School of Law News

Family Law Association Discusses Special Education Law

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Family Law Association hosted Family and Special Education Law Attorney Claudette-Jean Girard L'01 on March 28 in the Blake Law Center. Girard gave advice to students thinking about studying family law and also spoke on her reasons for pursuing her career.

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She told students that "if you guys are looking at a career in family law, my best advice for starting out is volunteer, volunteer, volunteer, volunteer. Get your face out there. You have people know who you are." She went on to say that "one of my twins has cerebral palsy. He is nonverbal, nonambulatory, he's legally blind, and in a wheelchair. When I was home with him for the first six months of his life, he wasn't receiving the services he really required, he was only getting occupational therapy and it was very frustrating from a parental perspective because I wasn't able to get him the services he required. I was a lawyer, I argued in court successfully and I could not get my child what he needed. It turned out it was because I wasn't trained effectively to do that. So then I became a certified parent advocate. At that point in time I remember saying to my husband 'I think I need to help other parents.' I am a lawyer trying to do this."

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