Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Market Research

Frog's Mom as a new Law School Grad 1996

Frog's Mom as a spunky new attorney 1997

If Frog's mom knew then what she knows now, she would have been an Occupational Therapist!

With the downturn in the real estate market, I'm having to break free of the family business and look for other means of paying the mortgage and student loan bills. The law degree is the obvious choice - the thing should start to pay for itself after all these years. So I am in the process of easing back into my legal career.

I know I can take clients with real estate issues, I've done family law cases (but I was paid in house cleaning - don't think that will pay the bills), and I have prosecutorial experience (but the local governments are in a hiring freeze). What I feel most strongly about is special education law. I have both personal experience and a lot of continuing education hours put into the subject.

Here is my question to you - As a parent of a special needs child, when would you be most likely to seek the knowledge and assistance of a special education law attorney? Click Here to take my survey And thank you very much for your help :0)

And don't forget to link your Pumpkin Patch Parade picture posts here at 4-Frogs on October 30th!!! CC asked about the rules - just the standard ones:

1. Pictures of Halloween pumpkins, jack-o-lanterns, decorations, and kids are welcome to link up.

2. Post a link back to the 4-Frogs Pumpkin Patch Parade post on your post.

3. Add your name and URL to Mister Linky here at 4-Frogs any time between October 29th and October 31st.

4. Please leave comments as you visit each of the sites on the Pumpkin Parade :0)

For more Special Exposure Wednesday posts, visit 5 Minutes for Special Needs

For more Wordless Wednesday visit Three Peas in a Pod


CrackerJacks said...

You are very pretty and I hope that the market starts to look a little better for you soon.

Krystal said...

As far as an attorney goes - I am behind you 100% - one thing I do want to say though is that many parents dont use attorneys because of the fact that advocates are ususally free. Once an advocate has exhausted all efforts then they attempt an attorney and will ususally use those in Legal Aide because of the costs.

Most attorenys do not take special education cases on a contingency basis - at least none that I contacted.

It is a hard and heart breaking profession and I applaud you for attempting to do it. Have you thought of being an advocate first? Most of them can work from home and have really flexible schedules which would be great for your time with Frog. My advocate did this - went from law to an advocate because of her son with autism.

Frogs' mom said...

Hi Crackerjack - Thank you for the complement! That picture was taken over a decade ago, I'm not sure how well I aged, but professional photographers can do wonders :0)

Hi Krystal - Thank you so much for the perspective!!!!

As far as I know, there are no advocates operating in our county (free or otherwise). I've met some from the neighboring county and plan to hook-up with them as a referral for parents who need to go to the next level. I would love to do advocate work from home, but I don't think it will meet my income requirements - so the practice will be composed of several different areas of specialty. I do hope I can one day employ a parent advocate as part of my office. But for now, maybe a flat consultation fee for basic advocacy work as opposed to full out attorney work would fill the void.

Susie said...

Great pictures:-)

Rachelle said...

I love going down memory lane. Great pictures ~ isn't it amazing how fast time flies by? Good luck with the new career ~ hope things go your way!

~ Melody ~ said...

I think you have chosen well in your new career. I took your survey.

Really wishing you all the best with your decisions and in caring them to fruition.

Michelle said...

Good luck in getting back to your career field! I'm not sure when I would seek the servies of a special education lawyer; we haven't encountered anything like that so far (knock on wood!) but I'm going to go take your survey!

Krystal said...

You are more than welcome. I know you will make the decision that best benefits your family. Best of luck!!

Kim said...

Took the survey. Hope all works out well for you!

Maddy said...

I'll do the survey in a minute but for the moment I'd be reluctant to take the services of an attorney [ex-attorney myself] because out here, it becomes so protracted.

There again, over here if the IEP is in place and things go wrong, at least the old IEP still has to be implemented rather than hanging in mid air whilst the dispute it sorted out.

I think my main reason for avoiding this route would be because depending upon the age of the child, inevitably we're going to have a very long relationship with the School district, especially with two children on the Spectrum.

That said I have three friends who took to the legal route after years of angst. They all had good results and with no apparent long term damage to their relationship with the school district.

Off to the survey now, and good for you stepping back into the fray.
Best wishes

Frogs' mom said...

Thank you everyone for your input, observation, good wishes and for taking my survey - your insights are helping me shape my vision for my practice! I'll keep you posted :0)

Amy said...

Just took the survey, and I'm looking forward to watching you develop your practice. You're probably right that a special ed focus won't pay the bills - to begin with - but I have no doubt you'll change that over time.

And your pictures are great. Have I mentioned how glad I am we met at the conference?

hellokittiemama said...

Oh wow, you absolutely should pursue special ed law. We've had to use a special ed lawyer twice. Once when we moved states and the new state was giving us a hard time giving us appropriate services. Tried the advocate route and it still wasn't working and due process and lawyer route got the job done. Second time was when the teacher engaged in something pretty unethical (refusing my son lunch). That is still getting resolved so I can't share much more about it. First time our lawyer made a lot of $$$ on us and it was pretty cut & dry. This time, the same lawyer has taken on our case on a small retainer and is doing a lot of work that hopefully will result in a large settlement. I've probably said too much. Sigh. But yes, if you get back into law I am sure you could be of help to many many special education parents and your insider knowledge of IEPs etc will help.