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Joseph L. Parks
Attorney & Counselor at Law


Law Office of Joseph L. Parks, PLLC (2021 - Present)  

Plano, Texas  

Managing Member of general law practice with an emphasis on workplace misconduct investigations and training for school districts, municipalities and other public and private entities.  TEA Registered Provider of Continuing Education Training for School Boards. 

Plano Independent School District (2010 - 2021)

​Plano, Texas  

Executive Director of Safety and Security Services with responsibility for all aspects of district safety, security, emergency preparedness and related functional areas.  Administered annual department budget approaching $4MM in public school district serving 53,000 students, and 8,000 full and part-time employees, with 73 campuses and 16 non-instructional facilities located in the cities of Plano, Richardson, Dallas, Murphy and Allen.  Representative responsibilities included:

  • Developing and conducting district-wide training in a variety of areas, including safety, security and emergency preparedness

  • Ongoing review of potential safety and security vulnerabilities in existing and new programs and facilities 

  • Regular review of district policies following legislative changes and recommending necessary revisions for school board approval

  • Conducting and directing internal investigations involving allegations of workplace misconduct or serious incidents

  • Collaboration with nearly every district department on matters affecting safety or security, including Transportation, Facility Services, Human Resources, Campus Services, Special Education, Communications, Athletics, Food & Nutritional Services, and Student & Family Services

  • Development and implementation of emergency protocols, programs and procedures

  • Collaborating with District Communications Department and PIO on crisis communications and media inquiries​

  • School safety and security audits pursuant to Chapter 37 of Texas Education Code

  • Development and maintenance of district's Multi-Hazard Emergency Operations Plan (MEOP) and ancillary plans and documents

  • Coordination of district's Safety and Security Committee

  • Review of criminal history record information of applicants, volunteers, contractors and current employees to determine eligibility for appointment or employment

  • Management of numerous contractor/vendor contracts and interlocal agreements

  • Collaborating with district's legal counsel and senior leadership on matters of importance affecting school safety and operations

  • District-wide management of Texas Public Information Act (Open Records) requests  

  • Direction of detection canine program (drug and explosives detection)

  • Coordination of School Resource Officer (SRO) program and other school-based law enforcement with area law enforcement agencies 

Bell Nunnally & Martin LLP (2004 - 2010)

Dallas, Texas 

Litigation Associate in Labor & Employment and Commercial Litigation sections of Dallas law firm of 50 attorneys. Primarily counseled and defended public and private employers of all sizes in a wide variety of employment law mattes and related litigation, including EEOC/TWC inquiries and hearings, non-compete and separation agreements, defense of claims brought under Title VII, ADA, ADEA, 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and development of client internal policies and procedures.  Drafted and presented seminars and training on employment law-related topics to clients and other groups. 

Secondary focus on commercial litigation, including litigating a wide variety of contract and tort claims, trademark/service mark infringement, compelling/opposing arbitration, bond and lien claims, post-judgment actions, and drafting releases, waivers and settlement agreements.  Served as first and second-chair trial counsel in jury and non-jury trials.  Substantial motion, discovery and deposition practice.     


City of Plano, Texas - Plano Police Department (1986 - 2005)

Plano, Texas

Distinguished and diverse service with nationally accredited agency of 500 employees, serving a community of over 250,000 residents.  Awards and commendations include Rookie of the Year (1987), Meritorious Service Award (1990), Supervisor of the Year (1999) and Civic Achievement Award (2001).  Honorably retired at rank of Police Lieutenant in November 2005.  TCOLE certificates include Master Peace Officer, Instructor, Mental Health Peace Officer, and Firearms Instructor.        


Lieutenant (2000-2005)

Watch Commander in Patrol Services Division and Neighborhood Police Officer/Problem Solving Policing Unit.  Command-level manager responsible for approximately 70 first-line and supervisory personnel, with after-hours responsibility for all Departmental operations.  Managed media inquiries and press releases during off-duty hours of Public Information Officer.       


Sergeant (1991-2000)

Supervised or managed numerous departmental components, including Criminal Investigations Division (Forgery/Fraud Unit), Emergency Response Team (Tactical Unit/SWAT), Community Policing & Problem-Solving Unit, and Patrol Services Division.           


Police Officer (1986-1991)

Served as Patrol Officer, Field Training Officer (FTO), and Intoxilyzer Operator.

Brazos County Sheriff's Office (1984 - 1986)

Bryan, Texas

Served as Reserve Deputy Sheriff (volunteer) and County Jailor (full-time) while attending Texas A&M University.  Responsibilities included prisoner book-in, transport and bonding/release, dispatch/TLETS/TCIC/NCIC operator, criminal patrol and special event coverage.    





