Hi! I'm Melanie, a mother of two amazing school-aged kids, and an attorney who has been in practice primarily in the area of education law since 2004.
After years of working in larger firms defending school boards from due process actions brought under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), I joined the law office of Andrew A. Feinstein (now known as the Feinstein Education Law Group, LLC) and became a parents' attorney.
I launched my solo practice, Special Education M.A.P., so I could provide the most effective educational legal solutions to parents with varying levels of knowledge of the IDEA and the world of special education. Some parents have been in the trenches for years, and just need a second pair of eyes to review their child's IEP for red flags. Other parents are overwhelmed with all of the acronyms and lingo thrown around by their child's educators, and need more involved support to manage the process.
Regardless of their background or experience, parents have one major factor in common: they don't want to pay a large sum of money toward legal fees without any guarantee of the desired outcome. And while parents who prevail after a due process hearing may recoup their attorneys' fees from the school district, this doesn't help the vast majority of parents whose legal disputes are resolved without proceeding to the hearing stage. Even mediation, which is a process intended to avoid costly and protracted litigation, can require the client to incur numerous billable hours' worth of fees that they must pay even if the mediation fails. This is not a criticism of lawyers; this is just the way things have been done for decades.
Special Education M.A.P. is different. Sure, it's a way to reduce expenses by ruthlessly cutting overhead (hello, VLO!) and refusing to charge my clients for unnecessary tasks like copying and organizing records. But it's also a highly individualized approach to providing parents the specific tools they need to become their child's own best advocate. Hiring me to represent you using one of SpedMAP's customized services is like having an experienced lawyer, advocate, and life coach all in one! And because I only work with a handful of clients at a time, you'll receive a high level of personal attention and interest in your case, while the "busy work" happens online in an automated manner.
Click here to review my services and learn which one is right for you. And if you were looking for a boring lawyer bio, my LinkedIn profile might be a good place to start! In addition, I am Of Counsel to the Feinstein Education Law Group, LLC, which allows me to provide consultation and support for FELG clients as needed.