Having a child with special education needs can be a rollercoaster of unimaginable achievements and incredible frustration. Securing a program and services that will allow your child to make meaningful educational progress and have a positive educational experience are our mutual goals.
I offer a full range of special education law services and am here to work with you from evaluation through litigation, from early intervention through higher education. My focus is solely on education law – representing children and families through every phase of the special education process as well as discipline related matters. Whether you are looking for someone to represent you for an IEP meeting, mediation, resolution session, or litigation, or you need a partner who fully understands the process and options, I am prepared to fully and effectively address the unique needs of your child and your family.
Maybe your child’s teacher suggested a special education evaluation and you’re not sure what that means. Maybe you’ve been navigating the system for years and have a question about how to proceed. Maybe your child is transitioning from one educational setting to another because of age, grade, a move, or a change in program recommendation. Perhaps you and the school district disagree on the appropriate program for your child, or maybe you’re in agreement with the program recommendation, but your child is not receiving the services mandated by the IEP.
There are many reasons to seek the guidance of a special education lawyer, and I am here to help. From evaluations through potential litigation, I will be your partner in securing the appropriate educational services for your child and I will explain every step to you.
I will meet with you either in a conference room near your home in Westchester County, or in the comfort of your home – whichever is easier for you. I will meet with you to review your child’s educational history, current educational program, and/or proposed program. I can help you clarify your questions and concerns and brainstorm how to proceed.
There are many reasons you may want an advocate at your child’s IEP meeting. Perhaps a past meeting has been contentious; English isn’t your first language; or, you simply want someone to take notes while you participate. I will attend an IEP meeting as your advocate and be as involved as you wish.
As a consultation follow-up, I will conduct an in-depth review of your child’s educational materials, including evaluations, past IEPs, and other documents you believe to be relevant. I will also speak to any of your child’s therapists, if you believe that would be helpful. I will prepare documents that will enable you to feel confident and prepared for your IEP review meeting – from talking points to a full script. I will make sure you are ready to be your child’s best advocate.
I have litigated special education cases on every level from Impartial Hearings through appeals to the Office of State Review to Federal Appeals. If litigation is the only way to ensure an appropriate program for your child, then I am ready to fight for you and your child, always ensuring that you are a full member of the team and that your concerns factor into our decision making process.
My commitment to improving educational opportunities for all children began as an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania. Through volunteering in the Philadelphia public schools with a children’s theater group, I saw the promise of the children and the difficulties faced in a system that was failing them. This led me to pursue a career in education law and policy. I came home to New York to attend Columbia Law School, became a corporate litigator at Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP, and quickly realized that I would only be fulfilled by returning to the education field.
I then joined the New York City Department of Education’s Office of Legal Services in their Special Education Unit. During my tenure there, I:
Upon moving back to Westchester, I joined Kehl, Katzive & Simon, LLP, representing Westchester school districts, charter schools, independent schools, and parents.
Subsequent to that, I worked with the New York Charter School Incubator, helping groups opening charter schools across New York State through the application and opening stages, as well as assisting the schools in writing and implementing special education, discipline, and English language learner policies.
Most recently, I have worked with the New York State Department State Review Office adjudicating special education appeals. I am also currently an adjunct professor of education law and special education law at St. John’s Law School, having previously taught at both Cardozo and Columbia Law Schools. My work has been published and was presented at the annual conference for the Education Law Association, of which I am a member.
I have worked on special education cases through every step of the process, on every side of the table, and am uniquely positioned to counsel you all along the way and to litigate if necessary. As the mother of a child who has received special education services, I recognize how confusing the process can be. Knowing how the districts think about special education allows me to view each case with an eye toward appropriate resolution. I am admitted to practice in the State of New York.