Do You Need an Attorney for an IEP Meeting in Illinois?

Students have legal rights regarding their education. According to U.S. law, an individualized education program (IEP) is a legal document that is developed for each public-school child in the United States who needs special education. It is created through a team of the child’s parent and district personnel who are knowledgeable about the child’s needs. Education law attorneys can represent parents and their children in cases involving the students’ access to certain educational opportunities. They also protect the rights of special needs students according to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). IEPs can be complex documents, and an attorney can help represent your child’s best interests during IEP meetings. 

What Can an IEP Do?

An IEP details how a school plans to meet a child’s personal educational needs that result from a disorder or disability. The goals of an IEP are to set reasonable, measurable goals for the student and to describe the services the school will provide. This type of support may include extra time or accommodations for taking tests.

In addition, an IEP meeting can serve the following purposes:

  • Allows parents and school personnel determine the child’s special education program
  • Provides an opportunity for the parents and the school to resolve disagreements
  • Outlines a plan by the school district to provide resources
  • Acts as a management tool and a monitoring document
  • Evaluates a child’s progress throughout the school year

The Importance of Legal Representation

An attorney can advocate on behalf of clients, even if they are minors. Within the practice area of education law, special education attorneys are focused on fighting for special needs children and those with learning disabilities. An experienced attorney can assist with the following:

  • Build a case for your child’s eligibility for an IEP
  • Guide parents through the IEP meeting preparation process 
  • Attend the IEP meeting with you
  • Assist in drafting the IEP 
  • Represent clients in hearings when disputes arise

Depending on a client’s wishes, a lawyer can provide legal advice and assistance as needed throughout the IEP process, handle only designated tasks, or be more directly involved as a formal representative. It is important to note that parents do not need to notify school administration in advance that they will have their attorney present at an IEP meeting.

Contact a Woodstock Education Law Attorney

As a parent, your child’s education is important to you and something to take seriously. If your son or daughter has been recommended for an individualized education program, it is essential that you know your rights pertaining to this legal document. At Prime Law Group, we understand how complicated special education services can be when reviewing the legal details of an IEP. Our tenacious McHenry County education lawyers will provide skilled legal representation so you can be confident in your child’s future educational plans. To schedule your confidential consultation, call our office today at 815-338-2040. 


September 23, 2020