Advocates & Attorneys
The page focuses on resources that that can assist in locating an advocate or special education attorney. We've included these together only because some of the of organizations here cover both, but its important to understand that advocates and attorneys play different roles in the special education process. Advocates can be folded into the special education process at just about any point and are often welcomed by the school (for more information see our page What are Advocates).
Rightly or wrongly, attorneys tend be viewed as more adversarial by schools and typically, though not always, enter the process later after unsuccessful attempts to resolve a dispute. While there are certainly times when the best course of action might require an attorney, studies suggest that collaboration between parents, caregivers and the school often lead to best outcomes for children so careful consideration should be given.
We recommend you first consult Foundations for Effective Collaboration and Understanding the Dispute Process and also consider contacting the Information Center for the Federation for Parents with Special Needs, who can provide guidance specific to your circumstances including when you should consider contacting an attorney.
In addition to the resources above, we often get asked to recommend specific advocates for parents. Unfortunately, providing a comprehensive list of advocates is well outside the scope of our expertise. We do include several advocates on our service providers page which you can find here.
This page also contains links to neighboring SEPACs, who maintain their own lists of providers as well as links to some of the directories listed above. Please note that we at Reading SEPAC do not endorse any service providers.
Please note that we at Reading SEPAC cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information presented on any third-party website listed on this site, nor do we endorse any informational content appearing on third-party websites of any of the providers listed. We endeavor only to provide a listing of potentially helpful organizations available. Its up to you, as a consumer, to do your own diligence and research.