Thomas B. Mooney
Connecticut's "Lawyer of the Year" 2024

Education Law
Hartford, CT

Thomas B. Mooney
Best Lawyers

Best Lawyers

April 11, 2024 10:00 PM

Since 1976, Thomas B. Mooney, partner at Shipman & Goodwin LLP in Hartford, has been committed to assisting educators, policymakers and lawyers to better understand the continually developing issues plaguing schools on a daily basis.

Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® since 2006, Mooney is currently being honored as “Lawyer of the Year” for Education Law in Hartford for 2024, an honor he’s received five times previously in this specialty.

Of his legal career and recent recognition, Mooney stated: “I teach courses on school law at the University of Connecticut and Quinnipiac University, and I write regularly about school law issues for various publications, which could have contributed to this current recognition. Last year, the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education (CABE) published the 10th Edition of ‘A Practical Guide to Connecticut School Law,’ which I first wrote and CABE first published in 1994. The Practical Guide has become a key resource on school law issues for lawyers and educators alike. It also serves as the textbook for school law courses offered at the graduate level in Connecticut universities.

“Finding resolutions to disagreements that work for all parties is always this main goal. Disputes will invariably arise between school officials and parents or employees, and we must remember that the parties will still need to work together after a dispute is resolved. It is imperative that we maintain a respectful dialogue and consider the underlying interests of all parties in seeking to resolve problems. The ability to listen is crucially important in this field. As subject matter experts, lawyers know the controlling legal principles, but if we do not listen carefully to our clients, we will not have the full story. Providing legal advice must be a dialogue between the client who knows the facts and the lawyer who knows the law.”

Mooney, who’s garnered nearly 50 years of legal experience, is the current chair emeritus and former co-chair of Shipman’s School Law Practice Group. Over the years, Mooney has taught school law at the University of Connecticut School of Law since 1985, has served as Professor-in-Residence at the Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut since 2001 and is an adjunct professor in both the School of Law and the School of Education of Quinnipiac University.

Additionally, as a regularly published writer, Mooney has authored numerous textbooks and handbooks, namely A Practical Guide to Connecticut School Law, which is a comprehensive treatise on Connecticut school law still utilized by teachers, administrators and board of education members throughout the state.

If a problem can arise, it can arise in a school, and accordingly my colleagues and I in the School Law Practice Group at Shipman & Goodwin deal with problems that range from the mundane to the bizarre. There is never a dull day, and it is a pleasure and privilege to help school officials find creative solutions to the wide range of challenges they confront in educating Connecticut youth,” concluded Mooney.

Headline Image: Shipman & Goodwin LLP

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