Department Overview

  • JPS Legal Counsel

    The Office of General Counsel sometimes referred to as the Legal Department, is comprised of three attorneys, an investigator, and an executive legal assistant. General Counsel serves as the Title IX Coordinator and can be reached at (601) 960-8916.

    The Office of General Counsel represents the administration, handles a variety of legal matters for the Ӱ Public School District, and strives to practice preventive law. The attorneys represent the school district in legal matters. Its board attorney, Dorian Turner, also represents the School Board. The General Counsel attends all School Board meetings, and when the School Board sits as a decision-maker, the General Counsel represents the administration in employee discipline matters, student expulsions, and suspensions.

    The attorneys are available to answer calls from principals and administrators who seek advice on various issues. The General Counsel is available to conduct training on anti-discrimination laws including sexual harassment, code of ethics, bullying, policies, and other employment matters. Principals should contact the General Counsel's office when any staff member is in receipt of a subpoena or summons and complaint or is contacted by an investigator, attorney, or paralegal that is not employed by the school district. Principals should also contact the office with legal questions including custody issues such as to whom to release a student, student records, student discipline, sexual harassment, bullying, child abuse, employee discipline, school board policies, and contracts for programs, goods, and services.

    Mission Statement

    The Office of the General Counsel serves as legal counsel for Ӱ Public Schools. The Office serves its client, the District, by:  

    • providing legal advice to ensure compliance with legal requirements, and reduce exposure to legal risks; 
    • representing the District as legal counsel in judicial and governmental proceedings, and advocating and defending its interests in those proceedings; 
    • serving as a resource for informed decision-making, and creative problem-thank solving to facilitate the District’s pursuit of its missions to develop scholars through world-class learning experiences; 
    • educating District personnel about legal requirements and risks to prevent or reduce liabilities and legal disputes; and 
    • coordinating the provision of all legal services for the District, whether through the Office or outside law firms, to ensure efficiency, containment of costs, and reliability of service. 

    In serving the interests of the District, the Office pursues excellence in the quality of services provided to its client and maintains the highest standards of professional ethics and integrity.

Contact Information

  • 662 South President Street
    Ӱ, MS 39201
    Phone: (601) 960–8916
    Fax: (601) 960–8545

    Contact General Counsel

    Larrissa Harris, General Counsel

    Ellie Turnage, Deputy General Counsel

    Matthew Draper, Staff Attorney

    Tawana Bumphis, Executive Assistant

Last Modified on April 24, 2024