Villanova University, J.D.
Princeton University, A.B.
US District Court for the District of New Jersey
Ms. Blackburn is currently the General Counsel for the Jersey City Public Schools providing advice and counsel to the Jersey City Board of Education in all areas of school district operations. Previously, she was the Department Head of the Education/Government Procurement Group at a large school law firm and specialized in all aspects of public and private contracting as well as providing legal representation to dozens of public school boards, charter schools and school administrators.
Ms. Blackburn is the former Director of Purchase and Property for the State of New Jersey, a former Assistant Counsel in the Office of Governor’s Counsel, and was Special Assistant for Policy and Planning to the Commissioner of Education. As the Director of the Bureau of Controversies and Disputes for the Department of Education, she managed the Englewood School District regionalization study and co-authored the Commissioner’s decision creating the State-operated Newark Public Schools. Ms. Blackburn subsequently served as part of the Newark Public Schools transition team and as the General Counsel for the Newark Public Schools. In her current role as the General Counsel in Jersey City, she is responsible for providing legal guidance to transition the District back to local control.
Ms. Blackburn is a Trustee of the Educational Leadership Foundation of New Jersey (ELFNJ), President of the New Jersey Association of School Attorneys, and a member of the New Jersey State Bar Association, the New Jersey Women Lawyers Association, the National Association of Women Lawyers and the Asperger’s Parents Education Network. She is a graduate of Princeton University and Villanova University School of Law.
President, New Jersey Association of School Attorneys (NJASA), New Jersey School Boards Association, 2016-2018
General Counsel of the Year Finalist, New Jersey Biz, 2016
New Jersey Law Journal Women and Minorities in the Profession Recognition
Association of Black Women Lawyer’s Mother and Daughter Practitioners Honor
National Hook Up of Black Women Distinguished Service Award
Princeton Prize in Race Relations Committee Member
Member, New Jersey Education Leadership Foundation Board of Trustees Member, New Jersey School Boards Association
“Understanding Equipment Lease Purchase Financing for New Jersey School Districts” –Educational Services Commission, Lease Purchase Bidding and Advisory Services, 2014. Print (Hope R. Blackburn, co-author)
“Model Request for Proposals for Energy Savings Procurements in Cooperation with the State of New Jersey” –Department of Community Affairs, Division of Local Government Services, 2006. Print (Hope R. Blackburn, co-author)
New Jersey State Bar Association, Education Law and Women in the Profession Subcommittee
New Jersey Women Lawyer’s Association, In-House Counsel Subcommittee
National School Boards Association (NSBA), Council of School Attorneys and Council of Urban Boards of Education
New Jersey Association of Black Women Lawyers
New Jersey Association of School Administrators (NJASA)
New Jersey Association of School Business Officials (NJASBO)
National Association of Women Lawyers
Aspergers Syndrome Parents Education Network
New Jersey State Bar Association, New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education (NJICLE), “Keeping Kids Safe and the Legal Implications” – February 28, 2017
Senate Select Committee on School Funding Fairness, “The School Funding Reform Act Impact on the Jersey City Public Schools” – February 22, 2017, Newark, NJ
New Jersey School Boards Association Annual Workshop 2016, “Drinking Water Rules: What Needs To Be Done” – October 26, 2016, Atlantic City, NJ
New Jersey School Boards Association, Legal Bootcamp, “Religion and Public Schools – When Tolerance Becomes Too Much” – April 16, 2016, Harrison, NJ
New Jersey Association of School Business Officials, “Ethics in School Law and Purchasing” – June 4, 2014, Atlantic City, NJ
Township of Franklin, “Keeping the Dream Alive: Franklin Township’s Seventeenth Annual Community Breakfast Commemorating the Life and Work of the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr.” – January 20, 2014, Somerset, NJ
New Jersey Association of School Officials, “Ethics in School Law and Purchasing” – December 17, 2013, Rockaway, NJ
New Jersey Association of School Officials, “Ethics in School Law and Purchasing” – December 12, 2013, Mount Laurel, NJ