Legal Advocacy Center

Children need a parent or guardian to advocate for their rights and the opportunity to learn.

Some children may also need a legal advocate to help ensure their access to education and other protected rights. If you are a parent or guardian of a child with special needs who has an Individual Education Plan (IEP) or 504 plan and you are not satisfied with the services being provided to your child, or you suspect your child may have a disability and may be in need of services in school, JCFS Chicago Legal Advocacy Center may be a resource for you.

Our Services

The Legal Advocacy Center is a program of JCFS Chicago. We offer special education legal representation, consultation, information and referral services to students with disabilities and their families.

The Legal Advocacy Center also provides training, consultation, information and referrals to the social services staff of Jewish Federation agencies, including JCFS Chicago and to other agencies.

Helping Schools Meet their Obligations to Children

Federal and state laws require school districts to provide a free and appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment for every child with a disability—whether in the public school or in a therapeutic setting. Occasionally, parents find it difficult to obtain appropriate educational services for their child with special needs. 

Legal Advocacy Center attorneys are committed to ensuring that each child receives the education, supports, and services he or she needs to learn. Specialized instruction, occupational, physical or speech therapy, social work services or others and/or modifications or accommodations (such as extra time for taking tests, a longer passing time in the hallway, or a referral to a therapeutic program) may be required. Feel free to contact Tracy Lovi Hartlieb, Attorney at Law, Director of the Legal Advocacy Center and Cera Kusisto, Staff Attorney, Legal Advocacy Center at the number below with questions you may have about your child's education needs.

Speakers’ Bureau Shares Information with other Advocates

The attorneys in the Legal Advocacy Center are available to address social service providers, family and client groups and persons with disabilities on special education law.

For more information, call 855.275.5237