If you’re looking for the best education lawyer near you, you probably have an issue that took place in an educational setting. Education lawyers handle issues in educational settings from preschool through higher education, public or private.
What Is an Education Lawyer?
Education law is a specialized field of law that deals with violations within an educational setting. So, an education attorney might work for a law firm that specializes in:
- Problems with employment contracts;
- Special education issues;
- Personal injury lawsuits that happened in an educational setting;
- Title IX offenses;
- Victims of assault in an educational setting;
- Civil rights for teachers and students on campus;
- Discrimination claims on a college campus;
- Issues with the discipline of a teacher or student;
- A process hearing for someone who was harmed in any educational setting; or
- Legal issues with school boards, a school district or other administrative agencies.
What Does an Education Attorney Do?
Education attorneys do a lot of things. They handle communication and paperwork, and facilitate resolutions to issues that took place in an educational setting. Education attorneys can also file court documents against a local school district or school in the event that a lawsuit takes place.
When to Hire an Education Lawyer
You should hire education lawyers near you if you have any situation that took place in an educational setting. You might need a legal professional to provide services if:
- You are the parent of a child with an individualized education plan (IEP). Children with disabilities are legally allowed to have an individualized education plan which makes certain concessions or accommodations for their special needs child. Failure to provide these accommodations is a form of discrimination. Education attorneys deal with money IEP issues, especially for children with severe autism.
- A 504 plan requires that all public school activities are available to all students, even children who have a disability. Violations of this might require an education lawyer.
- The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 protects the rights of disabled Americans at school and in the workplace. Parents of disabled children or disabled teachers or administrators who work for the school district should know their rights. When those rights aren't being respected, they should hire an education lawyer.
- If any type of abuse happens in a classroom or in a school setting, no matter how old someone is, unwanted physical engagement needs to be discussed with an education lawyer immediately.
- Neglect can happen when an educator isn't paying attention or isn't doing their job. Accidents certainly happen at school, but if you find that school staff habitually provide inadequate supervision, or they fail to administer medications as required, subject students to hazardous conditions or are entirely absent from classrooms or playgrounds, it might be time to explore legal options with an education attorney.
- You might also consider hiring an education attorney if your child is being bullied at school and staff members are not intervening where necessary. Similarly, if your child is the victim of discrimination, you can make a federal case out of the lack of discipline or the discrimination that takes place because of your child's disability, religion, genetic information, race, age, sex or national origin.
How Do I Choose an Education Attorney?
Choose a lawyer for education near you based on their qualifications.
If you are working with an issue of discrimination, you want to find an attorney who has experience in that field. Violations of your child's 504 plan require specialization that not every education attorney can offer.
You might also find that location is very important. Having a law firm in your state, if not within your city, might be something you prefer because it makes it much easier to contact that law firm to receive updates and make in-person visits.
Finally, consider the cost. Obviously, you don't want to go with the cheapest option just because it's the cheapest option, but you might be able to find a law firm that offers payment plans or doesn't charge you until the settlement of your case, making them a more affordable option for you.
How Much Does the Education Lawyer Average Cost?
When you sit down and speak with a law firm, you can go over how much they charge based on who is involved in the work, whether they have an hourly fee or a flat rate and what payment options are available.
Most education attorneys near you will probably charge an hourly rate. During your initial consultation, they will give you a detailed estimate of what their fees are and how their payments are structured.
Depending on the nature of your case, you might be expected to pay your legal fees out of pocket as your case proceeds. If your case has something to do with personal injury, you might end up paying a percentage of your final settlement instead.
Do Education Attorneys Usually Charge for Consultations?
Generally speaking, education attorneys do not charge for consultations. The consultation is usually short, no more than thirty minutes. It's a great opportunity for you to talk about the average costs, whether or not you have grounds for a case and how qualified this particular attorney or law firm is. At the end of a consultation, the lawyer may say they would be happy to work with you but they require a deposit. Alternatively, you might have a lawyer say that your case is not in their area of expertise but they have recommendations for other professionals who might be of service.