​Southern Methodist University – Dedman School of Law (2004)

​Dallas, Texas     

​Juris Doctor, Cum Laude

​Order of the Coif (GPA in top 10% of graduating class);  Articles Editor – SMU International Law Review;  Student Attorney and Clinic Deputy (Chief Counsel) – SMU Civil Clinic;  Dean’s List 


Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) (2001) 

Boston, Massachusetts     

Certificate, Senior Management Institute for Police (SMIP) – Boston University School of Law


Southern Methodist University (1999-2000)

Dallas, Texas

Graduate Studies in Alternative Dispute Resolution and Mediation


Institute for Law Enforcement Administration (ILEA) (1991)

Plano, Texas

Certificate, 51st School of Police Supervision


Texas A&M University (1986)

College Station, Texas

Bachelor of Arts, Political Science/Management


  • 2023 - Information Sharing Between School Districts and Law Enforcement for School and Community Safety: A Two-Way Street, 38th Texas School Law Conference, University of Texas School of Law, Austin, Texas (Speaker)

  • 2023 - Information Sharing Between School Districts and Law Enforcement for School and Community Safety: A Two-Way Street, TASA Mid-Winter Conference, Austin, Texas (Moderator / Panelist)

  • 2022 - Safety and Security Tune-Up: 13 Things to Consider, Review and Discuss at Your School District, City or County, Texas Public Risk Management Association (PRIMA) Conference, Frisco, Texas (Speaker) 

  • 2022 - Deciphering the Rap Sheet: Understanding Criminal History Information Involving Applicants and Employees, SHRM HR Southwest Conference, Fort Worth, Texas (Speaker)

  • 2022 - Information Sharing Between School Districts and Law Enforcement for School and Community Safety: A Two-Way Street, TASA / TASB Conference, San Antonio, Texas (Moderator / Panelist)

  • 2022 - Beyond Roberts Rules of Order: Preparing for School Board Meetings that "Go South", School Safety & Security Roundtable, TEA Region 10 ESC, Richardson, Texas (Speaker)


  • 2021 - Deciphering the Rap Sheet: Understanding Criminal History Information Involving Applicants and Employees, HR Summit, TEA Region 10 ESC, Richardson, Texas (Speaker)

  • 2021 - Introduction to Incident Command System and Standard Reunification Method for All District Employees, Plano ISD (Video presentation).

  • 2021 - Parent-Student Reunification: A Review of the Standard Reunification Method (SRM), Plano ISD Principals Leadership Meeting (Speaker)


  • 2019 - Orientation for School Resource Officers: The Campus-SRO Partnership in School Safety and Security, Plano ISD SRO Program Meeting, Plano, Texas (Speaker)  


  • 2019 - The Campus – SRO Partnership: Everything You Ever Wanted (or Needed) to Know About Having an SRO on Your Team But Were Afraid to Ask, Plano ISD Secondary Campus Administrators Meeting (Speaker)


  • 2019 - Information Sharing and FERPA for School Resource Officers, School Safety Roundtable, TEA Region 10 ESC, Rockwall, Texas (Speaker).


  • 2019 - Responding to Social Media Threats and Hysteria, Plano ISD Principals Leadership Meeting, Plano, Texas (Speaker)


  • 2019 - Interlocal Agreements and Memoranda of Understanding, School Safety Round Table, TEA Region 10 ESC, Plano, Texas (Speaker)


  • 2019 - Table Top Discussions: (1) Lockout: Not So Good in the Neighborhood;  (2) Worst Case Scenario;  (3) District Wide Disaster: Response and Recovery; and  (4) Gas Leak: Tis’ an Ill Wind Indeed, Plano ISD Campus and District Leadership Meetings (Speaker/Facilitator)


  • 2018 - When School Law and Criminal Law Collide; State Bar of Texas, School Law Section Retreat, San Antonio, Texas (Speaker)


  • 2018 - Beyond the Lockdown: Campus Safety and Security at Plano ISD, Community Meetings, Plano, Texas (speaker) (following school shootings in Parkland, Florida, and Santa Fe, Texas)


  • 2017 - High at School: Investigation of Employees Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol;  and  Getting to the Bottom of He Said, She Said: Conducting Effective Internal Investigations, HR Summit, TEA Region 11 ESC, Fort Worth, Texas (Speaker)


  • 2017 - School Security, Open Carry and a Post-Sandy Hook World, School Security and Life Safety Summit, Dallas, Texas (Speaker)


