Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Wendy Beetlestone, a former partner at Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis, began her tenure last week as general counsel to the School District of Philadelphia. Beetlestone was at Schnader Harrison for more than 10 years, first as a summer associate and then eventually as a partner in the firm’s litigation department. Beetlestone, a commercial litigator, said that while she was happy at Schnader Harrison, she jumped at the chance to play an important role in the school district’s reform efforts. “I was doing the kind of law that I loved,” Beetlestone said. “It’s just that when you’re presented with an opportunity to work with a team like [School District of Philadelphia CEO] Paul Vallas’, like the members of the School Reform Commission, in a reform effort that is as far-reaching as this one is and to potentially have an impact not only on Philadelphia schoolchildren, but also potentially the entire city, then that’s an irresistible proposition.” Beetlestone said she knew she wanted the job when she learned it was available. “There was an ad. I read the ad. As I was reading it, I was saying, This is my job,” she said, chuckling. Her husband and friends agreed, she applied and that was that, she said. The school district’s legal department consists of 10 attorneys supervised by the general counsel in addition to paralegals and a staff to handle claims. Beetlestone said she would prefer to handle routine matters in-house rather than pass them to outside counsel. In addition, the new general counsel said she has a team particularly adept at handling labor and tort issues. Beetlestone declined to comment on which outside firms would handle other matters for her employer. According to a news release, Beetlestone will oversee all school district litigation and transactional matters that involve education, labor, business or regulatory issues. She will be responsible for such diverse challenges as protecting students’ and parents’ educational rights, enforcing government mandates, handling charter school issues and addressing civil rights in employment, among other matters. She will be assistant secretary to the School Reform Commission. Schnader Harrison Chairman Ralph Wellington, who worked closely with Beetlestone, described her as a terrific attorney and said the firm would welcome her back after her time in public service. Wellington said that serving as general counsel would prove an invaluable experience for Beetlestone, particularly because she was a young partner moving into position to take responsibility for the front lines of major cases. “The school district has gotten an excellent person, and we’re excited about that for her and for the city,” Wellington said. Before joining Schnader Harrison, Beetlestone, a native of Great Britain, earned her undergraduate degree from England’s Liverpool University in 1984. She worked as a television journalist before moving on to the University of Pennsylvania Law School. After graduating in 1993, she took a clerkship with Judge Robert S. Gawthrop III of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and then moved on to Schnader Harrison. Beetlestone said that for now, she is unsure whether her move from private practice will be permanent. “I have given a commitment to the school district to serve a number of years, and Schnader has said that they would welcome me back, and I’m very pleased that they have said that,” Beetlestone said, “but I really can’t say at this point what would happen in a few years’ time.” In Schnader Harrison’s news release, Vallas stated that Beetlestone’s experience at the firm will be an asset to the district. Vallas indicated that Beetlestone’s expertise in civil litigation, antitrust, First Amendment and Internet law would be useful in her newest role. Vallas was not available for further comment prior to press time.

This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.

To view this content, please continue to their sites.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Not a Bloomberg Law Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.