Education Lawyer

Legal assistance with education matters.

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Protecting student rights.

Education attorneys represent the rights of parents and students. We fight for the rights of parents and students to have access to proper education, fight discrimination in the school system, and ensure that special needs students are provided with the same rights as every student. Don’t let your child run the risk of not receiving a proper education. It is important to contact an education attorney if you believe your rights are being infringed upon.

Whatever issue your child may be facing at school, we are here to ensure he or she is given equal treatment and the chance to excel in the education system. Our experienced education attorneys can offer not only legal advice but help guide you through the next steps in the process of your case. We can help answer any and all questions about the legalities of the school system and all questions regarding general education law-related topics.

What does an education attorney do?

An education attorney can have many different roles, depending upon the nature of the case at hand. For example, a special education attorney fights specifically for the rights of special needs children or children suffering from learning disabilities.

A special education attorney can help ensure that your child is eligible for an individualized education program. An individualized education program will adjust the daily learning plan to fit your child’s needs, while also helping your child to have a normal education with his or her peers.

A special education attorney also acts as an advocate to protect the rights of your child, along with having extensive knowledge of the various education options available to better fit your child’s needs.

Education attorneys stay heavily involved in the school system and will often attend student board hearings to keep abreast of the school policy, as well as petition for any changes they believe may be necessary.

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Education Law Case Types

Here are just a few of the things your education attorney can do for you:

Education law – Each state has its own laws in regard to education. Your lawyer will already be briefed on these laws and be able to help guide you through the process in adherence to these laws. For example, one law that spans across multiple states is the Family Educational Rights and Privacy act. This act protects the privacy of your child’s student records. Before a child turns 18, parents have the right to see and inspect their child’s records at any point in time. Once the child is an adult, he or she has the power to deny the parent access to his or her records. Parents and students have the right to request that anything on the records that might be misleading be altered. If the school refuses, this is when your education attorney comes into play to help build your case. Each education institution must have written consent from either student or parent to release a student’s records to certain parties. Although, there are certain exceptions in which a school can release records without the consent of the student or parent; this might be to another school official such as a teacher or vice-principal, or to another school that the child is transferring to. If an institution releases your child’s records to any parties that are not on the list of appropriate parties, your rights have been violated and it is important to contact your education attorney right away.

Protect student rights – A prime responsibility of an education attorney is to ensure that your child’s rights are protected. If your child is unlawfully drug tested or being treated with any sort of bias, your attorney can ensure appropriate actions are taken against the school. A few of these rights might be the right to free speech. Under the first amendment, your child has the right to do or say something and even protest against anything they believe infringes upon their rights. Another right of your child is the right to his or her privacy. Unwarranted searches at school or questions about personal life in a school setting by an authoritative figure may be against your child’s constitutional rights. Although, it is often hard to find balance in this particular instance because institutions often try to protect the safety of all students. If your child is not at risk of harm or is not threatening to inflict harm on others, an authoritative figure prying into a child’s personal life in a school setting is violating your child’s rights. If a student has specific religious values that do not infringe upon the daily education or that of the rights of the other students and school staff, the student has the right to pray or practice any daily religious beliefs. If a school prohibits your child from doing so, your education attorney can challenge the school system for racism or bias and ensure that your child is able to practice he or she’s religious needs, as long as it is in a respectful and healthy manner.

Repeals – If your child has been unnecessarily suspended, expelled, or had wrongful disciplinary action taken against him or her, your education attorney can help to repeal these actions. Usually, there is a code of conduct at each education institution that outlines the behavioral guidelines for students. If a student violates these guidelines, they are subject to expulsion, suspension, or some sort of punishment. Sometimes, a school can violate these guidelines and inflict punishment when not necessary and/or too harsh of a punishment. An education attorney can help review the institution’s code of conduct and see if your child was in fact in violation or if the school was in violation. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your child’s rights, it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible.

