July/August 2010 Volunteer Feature: Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP
The Kathryn A. McDonald Education Advocacy Project (EAP), supervised by Cara Chambers, provides educational advocacy that enables abused and neglected clients to secure services addressing educational and developmental needs. It is an integral part of The Legal Aid Society's Juvenile Rights Practice, ensuring that our youngest and most vulnerable clients are school ready. For five years, Cahill, Gordon & Reindel LLP has been a key partner in these educational advocacy efforts. The firm's attorneys engage in multiple levels of legal advocacy - factual development and case documentation, negotiation of an appropriate service plan, implementation oversight, and representation at an administrative hearing.
Recently, associates Michael Rosenberg and Peter Mazzone provided outstanding representation for two very young children with developmental delays. Mr. Rosenberg obtained physical and occupational therapy for a 10-month-old girl with severe gross and fine motor delays. Prior to his representation, an evaluation by the Early Intervention program found her ineligible for services. He successfully navigated several bureaucratic hurdles to have her re-evaluated and is working with her mother and the Early Intervention service coordinator to set up these essential services. Mr. Mazzone's client is a 3-year-old child with delays in cognition, speech and language, and socio-emotional development. He worked closely with the child's mother, guiding her through the preschool evaluation process and attending a critical meeting with the Committee on Preschool Special Education. He accompanied the family on visits to several potential schools and helped them gain admission to one that is well equipped to meet the child's complex needs. Because of his advocacy, the child will attend a full-day special class preschool program with speech/language therapy, occupational therapy, counseling, and transportation services.