NEWARK — The Education Law Center is seeking lawyers from the private sector to volunteer to represent children with disabilities whose parents or guardians cannot afford to hire an attorney.
The center’s staff cannot meet the demand for legal assistance for disabled students who are who are deprived of their rights to special education services as required by law. The center supplements their staff with private lawyers who offer pro bono representation.
Along with Rutgers School of Law-Newark, Volunteer Lawyers for Justice andDisability Rights New Jersey, the ELC will hold a day-long seminar Nov. 19 in Newark to train lawyers. The fee for the training is $125, but the ELC will waive it if an attorney agrees to represent at least one child in a special education matter.
Continuing education credits are available to attendees who practice in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.
The Education Law Center is a leading advocate for ensuring equal opportunity for the state’s public school children.
“This is the perfect opportunity for attorneys to learn about special education law and to help indigent children with disabilities,” ELC Senior Attorney Ruth Lowenkron said. “The training is hands-on, and a mentor will be assigned for each special education case taken.”
Lowenkron said the center offers these training sessions every 18 months to two years, and about 100 attorneys attend. This is the first year the sessions qualify for continuing education credits, she said, so that number may increase.