  • 2017 - When Jerry Springer Comes to Campus: Family Violence Issues Affecting Campuses, Employees and Parents, HR Summit, TEA Region 10 ESC, Richardson, Texas (Speaker)


  • 2016 - School Safety and Open Carry in a Post-Sandy Hook World, Texas School Administrators Safety (TSAS) Conference, San Antonio, Texas (Speaker)


  • 2016 - Selected Personnel Issues for Future Leaders in Education, University of North Texas, Doctoral Degree Program, Frisco, Texas (Guest Speaker)


  • 2016 - Deciphering the Rap Sheet: Understanding Criminal History Reports on Applicants and Employees,  HR Summit, TEA Region 11 ESC, Fort Worth, Texas (Speaker)


  • 2016 -  Sun’s Out, Guns Out: Firearms on Texas Campuses, ARBH Flash Classes, McKinney, Texas (Co-Presenter)

  • 2016 -  Texas Open Carry Law: Information for District Employees, Video Presentation, Plano ISD (Speaker)

  • 2014 - School Safety and Law Enforcement in a Post-Sandy Hook World, 29th Annual Texas School Law Conference, University of Texas School of Law, Austin, Texas (Speaker and Author)

  • 2013 - Crime Trends and Related Issues in the Public Schools, Teen Court Association of Texas Annual Conference, Plano, Texas (Speaker) 

  • 2009 - The ADA Then and Now, Recent Amendments to the Americans With Disabilities Act, Dallas County Hospital District, Human Resources Update (Speaker and co-author)

  • 2008 - Blamed, Claimed or Framed?: Conducting Effective Internal Investigations, Nuts and Bolts of Human Resources Seminar, Texas Municipal Human Resources Association (Speaker and Co-author)

  • 2007 - Employment Law Update and Internal Investigations, Texas Municipal League Annual Conference (Speaker and Co-author)

  • 2007 - Getting to the Bottom of He Said, She Said:  Conducting Effective Internal Investigations, Employment Law Seminar, Texas Municipal Human Resources Association (Speaker and Co-author)

  • 2007 - Hiring, Firing, Performance Reviews, and the FMLA, National Association of Credit Managers (NACM) Southwest – Dallas, Monthly Meeting (speaker)


  • 2006 - Civil Rights Update, 24 Fifth Circuit Reporter No. 1, 31 (November 2006) (Co-author)


  • 2005 - Civil Rights Update, 22 Fifth Circuit Reporter No. 6, 251 (April 2005) (Co-author)


  • 2005 - Beyond the Facts: Ethical and Procedural Considerations When Conducting Employment Discrimination Investigations, EEOC Technical Assistance Program Seminar (April 2005) (Co-author)


  • 2004 - The United States – Canada Smart Border Action Plan: Life in the FAST Lane, 10 L. & Bus. Rev. Am. 395 (Spring 2004) (Publication of Law Review comment)


  • 2000 - Establishing Geographic Accountability Within the Plano Police Department (intra-agency publication).



  • Registered Provider of Continuing Education Training for School Boards (Texas Education Agency (TEA))

  • Infrastructure Protection (Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX))

  • Honorably Retired Peace Officer / Qualified Retired Law Enforcement Officer (Tex. Occupations Code 1701.357 / 18 USC 926C)

  • Master Peace Officer (Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE))

  • Peace Officer License (TCOLE)

  • Mental Health Peace Officer (TCOLE)

  • Basic Instructor (TCOLE)

  • Firearms Instructor (TCOLE)

  • Emergency Medical Technician - Ambulance (Texas Department of Health 1983-87)​


Texas School Safety Center

School Safety Spotlight Award for Positive School Climate / Prevention Programs (2019)

Read more here.

Texas School Public Relations Association 

Star Award - Best in Category - Training/Instructional Video (2019)

Collaborated in Production of Video: "School Safety is Our Job"

Read more here.

See award winning video "School Safety is Our Job" here.

Plano Police Department

Supervisor of the Year (1999)

Civic Achievement Award (2) (2001, 1999)

Chief's Unit Award (5) (1999, 1998, 1997, 1995, 1993)

Meritorious Service Award (1990)

Rookie of the Year (1987)

Plano Chamber of Commerce

Police Officer of the Quarter (2000)



  • Vice Chair, Plano Civil Service Commission

  • Judge, Collin County Teen Court

  • Judge, 8th Grade Mock Trial Competition, Collin County Bar Association

  • Pro Bono Adoption Attorney, National Adoption Day, Collin County Bar Association 

  • Member, School Law Section and Employment Law Section, State Bar of Texas 

  • Member, Collin County Bar Association 

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