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

July 31- August 5, 2016

Applications will be considered on rolling basis bi-monthly from March 1, 2016 - July 15, 2016

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 30 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 31, 2016, 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)
  • Case Review and Analysis
  • 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
  • Medicaid Waivers
  • Educational Rights of Homeless Youth


The registration fee includes the opening reception, all lunches and scheduled breaks, over $200.00 of materials, including books* and multimedia training.

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 credits pending)
2 or more Individuals from same office
10% discount
Law Students (non-credit)

Attendance is limited to 55. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis bi-monthly until the class is full. Early applications are recommended.

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 and Indiana Consumer Investment Fund)

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 pre-assigned work for ISEA, attend all ISEA sessions, and submit a paper no later than August 21st of no less than ten double-spaced pages to Professor Crystal Shin on a topic mutually agreed upon prior to August 7th.

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 15, 2016. Law students not currently enrolled at W&M must contact Crystal Shin 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, Wrightslaw: All About IEPs, and Wrightslaw: All About Tests and Assessments. 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 55. 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.

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis bi-monthly 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.

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: Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits are anticipated, including ethics. 2.9 Continuing Education Units (CEU) through the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Education have been approved. They provide both graduate credit for practicing teachers and CEU's for a variety of professionals who need to document their professional development hours. An additional fee of $116 is required and is payable at the conference.

Questions? Please refer to this important ISEA FAQ sheet for questions you may have about the institute. We will update this FAQ sheet regularly. 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 to be posted soon.


Information coming soon.

To Wrightslaw Seminars & Training

Read about last year's Institute here - ISEA 2015.

Created 02/25/16
Revised 03/16/16

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