AkronLawJobs No. 12656: MI AECRES is a new nonprofit education law firm providing free or low-cost advocacy and legal representation to children ages 0-26 in West Michigan for special education and school disciplinary matters. AECRES is an acronym for Advocating for Every Child’s Right to Educational Success. Our mission is to ensure all children in West Michigan receive the quality education they need to thrive. You can learn more by visiting our website at www.miaecres.org.
• Law students seeking practical hands-on experience with opportunity for client contact would benefit from an internship or externship with our program. We concentrate our practice around helping students and families understand, exercise, and protect their education rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and related federal and state education and civil rights laws.
• Students ranging from rising 1Ls through 3Ls have participated in our work through the supervising attorney’s private practice and found it extremely rewarding.
• We ask for a consistent part-time commitment of at least 8 – 10 hours a week for the course of the experience.
• Opportunities are available for winter, spring, summer, and fall. Work is 100%
remote at this time due to both COVID-19 and the geographic scope of the services provided, but in-person work opportunities may be available in Kalamazoo, MI in the future.
• Legal research of special education and student disciplinary issues
• Becoming familiar with education and civil rights statutes, administrative rules,
and case law, including but not limited to, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (Section 504), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Michigan Administrative Rules of Special Education (MARSE), Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District, 580 U.S. , 137 S. Ct. 988 (2017) (Endrew F.), and Goss v. Lopez, 419 U.S. 565 (1975).
• Drafting school communications on behalf of or in conjunction with parents.
• Reviewing student records and identifying potential legal violations.
• Reviewing draft IEP’s with parents and identifying areas of concern to be addressed at IEP meetings (or 504 plans/meetings).
• Attending Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or 504 Plan meetings on behalf of student.
• Weekly client consultations to review and monitor IEP/504 Plan implementation and address immediate client concerns.
• Attending Manifestation Determination Review Hearings on behalf of student.
• Representing students at expulsion hearings, including but not limited to,
reviewing documents, drafting and presenting opening and closing statements, presenting discovery, and questioning witnesses.
• Drafting state complaints on behalf of student.
• Drafting due process complaints on behalf of students.
• Assisting supervising attorney with preparing for Due Process Hearings.
• Other assignments as directed.
Knowledge, Abilities and Skills
• Excellent legal, organizational, written and oral communication skills
• Ability to relate comfortably to individuals of different racial/ethnic, economic and cultural backgrounds
• Ability to multi-task and complete projects in a timely matter under pressure
• Knowledge of communities to be served
• Knowledge of and demonstrated commitment to civil rights and social justice
• Rising 1L-3L
• Strong research and writing skills
• Outstanding time management and organization skills
• Effective mediation and negotiation skills
• Interest in education or civil rights law
Internships are volunteer positions. We will accommodate any requirements necessary for securing school credit to support externships.
Interested applicants should email a resume, references, and cover letter to: firstname.lastname@example.org
MI AECRES is an equal opportunity employer committed to promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace.