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As the son of a minister, David lived all over South Carolina: Wagner, Greenville, Columbia, Florence and Charleston.  After graduating from Furman University, David worked as the State field representative for U.S. Senator Ernest "Fritz" Hollings for five years, eventually leaving after the Senator's re-election to obtain his Jurist Doctorate from the University of South Carolina. During law school, David worked for U.S. District Court Magistrate Joe McCorry, District of SC, and started his own political and fundraising consulting business. After law school, David clerked for U.S. District Court, Judge Cameron McGowan Currie, District of SC.  

David began his private practice at a boutique education and employment law firm in Chicago, Illinois, Scariano, Himes and Petrarca, Chtd., representing over 250 school boards and municipalities in the mid-west in all areas of the law. David focused his practice on special education, civil rights, labor and employment, construction, student issues, and litigation

Eventually David transitioned to one of his clients as the in-house General Counsel at the Special Education District of Lake County (SEDOL), the largest special education cooperative in Illinois, comprised of 36 school districts.  In this role, David handled all the legal issues facing the district including special education, labor, employment, construction, personal injury, civil rights, policy & procedure, insurance matters, board counsel, discipline and other student related legal issues.  David bargained on behalf of SEDOL with three separate unions, and handled teacher dismissals and hearings, grievances and unfair labor practices charges and hearings, including charges on appeal to Illinois Appellate and Supreme Courts.

David also served as "of Counsel" to Hinshaw Culbertson, a large national law firm, and its school clients for 5 years  as lead special education attorney and subsequently as "of Counsel" to Scariano, Himes and Petrarca, Chtd. for two years.  David represented one of the largest school districts in Illinois and one of the smallest.  He represented urban, suburban and rural districts.

David provided staff training and in-services to many of his clients' teachers, administrators and boards on legal issues.  He spoke at the Illinois School Board Association's annual conferences and to the Illinois State Board of Education's (ISBE) annual Special Education Director's conferences as well.  He routinely provided in-services to regional offices of education, including Lake County Regional Office of Education. David served on an advisory board for ISBE providing recommendations for the re-authorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  David is available to provide in-services to his clients, especially parents with special needs children. 

David eventually opened his law practice, Harley Law, in Illinois continuing to represent schools and school boards, but also representing parents, teachers and administrators, as well as churches, small businesses, private schools, after school programs, camps, day-cares, therapy and counseling centers, small construction and engineering businesses.

Now back home in South Carolina, David represents parents, students, individuals, teachers, small businesses, churches, and nonprofits with his main office in Charleston, SC.  


David  A. Harley  is licensed and a member of the bar in South Carolina, North Carolina, Illinois, and the United States Supreme Court, as well as several federal courts.​​

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