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Florida Education Law Lawyers

Education law is complex and governs various issues within the sector. Education law intends to balance the rights of the multiple stakeholders involved, such as parents, students, staff, government bodies, and private commercial entities. However, even with these laws, litigation within the education industry is common. If you are dealing with a legal issue relating to education law, contact a Florida education attorney to discuss your case and protect your legal rights.

What Is An Education Lawyer?

The laws regulating education are complicated and govern various issues within the industry. An education lawyer is an expert in this practice area and has extensive knowledge of the federal and state laws that govern the sector.

Education law governs standards in the following areas:

  • Special education;
  • Discrimination;
  • Private education;
  • Public education;
  • Civil rights;
  • Employment;
  • Academic standards; and
  • Safety of students and staff.

Specific laws that apply to the education system

  • Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) - ensures that children with disabilities have access to public education that meets the individual child’s educational requirements and goals.
  • No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) – seeks to ensure that students in public schools are achieving at grade level, with student and school performance analyzed yearly.
  • Title IX – is a federal law that prohibits gender discrimination in public schools.
  • Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act – is a federal law that protects individuals with disabilities from discrimination.

What Does An Education Attorney Do?

An education attorney works with parents, students, and educational facilities to protect their rights and resolve legal issues.

A Florida education lawyer can assist in many scenarios, including:

  • Due process hearings for special education;
  • IEP and 504 plan meetings and disputes;
  • Expulsion and discipline issues;
  • Litigation claims;
  • Legal compliance for educational facilities; and
  • Employment contracts.

When To Hire An Education Lawyer in Florida?

Education law is a vast area of practice impacting anyone who works with or attends an educational institution.

If you are a parent or caregiver, you should consider hiring an education lawyer in the following scenarios:

  • You believe your child is eligible for special education and require help understanding the legal process;
  • Failing to reach an agreement at an Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting;
  • Your child is being bullied;
  • The school district engages an attorney concerning your child;
  • You have concerns surrounding the discipline policies at the school;
  • The school is not complying with your child’s IEP;
  • You believe your child is being discriminated against;
  • Your child has been injured on school grounds;
  • You intend to file a complaint against the school district; and
  • You feel intimidated or threatened in your communications with the school.

If you are an employee of an educational institution or managing a private educational facility, you should consider hiring an education lawyer in the following scenarios:

  • You require legal advice in drafting employment contracts and procedures;
  • An employee is bringing a case of discrimination or defamation against the facility;
  • As an employee, you believe you have been unfairly dismissed;
  • There are issues relating to tenure of staff;
  • You need assistance with acquisitions or business contracts;
  • The facility is being audited by state or federal investigation;
  • An incident occurs involving the regulations of the Campus Security Act (Clery Act); and
  • A student or parent is bringing a legal case against the college or facility.

How To Find A Lawyer For Education?

Education law is not always clear and straightforward. Therefore, you must find an attorney experienced in the legal issues relevant to your case.

Here are four ways to find an education lawyer to handle your case:

  1. Search for an attorney experienced in education law on the Lawrina website.
  2. Contact the American Bar Association (ABA).
  3. School district officers are required to provide information on attorneys and advocates.
  4. Disability administrative agencies may provide recommendations.

How Do I Choose An Education Attorney In Florida?

Choosing the best education lawyer in Florida is essential to provide you with the expert advice you need.

Here are four questions to ask when choosing an education lawyer:

  1. How many years have you been practicing in education law?
  2. Do you have experience with cases like mine?
  3. What is your fee structure for services?
  4. Do you have any conflict of interest with the other parties in my case?

How Much Does The Education Lawyer Average Cost Florida?

The cost of hiring a lawyer for education in Florida can vary significantly depending on the attorney’s fee structure and the circumstances of your case. An education attorney can cost between $150 and $500 per hour on average. However, some law firms offer a contingency fee agreement which means you will not have to pay anything unless you win your case.

Do Education Attorneys Usually Charge For Consultations?

Most education attorneys offer a free consultation to prospective clients. This consultation allows the attorney to assess your case and advise navigating the legal process. Any information shared in the free consultation is confidential and protected by the attorney-client relationship privilege.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a 504 plan and an IEP?

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 protects the civil rights of the disabled. Section 504 requires schools to provide disabled students with a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) through developing specific accommodations in an education program for the child. A 504 plan aims to level the playing field and prevent discrimination in an educational environment. An IEP is more detailed and contains modifications to how the child is taught and instructed and possibly modifications to the instructional content. If you are unsure if your child qualifies for an IEP, contact an education attorney to review your child’s situation.

Who may be held liable if my child is being bullied?

Schools have a responsibility to provide a safe environment for the students in their care. If your child is being bullied on school grounds, several parties could be held liable, including:

  • The student who is bullying your child;
  • The parents of the child who is responsible for the bullying; and
  • The school staff, officials, and school boards.

In most cases, the liability is on the student responsible for the bullying. However, if the school knew about the bullying and failed to provide a duty of care in intervening, they may be liable. Contact a legal professional for advice if your child is suffering harm from bullying at school.

Can a school be held liable when a child sustains an injury on school grounds?

Liability for an injury sustained on school grounds is determined by establishing negligence. School staff have a duty of care to supervise children and ensure that playground equipment and buildings are safe and hazard-free. The school might be liable if the child’s injury occurred due to a lack of supervision. Proving school liability in injury claims can be challenging, so you should contact an experienced education lawyer to analyze your case as soon as possible.