Education lawyers represent parents and their children in cases involving students' access to public school education, rights of special needs students under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), discrimination in education, and more. When you need help to make sure that your child receives an appropriate education, contacting an education law attorney near you is the first step.
Use the list of education law professionals that we've compiled to hire a local education law lawyer to help with the issues your child is facing at school.
What Can Special Education Lawyers Do?
Within the field of education law, there is a subset of special education attorneys who are primarily focused on fighting for special needs children and those with learning disabilities. These attorneys can:
Build a case for your child's eligibility for an individualized education program (IEP).
Guide you through the IEP meeting preparation process and potentially attend the IEP meeting with you.
In some instances, attorneys may even participate in the IEP drafting process.
Represent clients in due process hearings when disputes arise.
Education Lawyers Help With All Types Of Education Law Issues
In addition to offering legal advice about special education and general education law-related topics, education law attorneys answer detailed questions such as:
What rules can school districts and school boards set regarding student safety and discipline?
Are there different laws or regulations for how public schools and private schools in the United States can act toward students?
Is there a difference in regulations that apply to higher education institutions compared to elementary schools, middle schools and high schools?
Do public health issues (such as the COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic) modify how schools can treat students? Do those issue change what options schools must offer, such as distance learning?
How does Title IX protect against discrimination?
Can an education lawyer help with civil rights issues?
Can a lawyer attend a due process hearing?
What options do I have if my child's right to free speech has been violated by a school or teacher?
Consider the following when speaking with any of the education attorneys listed in this lawyer directory:
- Are you comfortable telling the lawyer personal information and speaking about your child with them? Does the lawyer seem interested in solving your child's problem?
- How many years of experience does the lawyer have? Has the lawyer worked on other education law cases similar to yours?
- How are the lawyer's fees structured - hourly or flat fee? Can the lawyer estimate the cost of your case?
- Is the law firm conveniently located for you and your child?
Many people who need to find a lawyer in California have never hired a lawyer before. Talking to a lawyer may be a new experience and you might want some help getting started. Here are some questions you may want to ask a lawyer before deciding who to hire.
What is your main practice area?
How many years of experience do you have in California with cases like mine?
How often do you take cases to trial or settle them out of court?
Can I take my case through mediation or arbitration?
Do you offer a free consultation?
What are your fees and costs?
Will you be the attorney primarily handling my case?
How will I be kept up-to-date about my case?
In order to practice law in California, attorneys have to both pass the California bar exam and be admitted by the State Bar of California. Most attorneys in California graduate from an accredited law school but some lawyers are admitted through on-the-job experience for a minimum of 4 years and through passing an additional legal exam. After a lawyer is admitted to law practice in California, they can practice in almost any area of law.
Lawyers in California are held to strict ethical guidelines known as the Rules of Professional Conduct. Attorneys may have duties and limitations in:
Duty of client advocacy
Conflicts of interest
Duty of candor
Limitations in soliciting clients
Restrictions on handling a client's money
Many people avoid calling a lawyer because they are worried it will be too expensive. In many cases, a lawyer can end up saving the client money. This includes getting an increased award, recovering additional damages, avoiding financial problems in the future, and avoiding future disputes and litigation. Some legal areas even allow the lawyer to recover legal fees from the party at fault.