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The William & Mary Law Institute of Special Education Advocacy (ISEA)
Williamsburg, VA

July 28 - August 2, 2019

Now Accepting Applications

Applications will be considered on rolling basis bi-weekly from February 1, 2019 until the class is full.

The William & Mary Law Institute of Special Education Advocacy is presenting a five-day training program hosted by the William & Mary School of Law and co-sponsored by the PELE Special Education Advocacy Clinic and Wrightslaw.

The purpose of this program is to provide training in special education advocacy for experienced advocates, law students, new attorneys, and attorneys who are new to special education law.

The program will include 22+ sessions on applicable laws, ethics, best practices in advocacy, strategies in working with parents and schools, and dispute resolution procedures, taught by national leaders in the field.

The Institute begins on Sunday evening, July 28, 2019, with the Orientation and Registration session and Welcome Reception and concludes Friday afternoon, August 2, 2019.

The program will be held at:
William & Mary School of Law
The William & Mary School of Law
613 South Henry Street
Williamsburg, VA 23185-4110


Topics include:

  • History and Applicable Laws
  • Ethics in Special Education Advocacy (CLE credit)
  • Caselaw Review
  • Understanding Evaluations, Tests and Measurements
  • Individualized Education Programs (IEPs)
  • Section 504
  • Eligibility
  • Behavioral Issues at School
  • Discipline
  • Juvenile Justice
  • Dispute Resolution and State Complaints
  • Preparing a Case for Trial/Due Process
  • Using Evaluations, Tests and Measurements as Evidence
  • Evidence Strategies
  • Legal Claims and Remedies
  • Creating Systemic Change in Your State
  • Transition
  • Bullying


The registration fee includes the opening reception, all lunches and scheduled breaks, a mid-week evening group dinner with program speakers, over $200.00 of materials, including books* and all course materials.

In general, educational and training expenses are tax deductible. Check with your accountant about deductible educational expenses that may include books, continuing education fees, and travel costs.

Certificate in Special Education Advocacy

Upon the completion of ISEA participants will receive a Certificate in Special Education Advocacy from William & Mary Law School. Please note that in Virginia, there are no certification or training requirements to become a special education advocate. We encourage you to research your state’s rules and regulations on the requirements, if any, of working as a special education advocate.

Please also note that this course does not provide a certification or endorsement. We are simply offering a Certificate in Special Education Advocacy, which indicates that our attendees have successfully completed the required courses within the Institute of Special Education Advocacy. We expect that many ISEA graduates who earn this Certificate will list the training as an additional credential on their resumes, CVs, and LinkedIn profiles. Learn more.

Registration Fees
Advocates, Educator/Advocates, Non-attorneys
Attorneys (CLE credit pending)
2 or more Individuals from same office
10% discount
Law Students (non-credit)

Attendance is limited to 65. Applications will be reviewed on a bi-weekly rolling basis until the class is full. Early applications are recommended.

Kayla Bower Advocacy Award and Tuition Waiver

In celebration of Kayla Bower and her decades of remarkable advocacy on behalf of children with disabilities, the ISEA committee is pleased to award the Kayla Bower Advocacy Award to one member of the 2019 ISEA class. In reviewing award applications, the committee will consider: an applicant’s contributions to special education advocacy, financial need, and those representing children in underrepresented geographic areas.

To apply for the Kayla Bower Advocacy Award, please send a completed application and a statement of interest to the committee that explains why you believe you meet one or more of the above eligibility criteria. Incomplete applications will not be considered. In addition, please answer the following questions:

  • Will your employer pay for your ISEA registration?
  • Are you eligible to obtain outside funding for the Institute? (Please note that applicants receiving outside funding are not eligible for this award.)

Please send your application by e-mail to pele@wm.edu. The deadline is May 1, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. EST. A decision will be made by May 15th, 2019 and the recepient will be notified. *The application for the award will not be considered unless accompanied by a completed ISEA application.

*This award covers the conference registration fee. The award recipient is responsible for lodging, incidentals, and all other costs.

**Please note that full payment of the ISEA registration fee is still due within 10 days of receiving your acceptance e-mail, regardless of submission of award application. Payment in full will be returned to the award recipient.

Scholarship Information: In addition, some state Planning Councils or Developmental Disabilities Councils offer scholarships or funds for participation in conferences and short-term educational programs for advocates in the field of developmental disabilities. You may want to investigate funding available in your state. One such resource is the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities.

Registration for Law Students

Law students can earn one graded credit for this course. Each law student enrolled for credit will be required to complete the ISEA application, pre-assigned work for ISEA, attend all ISEA sessions, and submit a paper no later than August 10, 2019 of no fewer than ten double-spaced pages to Professor Christina Jones on a topic mutually agreed upon prior to August 2, 2019.

Student tuition and fee information is found on this page:
http://www.wm.edu/offices/financialoperations/sa/tuition/index.php. William & Mary students may register on-line prior to July 29, 2019. Law students not currently enrolled at W&M must contact Christina Jones (cmjones02@wm.edu) to apply for admission to this course.

All students are required to complete the application.

*All registrants will receive new copies of Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition, Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy, 2nd Edition, Wrightslaw: All About IEPs, and Wrightslaw: All About Tests and Assessments, 2nd Edition as well as PDF copies of Wrightslaw: Special Education Legal Developments and Cases 2017 and Wrightslaw: Special Education Legal Developments and Cases 2016. If you already have copies with notes and wish to use your books for classwork, please do not hesitate to bring them with you.

Application Process

Attendance is limited to 65. Attendees will be selected via an application process. The application form includes all registration details, costs, applicant questionnaire, and required pre-conference assignments. Click here to download the application.

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis bi-weekly until the class is full. Early applications are recommended.

If accepted, participants agree to complete all pre-conference assigned reading and course work, attend and participate in all sessions, and complete all homework and class assignments.

Note: The Institute is looking for advocates with experience independent of employment in a school district, as we expect that our graduates assist parents in advocating for children within the community. If you are currently working for a school district, we recommend that you wait to apply until you are no longer working for a school district and have gained significant experience advocating for children in your community.

Click here to download the application.

Credits: Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits including ethics, are anticipated for this conference. Continuing Education Units (CEU) are anticipated for this conference.

Questions? Contact the PELE Clinic at (757) 221-5735 or pele@wm.edu

ISEA Alumni Track 2019

Coming Soon.

Logistics, Directions, Accommodations


Coming Soon.


Directions to William & Mary.
Campus map.

Visiting Williamsburg area. Williamsburg area map.


The airports closest to William & Mary Law School are Newport News - Williamsburg - PHF (approximately 20 miles), Norfolk International - ORF (approximately 45 miles) and Richmond International - RIC (approximately 45 miles).

Airport Transportation

Tidewater Coach offers shuttle service to the Colonial Williamsburg area from Newport News, Norfolk, or Richmond airports.

To Wrightslaw Seminars & Training

Read about last year's Institute here - ISEA 2018.

Created: 02/22/19

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Wrightslaw: Special Education Legal Developments and Cases 2017, by Pam and Pete Wright
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