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Home  > Seminars & Training > The William & Mary Law Institute of Special Education Advocacy (ISEA), Williamsburg, VA  (July 29 - August 3, 2018)

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

July 29 - August 3, 2018

***We have reached capacity and are no longer accepting applications for this year's ISEA class***
***Please check back for our dates for next year's ISEA***

Applications will be considered on rolling basis bi-weekly from February 1, 2018 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 29, 2018, 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)
  • 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 credits pending)
2 or more Individuals from same office
10% discount
Law Students (non-credit)

Attendance is limited to 65. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis bi-weekly 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 2018 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 The deadline is June 22, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. EST. *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 a deposit is still required and payment for the remaining balance of your 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, 2018 of no less than ten double-spaced pages to Professor Christina Jones on a topic mutually agreed upon prior to August 3, 2018.

Student tuition and fee information is found on this page: William & Mary students may register on-line prior to July 24, 2018. Law students not currently enrolled at W&M must contact Christina Jones 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 2016 and Wrightslaw: Special Education Legal Developments and Cases 2015. 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) through the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Education are anticipated for this conference.

Questions? Contact the PELE Clinic at (757) 221-5735 or

ISEA Alumni Track 2018

The ISEA 2018 Alumni Track is now accepting applications for this year's conference. This abbreviated refresher course is open to ISEA graduates who wish to obtain new content, network with ISEA students, alumni, and faculty, and earn a Certificate in Special Education Advocacy from William & Mary Law School.*

The Alumni Track will begin on Wednesday, August 1 at 6:30pm with the Dinner & Social at Embassy Suites with ISEA Faculty.

Sessions begin at 9:00 am on Thursday, August 2, and the program will conclude on Friday, August 3 at 4:30 pm. (Note: This is a later end time than previous years.)

Sessions* Include:

  • Mistakes Parties Make in Due Process – Judge Stacey Bawtinhimer (Administrative Law Judge from North Carolina)
  • Evidence Strategies Panel – Bill Reichhart, Pete Wright, & Mark Kamleiter
  • The School-to-Prison Pipeline – Valerie Slater (Attorney/Juvenile Justice Reform Advocate from Legal Aid Justice Center in Virginia)
  • New Legal Developments in 2017 & 2018 – Pete & Pam Wright
  • A Tale of Two Advocacy Practices – Mark Kamleiter & Pat Howey
  • Gold-Standard Evaluations & Interventions for Different Disabilities – Dr. Karen Tyson
  • Ethics for Attorneys & Advocates – Judge Stacey Bawtinhimer & RoseAnn Duplan
  • Working with a Diverse Client Base – Valerie Slater
  • One Year Later: Using the Fee-Shifting Model to Serve Low-Income Families – Max Cassady (ISEA Class of 2017)

* Sessions are subject to change.

The cost to attend the Alumni Track is $495. Alumni will receive a Certificate in Special Education Advocacy from William & Mary Law School. CLE/CEU credit is pending.

The negotiated rate for Embassy Suites is $129/night will be available until Friday, June 30, or until the block group is sold out, whichever comes first.

To apply: Please send a resume and statement of interest (in other words, an update on your activities since you first attended ISEA, and why you want to return this year) to

Space is limited, and we will make admissions decisions on a rolling basis. Please contact us at with any questions.

Logistics, Directions, Accommodations


A block of rooms is being held at the Embassy Suites Williamsburg for Institute participants for a special rate of $129. This rate includes made to order breakfast and nightly cocktail reception. The special rate will be offered until 5 PM on Friday, June 30 or until the block group is sold-out, whichever comes first. We recommend that you make your reservations as soon as possible. We strongly recommend staying at the Embassy Suites, as we feel participants benefit greatly from the opportunity to network with other participants and conference speakers, however it is not required. Please note though, the shuttle ONLY transports to and from Embassy Suites and you are responsible for finding alterative lodging and rate information, should you chose not to stay.

Embassy Suites
3006 Mooretown Road
Williamsburg, VA 23185


You can make your reservation one of two ways:

1) Call 800-284-3930 and give the reservationist the arrival and departure dates and give them group code ISE to get their preferred rate.
2) Go to, select arrival and departure dates, click on special codes and enter ISE in the group code field, press enter and the preferred block will come up.


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 2017.

Created: 02/06/18
Revised: 06/13/18

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