Phillip L. Hartley graduated with honors from the University of Georgia in 1976 and then obtained his J.D. degree with honors from the University of Georgia Law School in 1979. He was a member of the Georgia Law Review, Order of the Coif and Phi Beta Kappa. After law school, he immediately began to practice law, including representing school districts, and in 1980, he became a founding partner in the law firm of Harben & Hartley. He has served as lead counsel in numerous cases involving Georgia’s school districts in the federal and state courts. He serves as an officer of the National Council of School Attorneys. In the firm’s capacity as general counsel to the Georgia School Boards Association, he works closely with GSBA, the Georgia School Superintendents Association and the Georgia Association of Educational Leaders to respond to and shape legislative and policy issues that affect public education in the state. Known for presentations on school law to a wide variety of audiences, he has also written extensively on school law topics.