Melinda "Mindy" McNichols, ESQ.


Background

Mindy McNichols joined the School Board Attorney’s Office of the School Board of Miami-Dade County, Florida, in 2002. Ms. McNichols is currently the Assistant School Board Attorney – Academic Programs and Compliance. Prior to this position, she was Senior Attorney for Academics and held that position from 2007-2009. She has also served as an Associate Attorney – Academic Compliance, Associate Attorney-Administrative/Regulatory Compliance & Governance, and Assistant Board Attorney. Prior to her employment with the School Board, Ms. McNichols served as Chief of Staff for Miami-Dade County Commissioner Katy Sorenson (1994 - 2002), Staff Attorney for Legal Services of Greater Miami, Inc. (1993 – 1994), and Senior Attorney for the Department of Children and Families in the Dependency Division (1991 to 1993).

Ms. McNichols’ practice in the School Board Attorney’s Office has focused primarily on administrative law (including due process hearings involving employment, students with disabilities, and expulsions), education law, constitutional law, exceptional student education, charter school law, federal and state appeals, employment law, contract law, legislative analysis, sunshine law and public records law, disclosure of student records and privacy law, employee and student discrimination, and developing and writing School Board policies. Prior to her public service, Ms. McNichols was in private practice as an Associate Attorney with Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff and Sitterson, P.A. where she focused on civil and commercial litigation.

Mindy is a native of Wisconsin where she attended public and private schools. She graduated magna cum laude from St. Norbert College, De Pere, Wisconsin, in 1976 with a Bachelor of Science Degree. She subsequently earned a Master of Science Degree in Education, highest honors, from Southern Illinois University in 1977. She obtained her Juris Doctorate from Duke University School of Law, Durham, North Carolina, in 1985. Prior to attending law school, Ms. McNichols was Director of Student Activities at Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana for five years.

Practice Areas


  • Government
  • Exceptional Student Education
  • Contracts
  • Constitutional
  • Regulatory/Enforcement
  • Charter Schools
  • Administrative Law
  • Legislative Analysis
  • Education
  • Appellate
  • Policy

Notable Client Work


  • School Board of Miami-Dade County, Florida v. State Board of Education, Florida First District Court of Appeal, Case No. 1D08-50 (2009)

Bar Admissions


  • State Bar of Florida, October, 1985
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida
  • Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals

Education

Duke University School of Law, Durham, North Carolina
  • Juris Doctorate, May 1985
  • Merit Scholar, Moot Court, Research Assistant – Family Law, Teaching Assistant – Commercial Practice Clinic, Mediator-Durham Dispute Resolution Center
Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, Illinois
  • Master of Science in Education, Highest Honors, May 1977
St. Norbert College, DePere, Wisconsin
  • Bachelor of Science, Biology, magna cum laude, May 1976

Professional Memberships


  • American Bar Association
  • Florida Bar Association
  • Dade County Bar Association
  • Education Law Committee, Florida Bar Association
  • Public Interest Law Committee
  • Florida Association of Women Lawyers, Miami-Dade

Community Involvement


  • Certified Court Appointed Mediator (Personal Injury, Family, Commercial)
  • Adjunct Professor, Constitutional Law, Barry University
  • Guardian Ad Litem, Eleventh Judicial Circuit
  • AIDS Project, Dade County Bar Association
  • Legal Counsel, Florida National Organization for Women
  • State Legislative Director, Florida National Organization for Women Received
  • Received Human Rights Award from the Dade Human Rights Foundation, 1999
  • SAVEDade founder, officer
  • PTA, Springview Elementary School (1999 to 2009): served as Advocate, President (2 terms), Recording Secretary, Legislative Liaison
  • Dade County PTA/PTSA, Regional Director
  • Miami Springs Educational Advisory Board (2001 – present); re-appointed by Mayor of Miami Springs 5 terms; Chair (2001 – present)
  • All Angels Episcopal Church, Miami Springs: Acolyte Master, Youth Director, Altar Guild
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