Helen S. Carroll


222 South Main Street
Akron, OH 44308
P 330.849.6710
F 330.376.4577
E hcarroll@ralaw.com
41 South High Street
Huntington Center, 21st Floor
Columbus, OH 43215
P 614.463.9770
F 614.463.9792

Helen S. Carroll


Phone: 330.849.6710
Fax: 330.376.4577
Email: hcarroll@ralaw.com

Ms. Carroll focuses her practice on representing school districts throughout Ohio. She routinely represents boards of education in special education disputes, including complaint resolution through the Ohio Department of Education and the United States Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights. Ms. Carroll provides guidance for schools when developing and implementing a student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) and when navigating legal disuputes regarding special education issues.

Ms. Carroll also assists clients in labor negotiations, as well as the implementation and administration of collective bargaining agreements. She provides counseling to board members and school administrators on a variety of legal matters, including issues related to students, parents, and staff members. Ms. Carroll assists with employment matters related to defense of claims related to discrimination based upon age, gender, race, religion, disability and national origin. She represents school boards before the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, the State Employment Relations Board, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the Ohio Ethics Commission. She regularly speaks to local and state professional groups on a variety of school related topics.

Representative Matters

  • Mediated numerous special education disputes to avoid protracted and costly litigation
  • Assisted with drafting and presentation of various special education documents to support a school districts’ legal obligation to provide students with a free and appropriate public education
  • Conducted multiple independent investigations of complaints against school employees and allegations of employee misconduct
  • Successfully defended public school districts in administrative proceedings related to claims of harassment and discrimination
  • In administrative proceedings before an Impartial Hearing Officer and a State Level Review Officer, a parent's demand for private school placement was rejected
  • Conducted multiple internal investigations and resolutions of bullying/harassment complaints by students and staff members
  • Successfully represented boards of education in teacher non-renewals and terminations before an appointed referee
  • Negotiated successor collective bargaining agreements for multiple boards of education in compressed bargaining sessions using collaborative methodologies resulting in agreements within a limited number of days 


  • Named to The Best Lawyers in America© for Education Law (2011-2019)
  • Named “Lawyer of the Year in Education Law” by The Best Lawyers in America©  2017
  • Named Fellow of the Ohio State Bar Association 2017
  • Named Fellow of the Akron Bar Foundation 2016
  • Assistant Attorney General under Attorney General Lee Fisher and Attorney General Betty Montgomery
  • Served as counsel to the State Employment Relations Board (SERB) and Department of Industrial Relations


  • J.D., The University of Akron School of Law
    • cum laude
  • B.S., The University of Akron, Speech Pathology

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
  • Ohio State Bar Association
    • Education Law Committee, Vice-Chair (2017-2018)
  • Akron Bar Association
  • National Counsel of School Board Attorneys
  • Ohio Counsel of School Board Attorneys


  • "Annual Legal Update" presentations to multiple boards of education,tailored to thier specific needs, on a variety of topics including evaluation of professional staff, anti-harassment/discrimination, social media perils, appropriate communications between students and staff, liability for leaving students unattended, teacher tutoring for compensation outside of school hours, the provision of special education and related services,  and prevention measures related to special education disputes
  • "Progress Reports and Pitfalls" – KEEP (Kent Education Excellence Partnership) Academy, Kent State University (2018)
  • "IDEA and Section 504 – What is the Difference and Why Does it Matter?" – OSBA Special Education Law Workshop (2018)
  • "504 Plan Elgibility and Accommodations Best Practices" – National Business Institute (2018)
  • "Developing Legally Compliant IEPs that Benefit Students" – National Business Institute (2018)
  • "Alternative Dispute Resolution in Special Education Cases" – Featured Presenter, Milestones Autism Resources Annual Conference
  • “Restraint and Seclusion” – Legal updates to multiple boards of education
  • “Bullying: A Legal Perspective” – Cleveland Bar Association
  • “Avoid Legal Landmines and Still Provide Quality Special Education and Related Services” – Multiple client presentations
  • “How to Conduct Investigations that Will Withstand Legal Scrutiny” – Multiple client presentations
  • “Compliance Issues - Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act” – Multiple client presentations
  • “Discipline for Students with Disabilities” – National Education Law Association Annual Conference
  • “Compliance with Board Policy – Bullying and Harassment” – Multiple client presentations
  • "When is a Disability Disabling?" – Case Western Reserve University School of Law, Disability Law classes
  • "Preventing Special Education Law Suits" – Legal Update For School Heads (LUSH), Kent State University
  • "Preventing Special Education Law Suits" and "Practical Advice for Public School Educators" – Ashland Leadership Academy Seminars (ALAS), Ashland University
  • "Special Education Case Law Update" – Ohio Department of Education, Office For Exceptional Children, Impartial Hearing Officer Training

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