Lee Robbins (JD '14) is the recipient of a 2014 Equal Justice Works Fellowship, which will fund her legal advocacy in support of children’s educational rights.
Equal Justice Works, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit, honors lawyers who have developed new and innovative legal projects that serve communities in need of assistance. Robbins was selected for her plan to provide direct legal representation and outreach to ensure that low-income, elementary school-age children with mental health needs have the necessary educational and behavioral services. She will receive a salary, loan repayment assistance and training, and will work from the offices of local disability rights group Equip for Equality during her two-year tenure.
“In many schools across the country, the promise of our federal special education law is not being realized, and many children with disabilities are not receiving the education that they deserve,” Robbins said. “Even though we have a robust federal special education law, children's legally mandated special education services are frequently not provided or are inappropriate to meet their needs.”
As part of her project, Robbins will provide legal assistance to families during negotiations at school-based Individualized Education Program meetings and administrative due process hearings. She will also conduct legal rights trainings for families and local organizations, and will host office hours at community-based mental health providers in order to reach families who are seeking assistance.