|MAC has always maintained a panel of private bar attorneys to take special education cases for children with disabilities of low-income clients on a pro bono basis. MAC identifies appropriate cases from calls to its Helpline and seeks an attorney willing and able to provide legal representation.
Building upon a growing pro bono relationship, in 2009 MAC and DLA Piper formalized a partnership whereby MAC’s pro bono advocacy serves as the firm’s “signature project” – the Education Rights Project. The firm’s litigators take pro bono cases of individual low-income clients, and the non-litigators assist in MAC’s systemic advocacy, conducting research, policy analysis and legislative outreach. This Education Rights Project is organized by DLA Piper in three areas that each include both case and systemic advocacy around special education: 1) statewide special education; 2) autism; and 3) Boston Public Schools. Each area is headed by a partner of the firm. We thank DLA Piper and its attorneys for their very generous support of education rights for children across the Commonwealth
Other ways the private bar is involved in MAC project include participation in trainings that MAC offers, participation as members of the Coalition to Defend Special Education, and partnerships around specific legislative and administrative advocacy. Finally, private attorneys are active as volunteers at MAC: as board members and as Helpline staff.