Roy H. Doll

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Yankow, Henry G.||Wells, Philip C.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Business Administration




Since the end of World War II, considerable chants has taken place in the public school systems in the State of Illinois. Because of this change, legal matters have become increasingly important and complex, and interest in attorney services and fees have increased. No formal study has been made in the state of Illinois relative to attorney services and fees. Members of the Legal Fees Committee of the Illinois Association of School Business Officials met at Northern Illinois University with Dr. Henry C. Yankow, Professor of Accounting and helped select two graduate students who could use the topic as research in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science and also report the Joint findings in 1964, at the annual meeting of the Illinois Association of School Business Officials. The two graduate students selected were Mr. James Eisner, Accountant, Highland Park High School, Highland Park, Illinois, to survey school districts in Cook and Lake counties, and Roy H. Doll, Business Manager, Joliet Public Schools, Joliet, Illinois, to survey school districts in the remaining counties in Illinois. The specific purposes of this study are to survey the various practices used by selected school districts in the State of Illinois in payment for attorney services, gather and analyze the questionnaires returned, and report the information obtained from the questionnaires and personal interviews. The questionnaire attempted to obtain statistical information regarding, enrollment, square miles, number of schools, type of district, budgetary information, type of fees for services rendered, and general a comments. Eighty-two percent (82%) of the questionnaires sent to members of the Illinois Association of School Business Officials were returned answered. The fine response to the questionnaire, the quick return, and the manner in which the questionnaires were completed indicated that the business official answering the form was interested in the topic being researched. Based upon an analysis of the findings of this study, the writer found, that modern day legal problems of school districts hare grown with expanding school population, consolidation, financial obligations, contracts, and miscellaneous matters. In general, the official answering the questionnaire was satisfied with the fee arrangement and the charge for services rendered with only minor dissatisfaction expressed. The larger the school district, the more legal services were required with a greater preference for an attorney to be employed by retainer fee in districts with enrollments of 4,000 and over. The fee arrangement and the remuneration has been determined by the extent of the need for services by an attorney. Special bond elections were generally not covered in retainer fees, especially in districts with large bond and interest budgets which required greater services of an attorney. Hourly rate fees had no relationship to size of the school districts reporting but were generally found to be in line with the Manual on Fees and Charges Including Suggested Minimum Fee Schedule of the Illinois State Bar Association. It appears that the value of the study has been evidenced in the fact that over five hundred copies of information obtained from the questionnaires have been distributed upon request, and portions of the information published in the July, 1965, issue of School Business Affairs magazine, the official organ of the Association of School Business Officials of the United States and Canada. This study may prove helpful in providing answers to many questions asked by school officials regarding attorney fees and services and may prove helpful in determining what type or combination of fees may prove most satisfactory in a particular school district. The study may also be valuable in determining the feasibility of the fee structure presently being used by the reader.


Includes bibliographical references.


74 pages




Northern Illinois University

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