Faculty Announcement – Jennifer Laviano

Attorney Jennifer Laviano is in private practice in Connecticut. She will teach a course entitled “Introduction to Special Education Law” at Solo Practice University®.

Attorney Jennifer Laviano is in private practice in Connecticut. Ms. Laviano holds an undergraduate degree from Skidmore College, and she earned her Juris Doctorate, cum laude, from Quinnipiac University School of Law.

Ms. Laviano has dedicated her law practice entirely to the representation of children and adolescents with disabilities whose families are in disagreement with their public school districts. Her representation of children with special needs encompasses the full spectrum of advocacy under the IDEA, from attendance at IEP Team meetings and Mediation, to zealous and experienced litigation in Due Process Hearings and Federal Court.

Ms. Laviano is a regular presenter, locally and nationally, on the subject of the special legal rights of children with disabilities and their entitlement to receive a Free and Appropriate Public Education. In addition to being the Vice-Chair of the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA), which is the leading national voice on disability advocacy, she serves on several disability-related boards, committees, and task forces.

Ms. Laviano is also the author of the popular blog, www.SpecialEdJustice.com.


Syllabus – Introduction to Special Education Law

  1. What is the IDEA:  An Overview
  2. FAPE is a Free Appropriate Public Education.  But what does it mean?
    • “Free” is “at no cost”
    • “Appropriate” means the Chevy not the Cadillac
    • “Public” might mean private
    • “Education” is more than just academics
  3. IEP:  The Individualized Education Plan
  4. Procedural Safeguards
  5. LRE:  The Least Restrictive Environment Provision of the IDEA
  6. Discipline, Manifestation Determinations and “stay-put”
  7. Alternative Dispute Resolutions:  Mediation, Resolution Sessions and More
  8. Due Process Hearings
  9. Attorneys’ Fees Reimbursement
  10. Appeals of Due Process Hearings
    • One vs. Two-Tiered States
    • State or Federal Court
    • Prevailing Party Fee Applications
  11. Practical Tips for Opening A Special Education Law Office
  12. Other Relevant Statutes:  Section 504, FERPA, 1983, No Child Left Behind, and More
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4 comments on “Faculty Announcement – Jennifer Laviano

  • Jen, it is so cool that you are doing this! I am guessing your class will be part legal strategy, part stand-up?

    I have one request related to the section of your syllabus entitled “‘Appropriate’ means the Chevy not the Cadillac”: Please be sure to point out that the Chevy still has to have tires, an engine, and some capability of getting people from Point A and Point B. And of course, sometime the dealership is all out of Chevy’s. Sometimes the only thing available is the Cadillac.

    Personally, I’m fine with a used Kia. As long as it actually runs. . .

    • @Diane Willcutts, Thanks, Diane…and I’ve actually already taped the first two classes and have already said that the Chevy needs an engine…great minds think alike! And yes, I do hope that people will be educated and entertained by the course. Thanks for the comment!

  • Jennifer, I am so thrilled that you have joined the SPU faculty. I was connected to your website through twitter, and as I noted to you in an email, found your blog to be one of the best written and most informative I’ve seen. I am very much looking forward to your course!

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