Meghan Covert Russell

Ms. Covert Russell is an associate attorney in the firm's Sacramento office. She represents school districts and county offices of education on a variety matters, including special education, student issues and district governance. She also provides general advice and counsel, transactional and litigation support to education and public agency clients throughout California.

Legal Experience

Ms. Covert Russell provides general education support and legal guidance to clients on a variety of matters in the following areas:

  • Special education
  • Student issues, including discipline and First Amendment rights
  • Employee discipline and termination
  • General governance issues, including the Brown Act and Public Records Act
  • Real property issues, including school construction, leases and public contract negotiations
  • School district reorganization

Prior to and during law school, Ms. Covert Russell earned a wealth of practical experience, especially in the areas of education and public agency, through various internships and law clerk positions, including a summer associate position at KMTG. While at KMTG, Ms. Covert Russell researched and drafted legal memoranda for issues relating to public agency, real estate and education. Other examples of Ms. Covert Russell's experience include:

  • As a Judicial Extern for Judge A. James Robertson II of the San Francisco Superior Court, she drafted opinions, researched and drafted memoranda, summarized witness testimony and reviewed legal briefs. She also observed trials and settlement conferences.
  • As co-president of Homeless Legal Services, she recruited and trained student volunteers to staff a free legal clinic at St. Vincent De Paul's Homeless Shelter and was the Student Coordinator for the Public Health and Homelessness Joint Seminar for Hastings and UCSF students. As a member of HLS she interviewed clients to identify legal issues including citations, warrants and social security benefits.
  • As an intern at the ACCESS (Assisting Court Customers with Education and Self Help Services) Center at the San Francisco Superior Court, she provided individuals with information regarding small claims, evictions, civil harassment restraining orders, name changes, guardianships and conservatorships.
  • As a Special Education Para Educator she provided intensive assistance to elementary and high school students with special needs, modified classroom curriculum to meets students' individualized educational goals, and implemented behavior plans.

Practice Examples

  • Drafting special education due process pleadings and motions and attending due process mediations.
  • Researching and drafting memoranda on a variety of issues that impact school districts Drafting bylaws and school board board resolutions. Advising school districts on student issues, public contracts, school site construction and lease-lease back agreements.
  • Providing support in certificated employee dismissals by examining witnesses, drafting motions, summarizing testimony, researching evidentiary requirements and contacting witnesses.
  • Researching and drafting memoranda on California Public Records Act, the Brown Act and the preemption of local ordinances. Editing and revising city ordinances.
  • Providing general litigation support including drafting pleadings and motions, summarizing testimony and attending hearings.

Professional Activities and Affiliations

Ms. Covert Russell's professional activities and affiliations include:

  • Author, "Public Employee Privacy Rights: When is an Employee's Workplace his Castle," SCBA Labor & Employment Law Section Newsletter, Vol. 19, Issue 1, Oct 2012
  • Author, “Title IX: Winning the Gold in 2012,” SSDA Newsletter, Sept-Oct 2012 
  • Affiliate Governor, California Women Lawyers
  • Co-Chair of Grants and Awards, Women Lawyers of Sacramento (Vice Chair of Programs 2011/2012)
  • Member, California Council of School Attorneys
  • Member, Sacramento County Bar Association
  • Member, California State Bar Association
  • Mentor, McClatchy High School’s Law & Public Policy Academy (L&PPA)
  • Member, Advisory Committee, McClatchy High School's L&PPA

Academic Background

J.D. University of California, Hastings College of the Law, 2010

  • Recipient, Outstanding Award in Pro Bono
  • Senior Articles Editor, Hastings Race and Poverty Law Journal
  • Member, National Moot Court Team, Regional Winner and Regional Best Brief
  • Member, Whittier Juvenile Law Moot Court Team, National Semi-finalist
  • Member, Moot Court Board
  • Teaching Assistant, Appellate Advocacy, Moot Court and Legal Writing/Research classes

B.S. University of California, Davis, 2006

  • Graduated with High Honors in Human Development

B.A. University of California, Davis, 2006

  • Graduated with Honors in Anthropology; Minor in Psychology
  • Education Abroad Program, Leiden University, Netherlands
  • University of California, Washington D.C. Center