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

July 22-27, 2012

Registration Closed

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, Wrightslaw, and The Oklahoma Disability Law Center.

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 25 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 22, 2012, with the Orientation and Registration session and Welcome Reception.

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)
  • Introduction to Legal Research
  • Case Review and Analysis
  • Understanding Evaluations, Tests and Measurements
  • Individualized Education Programs (IEPs)
  • Section 504
  • Eligibility
  • Behavioral Issues at School
  • Discipline
  • Juvenile Justice
  • Negotiating with Schools - Getting to YES!
  • School Perspectives
  • Strategies for Working with Schools
  • Strategies for Working with Parents
  • Dispute Resolution and State Complaints
  • Experts as Fellow Advocates
  • 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

The complete agenda will be available soon.


The registration fee includes the opening reception, all lunches and scheduled breaks, over $200.00 in books and DVDs, a comprehensive binder of written materials, resource materials, and multimedia training CDs required for completing pre-assignments.*

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.

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

Scholarships: 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. Go to the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities. Click on the map for your state Council website to begin your search. (Example: Oklahoma Consumer Involvement Fund or the Indiana Consumer Investment Fund.)

Registration for Law Students

Law students can earn two graded credits for this course.  Each law student enrolled for credit will be required to complete the pre-assigned work for ISEA, attend all ISEA sessions, and submit a paper no later than August 10th of no less than ten double-spaced pages to Professor Patty Roberts on a topic mutually agreed upon prior to July 23rd.

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 May 16th, 2012. Law students not currently enrolled at W&M must contact Patty Roberts to apply for admission to this course.

*All registrants will receive new copies of Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition, Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy, 2nd Edition, and Wrightslaw: All About IEPs. 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 40. Attendees will be selected via an application process. The application form includes all registration details, costs, applicant questionnaire, and required pre-conference assignments. Download the application.

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.

Submit your application to the Parents Engaged for Learning Equality (PELE) Clinic at William & Mary Law School with a deposit check in the amount of $250. Checks should be made out to the Marshall-Wythe School of Law Foundation or MWSLF. Please write ‘Registration for ISEA’ in the memo field.

If you are accepted, payment of the remaining registration fee must be received within ten days of notification of your acceptance in ISEA. If you are not enrolled in the course, your deposit check will be returned immediately.

Download the application.

Credits: 25 CLE (continuing legal education) credits have been approved, which includes 1 ethics. 27.5 CEU's (continuing education units) have also been approved.

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

Logistics, Directions, Accommodations


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 shuttle to the Colonial Williamsburg area from Newport News, Norfolk, or Richmond airports offers a special ISEA rate. Details and reservations.


The Embassy Suites Williamsburg is offering a special room rate of $119 per night. A block of rooms has been reserved for July 22, 2012 - July 27, 2012. The special room rate will be available until June 24th or until the group block is sold-out, whichever comes first.
The hotel offers guests both a complimentary cooked-to-order breakfast and a complimentary cocktail reception daily.

We recommend that you make your reservations as soon as possible. Embassy Suites will offer this discounted rate 3 days before or after the ISEA conference, should you wish to extend your stay in Williamsburg.

Complimentary shuttles will bring you to and from W&M Law School and Embassy Suites for all conference events.

To Wrightslaw Seminars & Training

Read about last year's Institute here - ISEA 2011.

Created 02/27/12
Revised 06/20/12

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