• bschinagle

About Non-attorney Parent Advocates

Please see this excellent post from Wrightslaw about non-attorney parent advocates: https://www.wrightslaw.com/heath/advocate.guidelines.htm.

Non-attorney parent advocates are NOT attorneys! Fees you pay to an advocate are not reimburseable, even if an advocate represents you in a Due Process hearing. Also, while non-attorneys are permitted to appear in Due Process hearings, these are legal processes that involved giving parents legal counsel, which is the practice of law. In some states, practicing law without a license is considered a felony. Attorneys are bound by codes or ethics and are overseen by a licensing authority, so there is a place to register a complaint if you have a problem. However, non-attorne parent advocates fulfill an important role as a team member to help parents navigate the IEP development process and can serve as witnesses in subsequent Due Process proceedings. I work in partnership with several non-attorney parent advocates and they have been very helpful to my clients. Whatever you do, make sure that you have a contract with your non-attorney advocate that specifies your obligations and theirs!

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