Volunteer Lawyers for Justice is excited to honor Philip Taylor as its June Volunteer of the Month. Phil has been volunteering with VLJ’s Children’s Representation Program for the past year. His interest in pro bono work began when he left a position practicing shareholder litigation at the law firm Abraham, Fruchter & Twersky to begin his own practice. “When I started my solo practice, I had more opportunity to do pro bono work,” said Phil. “My practice was slow initially, so I was excited by the opportunity to give back and learn about new practice areas.” After participating in VLJ’s new volunteer orientation, Phil, whose parents were both special education teachers, became interested in the Children’s Representation Program (CRP). CRP provides free legal advice and representation to parents or guardians of children with disabilities who have been denied the special education services to which they are entitled.
The school-to-prison pipeline – a disturbing national trend in which children, especially those who are minorities or have disabilities, are pushed out of the classroom and into the juvenile and criminal justice systems – has made national headlines in recent years, with much discussion on how to address this problem. For attorney Becky Rosenfeld, it meant a career change – from representing defendants in criminal matters to going back to the start: school.
For a parent, the process of securing appropriate services for a child in school can often be overwhelming, intimidating, and exhausting. After experiencing this firsthand, Karen Edler has become a powerful advocate for parents who desperately need help understanding and navigating their children’s education rights.
Karen is of counsel at Price Meese Shulman & D’Arminio, P.C. She has nearly twenty years of education law experience, and has been a volunteer with VLJ’s Children’s Representation Program (CRP), from taking pro bono cases to serving as a mentor for attorneys new to the area of law, since just after its establishment