The Law Office of Frances Shefter
Mothers of Children with Special Needs have a ton of demands on their time and energy. Learning the complexities of how to get your child’s school to meet his or her unique needs is just one more thing you don’t need on your plate. As a former Special Education teacher, I am uniquely able to mix Education and the Law to help you develop an appropriate educational plan and to then get the school to actually implement that plan.
There is broad range of services and placements a Mom has to learn about in order to get a school plan in place. Getting the school to evaluate your child — or to pay for an independent educational evaluation when you disagree with the results — can be a challenge. Ensuring that your child is found eligible for Special Education Services, or a 504 plan, by the school team can be painful and tedious. And even when your child has been found eligible, determining the right mix of available services and needs is daunting.
You get me!
No impersonal law firm.
No associate or law clerk.
Just a real lawyer, special educator, and Mom.
I will gently guide your family through the complicated school process. Before each step, we will have full discussion of the options and put a roadmap in place to navigate the different roads ahead as the school puts up roadblocks. This will help you better understand how we will reach our end goal.
You will get in-depth help understanding the many options and choices that are available for your child at each fork in the road. That includes my expert opinion on the quality and value of these many options.
What I Bring to Your Family
Peace of mind for you!
A special needs household is already chaotic enough. Let’s work together to replace the stress and anxiety of dealing with the school system with the calm and orderly approach that comes from having a specific, custom, roadmap in place.
Less stress for your child!
A day at school that is more enjoyable and less difficult than it is now. An educational environment that lets your child reach their full potential.
Harmony for your family!
A child that is having a good day at school is a child who makes the home a more enjoyable place for the whole family. Not having to deal with daily educational challenges means more time for living your life with your family.
Ways I Can Help
Together we can review all your child’s school documents talk about what you want to achieve for your child. We can determine the next steps and if you even need my assistance to get to your goals. There’s no need to spend family funds on more than you need.
Sometimes it helps to have an advocate in the room with you. It’s a sad fact that school officials sometimes listen more to someone other than the parents. School systems can act like bullies, so it helps to have someone in your corner who knows the system and knows how to play their game.
There are many kinds of meetings that I can help with from multidisciplinary team / student support team meetings to eligibility meetings to those detailed planning events for creating an appropriate IEP or 504 plan, I will help you prepare for them and be there with you every step of the way.
Filing for, preparing for and participating with you in mediation can help get you to your goals without the added expense of filing for a formal Due Process hearing. Let’s work to get what your child needs in the simplest, fastest and least expensive way.
When the school system forces you to file for Due Process to get what you know your child needs, a lawyer is necessary to prove your case and link the facts to the law. We will gather the evidence to support your position. We will work together to identify the best experts to testify about the unique needs of your child. I will help you to prepare and get comfortable to be the best witness and advocate for your child in the courtroom. When we walk into the courtroom we will be fully prepared to present the best case possible and convince the Administrative Law Judge to rule in your favor and order the school to provide your child with what they need to succeed in school.
The Law Office of Frances Shefter
How To Contact Me
The Law Office of Frances Shefter
110 N Washington St
Rockville, MD 20850
Frances Shefter has been a godsend. She has been beyond helpful in dealing with the school system. She has clearly explained all the processes and the potential outcomes. This has helped me make the best decisions for my son. This process has not been easy but with her fiercely fighting for my son it makes it less stressful. I would highly recommend her if you have having special education issues with any of the local school systemsDr. Robyn Johnson
Francie treated us like family and took a great interest in our child and his needs. Her advice was pragmatic and practical and she always took our input into consideration.T.R. & C.R.
Years Working With Special Needs Children
Education Advocate and Attorney
I have been working with special needs children since I was a child myself. From babysitting as early as my pre-teens, to interning in a special needs classroom while in high school, I have a passion for helping children with special needs and their families. In college, I majored in Early Childhood Education and also took some special education courses. After teaching a few years in regular education, I got my master’s degree in Special Education. I then transferred to teach in an alternative middle and high school and was shortly promoted to an administrative teaching position of Special Education Coordinator. Two years later, I got frustrated by the red tape and “higher ups” that were preventing me, and the rest of the school team, from truly meeting the needs of my special education students. At that point, I decided to head to law school in order to be on the other side of the table and truly help the students get access to the general education curriculum and the much needed supports and accommodations. My teaching experience, and inside knowledge of how school system’s work, uniquely positions me to convince the school that the parents’ requests for accommodations and services are not unrealistic and the school should provide them. Although by nature I am not adversarial, and prefer to mediate and find a common ground, I will become a bull dog and fight to the bone when necessary.
The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established