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Unlike criminal law or high-stakes corporate law, education law is not typically the subject of movies or television dramas.

But education lawyers serve an array of important functions in the education world. For parents of school-aged children, an education lawyer can be essential to ensuring that a child receives the education that he or she deserves.

What exactly do education lawyers do? Here are five things that an education lawyer can do (that you probably can't):

Is It Legal to Photocopy Textbooks?

College and grad students subsisting solely on Top Ramen may be trying to save money by photocopying textbooks. But is it legal to do so?

While the best approach is to lawfully purchase or rent a textbook, you may be able photocopy a small section of the book for a single assignment without violating copyright laws, as Lifehacker explains.

However, photocopying too much of a textbook could potentially lead to costly copyright infringement claims.

Maybe you were hit with disciplinary sanctions as the result of a made-up misconduct allegation against university police, or perhaps a because of a bit of underage alcohol consumption. Worse yet, maybe you were wrongfully punished of something you didn't even do.

Whatever the case may be, being hit with disciplinary sanctions from your college can really put a damper on that thing that happens at college in between sleeping and partying: getting your degree. Especially when a disciplinary hearing results in a suspension or expulsion, doing all you can to clear your name (or at least to lessen the damage of disciplinary sanctions) becomes of paramount importance.

So how can you appeal a college disciplinary decision? Here are some general tips:

So you're headed back to college for another year or several of sleeping in, dorm parties, and possibly even attending class. But as you pack up your flip flops and wrap up your summer internships, you may want to take a moment to solidify your legal situation.

Didn't think you had any legal problems? Well peruse over this "back to college" legal checklist and see if there's anything you may have missed:

It's time to send your child back to school (or perhaps to school for the first time), and all enrollment applications require a residential address for each student. But if you decide to use a relative's address on his or her school enrollment papers, you may be heading for a heap of legal trouble.

Do your homework first. Here are some of the potential legal consequences if you're caught using a relative's (or a friend's, or anyone else's) address for school:

With the new school year starting soon, school districts are reminding parents that truancy isn't just the student's and school's problem, but may have serious ramifications for parents as well.

Truancy is the legal name for skipping school. In most states, truancy occurs whenever a student a certain age or under (17 in most states, 16 in some) is absent from school without an excuse from a parent or guardian. Although skipping school is often romanticized in pop culture, according to U.S. News & World Report, school districts are cracking down on both truant students and their parents.

So what can happen if your child skips school?

For one reason or another, you may wish to take your child out of the public school system.

Perhaps you're dissatisfied with the curriculum, the school's treatment of your child, or just the institution of government-funded education. In any case, you'll need to legally withdraw your child from public school before you can physically remove him or her from classes.

To help ease your child's educational transition, here are a few steps you may need to follow in order to legally withdraw your child from public school:

It's August, and you're probably getting ready for your kids to go back to school. But are you prepared for all of the legal issues that will inevitably arise?

Nothing gives your summer schedule a kick in the pants like preparing for back-to-school season. But after you buy all the school supplies, backpacks, gym shorts, and "cool" clothes, you might want to consider a few legal errands as well.

Just to make sure you don't miss anything this school season, here's every parent's essential back-to-school legal checklist:

One North Carolina school district is going to great lengths to monitor its students' social media habits, paying thousands to a third party to scan students' posts.

Jackson County Schools are contracting with Social Sentinel Inc. in a pilot project that will use computer algorithms to scan student social media posts for safety or security threats, reports The Sylva Herald. The program will be launched at Smoky Mountain High School in Sylva this fall, and will cost $9,500 for the first year.

But will students be paying the price in privacy?

A Los Angeles County judge ruled Tuesday that California's teacher tenure laws are unconstitutional. The decision could spark similar lawsuits nationwide.

As reported by Reuters, the ruling in Vergara v. California strikes down five laws that education reformers claim make it difficult to fire teachers who do a poor job. Teachers unions and state educational officials opposed the suit, calling it an attack on teachers.

Here are five things you need to know about the suit, the ruling, and what's next in this ongoing legal battle: