Practice Areas

Special Education Law 

Smith & Lake advises and represents families of students with disabilities in communities across Georgia. We assist parents and students at every stage of the special education process. Our work ranges from consultation, such as advice and strategy with regard to a child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP), through dispute resolution. We are skilled at negotiation and mediation. We provide zealous advocacy in administrative hearings before the State Board of Education and Georgia Office of Administrative Hearings in addition to being experienced in state and federal court litigation. We are familiar with the broad range of issues that arise, from determination of a child’s eligibility for special education, to obtaining an appropriate in-district program, to securing public funding for a private school placement. We represent students with all types of disabilities. At the core of our practice is our commitment to making the law’s promise of free appropriate public education (FAPE) a reality.

We also advise and represent families regarding their rights under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, including Section 504 plans. We have a particular focus on empowering families to navigate the special education process. This includes educating families on their rights as parents of a child with a disability, advising parents on how to navigate IEP meetings and other special education procedures, and teaching families how to effectively communicate with the school in order to protect their child’s rights. We also represent students facing suspension or expulsion in disciplinary proceedings such as tribunal hearings.