The Education Justice project advocates for the educational rights of students with disabilities or students who have received long-term disciplinary suspensions in public school districts. The project is looking for ten committed 2Ls and 3Ls to collaborate with attorneys from Kilpatrick Townsend in providing casework support for education justice cases. A team of two students, paired with an attorney from Kilpatrick Townsend, will conduct client interviews, review student files, research applicable law, draft legal memorandum and correspondence, and attend school meetings, disciplinary hearings, and/or mediations to ensure that the student’s legal rights and educational interests are best represented. The project exists to protect students’ rights to education and to guarantee that a student is not deprived of his or her access to education because of an inadequate (or non-existent) individualized education plan (IEP) or due to excessive suspensions from school.
In collaboration with attorneys from Kilpatrick Townsend, Wake Law students will provide casework support for two types of education cases: (1) special education, and (2) long-term suspension. Each student will be paired with an attorney (or two) from Kilpatrick Townsend to conduct client interviews, review student files, research applicable law, draft legal memorandum and correspondence, and attend school IEP meetings and/or disciplinary hearings to ensure that the student’s legal rights and educational interests are best represented. The project exists to protect students’ rights to education and to guarantee that a student is not deprived of his or her educational rights due to a non-existent or inadequate individualized education plan (IEP) or as a result of excessive suspension from school.
- Legal Aid North Carolina
- Kilpatrick, Townsend, & Stockton
Training 2-3 hours
Before getting involved in the project, students must attend a 2.5-hour training conducted by Legal Aid NC to learn about the law surrounding both types of education casework – special education and disciplinary actions. The training will also be available to students through a video recording if they are unable to attend the training session.
Pro Bono Opportunities
Education Justice cases will become available to Wake law students as soon as Kilpatrick Townsend accepts a case from Legal Aid. This project will be limited to 2Ls and 3Ls, but if you’re interested, you should volunteer for Educational Surrogacy to learn education law. Special education cases often require around 10-15 hours of commitment over the span of several weeks or months, while long-term suspension cases happen on a much quicker timeline, as they need to be resolved on an urgent basis with the school. Because this is a new project, the exact time commitment required is still in flux; however, each student should communicate his or her level of availability to the assigned Kilpatrick Townsend attorney upon committing to a case.