How Much Does a Special Education Lawyer Cost?

Q:

"I need to find a special-education lawyer in my area to help my son get the accommodations he needs. How much do they charge per hour? Do they work on a sliding scale?"

ADDitude contributor Robert Tudisco is a practicing attorney with ADHD and an expert on special education law and disability advocacy.
A:

I would start by visiting the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA) at copaa.com. They have a resource directory of special-education and disability attorneys located throughout the country.

You may also contact your local chapter of Children and Adults with AD/HD (CHADD), at chadd.org, or the Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA), at ldanatl.org, to get personal recommendations from organization members.

Attorneys charge by the hour, and rates vary from $200 to $500 per hour. It is important to know your attorney’s billing rate, and whether she will let you pay on a sliding scale, before hiring her.

Federal law requires public schools to provide additional educational services to children who need them and who qualify under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). If you are challenging the decision of a school district under that act, the statute authorizes reimbursement of attorney’s fees if you win the case.

Note: ADDitude does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The material on this web site is provided for educational purposes only. See additional information. While comments are appreciated, due to the high volume of inquiries we receive, there is no guarantee that either ADDitude or the expert will respond to follow-up questions.

Since Robert Tudisco was diagnosed with ADHD, he has researched and written extensively on the subject of special education law and disability advocacy, and now specializes in the area as a practicing attorney. He is a former Executive Director of the Edge Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides specialized coaches for students with ADHD and Executive Functioning Impairment. He has served on the National Board of Directors of CHADD and is a former Vice President of ADDA. He is a frequent resource for the media, including CBS News, New York Times Magazine, Newsweek, ABC News, The BBC, The Today Show, CNN, USA Today, and The Seattle Times.
 
 
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