When you have a dispute with your school district you may feel like a student again; a student who was just told by a teacher to do something with the justification, “becuase I said so.” It was frustrating to receive such an “I know better than you” response as a child, but it’s even more frustrating now as an adult! You ask yourself:
- How can the school get away with this?
- Isn’t there any recourse?
- Can the school’s final decision really be binding on me and my child?
- Are there no checks and balances in place to ensure that my school district has to provide my child with an appropriate education?
You know something doesn’t feel right, but you don’t know what you can do about it. You know when people are injured they call a lawyer – and you feel injured – but you’re not sure whether a lawyer has a place in a dispute between a parent and a school. You watch a lot of Court TV shows, but you’ve never seen one where a special ed director was on the stand getting grilled because a child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) has not been implemented.
Maybe schools are above the law? Maybe “no” really does mean NO. But you want to be sure, so now your surfing the web to see if you should hire an education lawyer. The answer is – as is it always is… it depends.
The two primary factors are (1) what happened? and (2) what do you want?
The first important question is what happened. To help answer the question of whether you should hire an education lawyer, it is a smart idea to have a written narrative of facts of your case readily available for review. When you are on the phone explaining what happened to a lawyer, it’s easy to lose track of what’s important, to add unnecessary details and to exclude the most important details. We advise writing down the history of your case so that the story can be easily conveyed to an attorney for review. From there the attorney will be better equipped to ask pertinent questions and the scope of your case will be more clearly defined.
What do you want?
To best know if an education lawyer can get you what you want, the first question to ask yourself is, “what do I really want?” When we meet new clients we ask them to enumerate and specify the end goal. It’s impossible to know if a lawyer can assist you to get what you want if you don’t know what you want. Now, we understand that you may not know what your are entitled to – and that’s fine – but again – if you have a general idea of the relief you are seeking it will go a long way to define the scope of your case.
Knowing precisely what you want can preclude you from taking unnecessary steps that don’t further to your goals. If you can tell a lawyer the relief you are seeking the lawyer may be better able to tell you if your desired outcome is supported by the law. From there you are in a better situation to decide if you should hire an education lawyer.
The good news is that many attorneys offer free consultations and if you take the time to call they may be able to discuss the facts of your case and give input into whether legal assistance is appropriate.
The attorneys at Montgomery Law ALWAYS offer free consultations. We would be happy to hear what’s going on in your particular matter and to know a little bit about your desired outcome.
Feel free to call or email anytime to get connected with an attorney.
888-959-5529 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
We wish you luck as you continue to advocate for your child!