Special services – In cases where a child has special needs, your education attorney acts as a guide to help provide your child with the education services they need. Some children that might apply for special education services might be children who suffer from hearing impairment, mental retardation, speech impairment, autism, etc. If you believe your child needs special attention at his or her educational institution, don’t hesitate to reach out to your education attorney. Your attorney can properly deal with the school directly and ensure your child gets the proper education he or she needs.

Acting as a mediator – It is hard not to get emotionally invested when you are dealing with the needs of your child. Especially if your child is being treated unfairly. An education attorney can act as a mediator between you and the other party, without getting the emotional aspect involved.

Important education laws.

There are a few important education laws that come into play when acting on behalf of a student. Here are a few of the education acts:

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act – The law is particularly for children with special needs. It ensures these students receive the same public education as all other students, in an environment that fits their needs. It helps create for equality so these children can receive the same education but with added assistance from the school staff and administrators.

Education for all Handicapped Children Act – This law was put into effect to create equality for children with disabilities. No child with a disability can be treated differently than any other student or receive any less of an opportunity. If an administrator is not treating a disabled student with the same respect as any other student, you must contact an education attorney to help protect your child’s rights. If an institution is in violation of this act, you could be due compensation for your child’s mistreatment.

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act – This Act provides that schools must be responsible for the performance of their students. Administrators must perform assessments and help provide goals to help children with special needs excel. This also helps students to seek other education options if a program is not helping them to succeed on an academic level.

Higher Education Act – This Act was put into effect to better assist students financially after they have completed postsecondary education. This law made it possible for college students to receive scholarships, as well as student loans. It provides educational resources and options for students to be able to pursue a higher education.

The Rehabilitation Act – This law is to protect those students with disabilities and their rights in education programs receiving financial assistance. A child cannot be discriminated against due to disability or learning impairment. This act also extends to the work world with those suffering from a disability; this bleeds into equal opportunity employment.

Every Student Succeeds Act – A more recent Act, this was put into effect by President Obama in 2015. This act builds off of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The goal of the Act is to continue to help children succeed in school. It provides more resources, along with helping lower-performing schools make progress with their students in preparing them for higher education opportunities.

Education Law Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Do all schools have an IEP for children with disabilities?
Not all schools have an IEP. It is important that if your child has a disability, you speak to his or her school about implementing this resource. Administrators will typically meet with the family and assess the student and his or her specific needs when it comes to an education plan. Once assessing the situation, the school is held accountable for supplying any services or equipment necessary to implement the IEP. Once in place, the plan is legally binding. If terms are not upheld to, this can be considered similar to a breach of contract.
What if my child is not eligible for an IEP?
If your child is not eligible for IEP there may be other options and resources taken to accommodate his or her needs. The Rehabilitation Act assists in federal funding for most public and private schools and helps to provide education plans for those students with disabilities. This act also helps children in being able to take part in school activities by providing certain equipment and resources to better include all students. If your child is not eligible for an IEP, it is important to look into the other acts in place in terms of disability because your child may be able to fall under another category. If you have any questions, it is best to contact an education attorney to further assess your situation and available options.
In what instances should I contact an education attorney?
If your child’s rights are being infringed upon or the needs of your child (i.e. disability needs) are not being met, it is best to contact an education attorney. Dealing with an educational institution on your own can be very trying and tedious. The school system is hard to navigate, and a lawyer can better inform you of your legal rights and better asses your situation. In situations where an IEP is not being adhered to, it is extremely important to contact an education attorney, as opposed to fighting the situation on your own. In general, for minor issues, it is best to consult the school directly to fix the problem, but for bigger issues, an education attorney can act on your behalf.
What are compensatory services?
Compensatory services may be awarded to students with disabilities that did not receive the adequate education tactics outlined in an IEP or if an IEP was not present. Students with disabilities are supposed to be provided with free appropriate public education. Free appropriate public education programs are individualized to students and are upheld to state standards.
What if I cannot afford a plan for my child’s education?
As your education attorney, you and your family’s needs are our top priority. We know that school and financial options can be tricky to navigate in general; this is why we assess all aspects of your situation and help you to find the best plan possible to fit the needs of your child.
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