt to answer every question, but when appropriate, the TASB attorney will not hesitate to refer callers to their college district's own counsel.
Does the TASB Legal Services attorney provide written legal opinions?
No. The college districts' private attorney should write any formal legal opinions for the college district. Although the TASB Legal Services attorney may provide callers with citations to policy, case law, statutes, and other legal sources to support their legal advice and reasoning, the TASB attorney does not issue formal letter opinions.
Does TASB Legal Services answer questions sent by e-mail?
Yes. We have a Legal Inbox that members may use to send questions by e-mail. The e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Typically, the TASB Legal Services attorney will respond to your e-mail by calling you, not by e-mailing a response. The TASB attorney does this because we find that live conversations give us a better chance to ask you questions and offer more complete answers and advice. The TASB attorney will respond to your e-mail with a phone call on the next business day (or sooner) if you provide your name, college district, position at the college district, and phone number along with your inquiry.
We welcome you to use the TASB Legal Line whenever you have a question or concern regarding legal issues faced by your college district. After all, we are here for you.
Policy Service: Give us a call
If TASB Policy Service maintains your college district's policy manual, the college district's trustees, college president or chancellor, and designated policy contact can call us Monday through Friday between 8 AM and 5 PM with questions regarding board policy. Whether you need a sample policy or want to talk in depth about an issue facing the board, your policy consultant is here to help. Give your consultant a call at 800-580-7529 or 512-467-0222.