Parents who raise a child who possesses one or more disabilities should try to seek accommodations to help the child learn by working with the educators and administrators employed by the school. However, some cases force parents to seek legal help by contacting a special education attorney.
Hiring a special education attorney requires parents to do their legal homework.
Long before you hire a special education lawyer, you need to understand exactly what a special education attorney does for his or her clients. Special education attorneys request evaluations for students who require special education tools to learn in a classroom. Attorneys who specialize in special education litigation prepare documents and obtain all of the education information of a special needs child. Your special education lawyer will accompany you to evaluation and/or eligibility meetings, as well as advocate on behalf of your child’s legal rights. Special education legal counsel resolves disputes between you and the school district and advises you on the legal merits of your child’s case.
Hiring a special education attorney depends on several factors. First, you must consider the special education needs of your child. Ask the question “Is my child’s special needs being met by the school?” If your child is not receiving the special services he or she needs to learn in a classroom and you cannot obtain the special education services, then the time has come to contact a special education attorney. Second, most parents do not have the time and energy to obtain special education services for their child. Although you can advocate for your child to receive special education services, the process requires substantial time and energy that you devote to other facets of your life, primarily your career. Third, special education law is a complex maze of issues that require the legal expertise of a licensed special education attorney.
You know the school district will have an attorney; you should have an experienced attorney as well.
You have decided to hire a special education lawyer. Good for you! Now comes the hard part. What factors do you use to hire the right special education attorney for your child’s unique case?
The answer is not as clear cut as it seems.
Let’s get the easy factors out of the way. You have to hire a California special education attorney who has considerable experience litigating special education law cases. Federal laws rapidly change the legal landscape for special education students and their parents. California typically sets the standard for special education law. Therefore, you must hire an attorney who specializes in special education law. Empathy plays a huge role in determining which special education attorney to hire. Ask one important question: Does the attorney you consider hiring care about your child’s special education needs?
You also have to consider affordability. Ask any special education attorney under consideration to provide a detailed breakdown of the legal costs. If your case involves a lawsuit against a school district, many attorneys work on a fixed rate plan that earns them money only if they win your case. Learn how involved a special education attorney will be in the handling of your case. Some attorneys delegate most of a case load to paralegals, which can hurt your case when it comes in front of a judge or jury.
Contact a California special education attorney today to evaluate how you can acquire reasonable accommodations for your child as mandated under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.