Local Government & School Law

Strategic Counsel

Local New York governments, school districts and other public entities face immediate challenges in today’s tax-capped world, but they also have enduring interests that go beyond the immediate dispute. They must balance budgets and the competing interests of a wide variety of constituencies. Meeting all these complex legal needs requires comprehensive legal knowledge of the law applicable to public entities, plus the understanding of the nature of the local government process that comes from experience and the “small p,” political finesse, to bring competing interests together for the benefit of the institution.

The attorneys of Smith, Buss & Jacobs can do that. Our local government attorneys, who include present and former state and local judges, have served as general counsel to school districts, villages and towns and as special counsel for both litigation and non-litigation matters to counties, cities, towns, villages and school districts. They are held in highest regard in the New York communities they serve, and their expertise benefits all our public and private sector clients. Our municipal and education clients also benefit from our cross-disciplinary, collaborative approach to legal services, which ensures that our clients receive the benefit of the breadth of all our attorneys’ exceptional experience across intricately related practice areas.


Local Government
Value-Centric Legal Advisory

Recognizing that public matters involve a complex mix of legal, legislative and regulatory considerations, the municipal attorneys of Smith, Buss & Jacobs work collaboratively to ensure value and expertise are the highest caliber while remaining cost-sensitive. We bring together experienced, senior attorneys and litigators who skillfully manage the interplay of laws, policies, regulations and competing interests to promote and protect our clients’ position. Our model enables clients to rely on one collaborative team to devise creative solutions and move their issues to successful resolutions.

We assist in the drafting of local laws and regulatory issues related to land use and zoning, labor and employment issues, and advocate our clients’ interests before governing bodies and in court. Our tenured experience connects us to trends and legal developments and provides foresight to assist strategizing with clients to resolve matters before legal problems ensue.

When litigation proves necessary, our lawyers vigorously represent clients at the state and federal levels, including in appellate courts.

School Boards, School Districts & Higher Education
Invested in Education

Educational institutions are challenged to operate under applicable federal, state and local laws with scarce resources and support. They are set apart, though, from typical government organizations, having the charge to educate and nurture students while complying with strict regulations. From establishment through day-to-day operations and growth, many of the issues they face require experienced and knowledgeable counsel to resolve.

Smith, Buss & Jacobs provides comprehensive, cost-effective legal solutions for public and private K-12 schools, school districts, county offices of education, and community colleges and universities. We partner with our educational clients, listening carefully to the issues and working collaboratively to develop practical and legal options and solutions.

Vital Expertise

Smith, Buss & Jacobs, LLP counsels fire districts, fire departments and volunteer ambulance corps on a full range of New York City, State and Federal legal issues to help them function effectively and satisfy their corporate and operational legal requirements. Among other tasks, we review and draft departmental by-laws, advise on operational matters, conduct in-house confidentiality and data security training and assist with development and review of standard operating procedures and guidelines. Our work for fire and EMS districts and departments provides the comprehensive legal coverage required in the today’s complex statutory and regulatory environment.