In celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Udall Shumway PLC law firm, I thought about my section of the firm–the Education Law section–and our relationship to and representation of our school district clients.  I’m very fortunate in that I have been able to represent school districts pretty much since I began working as an attorney, first as a deputy county attorney with Gila County, then as a deputy count attorney with the Cochise County civil section, and finally as an attorney with Udall Shumway PLC.  I am fortunate to be a school law attorney in that school district clients provide a breadth and depth of legal representation that never gets old; there is no “rut” for the attorney practicing in school law to get into, much less to have to get out of.  School district issues run the gamut: from Constitutional free speech issues to criminal search and seizure issues; from writing and reviewing contracts to terminating employees; from student discipline to student educational rights; from parents rights to a District’s rights against wacky parents.

I am also so fortunate to now be practicing at Udall Shumway PLC, a firm that collectively provides the kind of breadth and depth in its practice that allows me to provide excellent representation to my school district clients on any issues that arise.  As a deputy county attorney representing school districts, I had to educate myself on the entire spectrum of legal issues my clients were facing.  As a member of Udall Shumway PLC, I can refer my clients to the “gurus” in the office when an area of representation arises in which I do not feel comfortable responding, without my clients having to pay me to “get up to speed.”  When one of these specialty areas of the law arises for my clients, I can feel quite at ease passing them over to another attorney in the firm, realizing that they’ll be getting platinum service for their same education law dollars. “Immigration law?  Sure, let me put you in touch with Matt White.”  “Special education issues?  Gee, there are at least four outstanding education law attorneys in that specific area–Denise Lowell-Britt, Cathleen Dooley, Heather Pierson and Kim Davis.”  “Taxes?  Let me have to talk directly to Curtis Chipman or Steve West.”  “Need advice on tricky real estate or construction issues? Don’t worry, Roger Decker is on my speed dial.”  Similarly, the other attorneys in the section can call me on those esoteric areas where I tend to have a corner on the information.

It’s not that I’m an old dog, unwilling to learn new tricks–OK, well that is partly true–but it is that my clients deserve the very best–and when I’m not the very best on a particular issue, I can make sure that they get the very best, right within my own firm.  After some twenty five years of practicing school law with two different counties, I’m so glad to be able to continue representing school districts across the state of Arizona, knowing that I have the my clients’ backs, and that Udall Shumway PLC has mine. Happy 50th Anniversary, Udall Shumway PLC, and I hope you have at least 50 more!


This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please feel free to contact Candyce B. Pardee at  928.373.3409, log on to,  or contact an attorney in your area.