Where to find legal help

By Andrew M.I. Lee, JD

At a glance

  • Knowing where to find legal help is vital to protecting your child’s rights.

  • There are websites that can help you locate lawyers and advocates in your area.

  • Online resources usually offer general information and may not give you details about your particular state or school.

Knowing where to find good legal help is vital to protecting your child’s rights. There’s a lot of information online. But it’s not always easy to find what you need. Some websites are better than others. Here’s a list of select online legal resources. You may find it useful when advocating for your child’s education.

The Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA) is a nonprofit organization of lawyers, advocates, and parents. It works to provide better legal assistance to parents. You can use COPAA’s website to find a lawyer, advocate, or professional near you.

The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) is a nonprofit network of government-supported legal advocacy services for people with disabilities in all areas of life, not just education. NDRN’s website has a tool for finding services in your state.

ED.gov is the U.S. Department of Education’s website. It has a special section for IDEA legal information. It also has the actual text of the .

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) for the U.S. Department of Education is in charge of enforcing federal anti-discrimination laws. OCR’s website has information on how to file a civil rights complaint.

The Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA) provides information and resources to people with learning disabilities, their parents, teachers, and other professionals.

Being a strong advocate for your child’s rights means knowing where to look for legal help. This list of online resources is a good start. If you need more personalized advice, take a look at our tips for finding a special education advocate or attorney.

Key takeaways

  • You can sometimes find the legal help you need through online resources.

  • Websites such as COPAA and NDRN can help you find local legal help.

  • For questions that can’t be answered online, you may want to consider finding a special education advocate or attorney.

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    About the author

    About the author

    Andrew M.I. Lee, JD is an editor and attorney who strives to help people understand complex legal, education, and parenting issues.

    Reviewed by

    Reviewed by

    Patricia H. Latham, JD is an attorney and mediator and the co-author of eight books on disability and the law.