Monday, June 1, 2015

Weekly Question!

We are now running a new series which is an updated version of our previous series: An Introduction To Special Education Law. Based upon a question from a reader, what advice would you give a law student preparing for a career in special education law?


  1. I would advise them to get some experience actually working in both a home and school environment with children or adults with disabilities. Knowing firsthand about various treatments, pedagogy, and methodology to employ when working with individuals with disabilities will help to both set these students apart in the job market and it will also improve their legal analysis and writing down the road.

  2. Lawyers know the law and how to use it. However, they usually do not know the teachings/learning process or have experience with school operations and school culture. Team up with a retired school administer.

  3. Decide where you can do the most good. Some of us represent parents directly, but typically just doing special education law is not enough to sustain a full time practice. Be familiar with the associated areas such as employment disability/ADA law, guardianship, special needs trusts, social security disability appeals, fair hearing for state agencies. You can still help children and families by representing school districts if you are fair minded and have a heart for the children and families. And it can be emotional work, similar to family law. You are working in a very emotional area. If you want to have distance from your clients this is not the area of law for you. And I also echo the advice given above. You cannot practice in the area of special education if you do not have some background in disabilities or education.