New general counsel at Education Department | Arkansas Blog

New general counsel at Education Department


KENDRA CLAY: The new head attorney at the state Education Department. - ADE
  • ADE
  • KENDRA CLAY: The new head attorney at the state Education Department.

Education Commissioner Johnny Key
has announced Kendra Clay will serve as the new general counsel for the Arkansas Department of Education, effective July 1.

Clay has worked at ADE since 2010. She'll replace Jeremy Lasiter, who's headed to work at the Bryant School District.

It's an important position at a crucial time for the department, considering the many thorny legal issues at hand in Arkansas education — most significantly, the ongoing lawsuit over the ADE's takeover of the Little Rock School District in January of this year. That case is currently sitting before the Arkansas Supreme Court.

More on Clay:

As general counsel, Clay will oversee the Office of Legal Services, which ensures agency compliance with federal and state legal requirements. The office advises the commissioner and State Board of Education regarding policies and legislation, oversees the agency’s rule-making process, and manages litigation.

“Ms. Clay has comprehensive knowledge of ADE and the Arkansas education system,” Key said. “As part of the legal team, she has demonstrated expertise in the legislative process and is an excellent advisor in legal matters of vital importance to the agency. I look forward to her continued guidance in this leadership role.”

Clay began working for the department as a staff attorney in 2010, where she took lead roles in several areas of the legal office, including charter school processes, the Freedom of Information Act and human resources issues. Before joining ADE, Clay worked in private practice for two years. She graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in International Business from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. She received a Juris Doctor from Tulane University in New Orleans.

Clay is a native of Conway and currently resides in Little Rock with her husband and son. They are expecting their second child.

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