Under the supervision of the Director of the Special Education Unit of the Office of Legal Services, with wide latitude for independent judgment and decision-making, the Special Education Unit (SEU) Attorney engages in difficult and complex legal work having significant financial, procedural, or policy consequences. Performs related work.
Reports to: Deputy Director of the Special Education Unit and the Special Education Unit Managing Attorney
Direct Reports: SEU Attorneys; Special Education Community Associates and Community Coordinators
Key Relationships: Works closely with Special Education staff, including the Special Education Office, Committees on Special Education, Office of the First Deputy Chancellor, and the staff in the Office of Legal Services.
LEVEL 3 ASSIGNMENTS
- Prepares for and/or tries complex cases involving significant precedents, novel and complicated determinations of law and fact, or having significant legal, policy or financial implications for the Department of Education.
- Determines the advisability of presenting witnesses as well as the admissibility of types of evidence and matters of legal strategy.
- Provides training for the field staff and the Committee on Special Education (CSE) clinical staff on compliance with federal and state education laws and regulations.
- Confers with special education specialists, technical experts, and other attorneys, including counsel for litigants.
- Negotiates and implements the settlement of special education claims.
- Conducts legal investigations; administers meetings to confer with CSE impartial hearings teams and clinical staff to discuss pending special education claims and CSE special education-related matters.
- Prepares and argues difficult cases and appeals in administrative tribunals and in the courts.
- Reviews, revises, and approves agreements prepared by other attorneys.
- Drafts memoranda seeking fiscal settlement authority.
- Analyzes studies and reports on the effects of City, State, and Federal legislation.
- Trains and supervises SEU Legal Associates to review, gather documentation, and investigate and prepare reports and settlement recommendations regarding the propriety of parents’ due process claims.
- Oversees the SEU Legal Associates to maintain appropriate records on cases filed for impartial hearings, responds to due process complaints, and determines the Department’s obligations to parents and students pursuant to impartial hearing orders.
- Analyzes the relative strength of impartial hearing cases and evaluates the appropriateness of plaintiffs’ demands.
- Instructs appropriate offices in the DOE regarding their obligations to parents and students pursuant to impartial hearing orders.
- Reviews internal settlement recommendations.
- Gathers evidence and assists in researching issues for the Special Education Unit.
- Appears at pre-hearing conferences; responsible for reviewing administrative decisions.
- Researches state and federal case law and implications for settlement negotiations.
- Works with public advocacy groups, parents, and private attorneys to arrive at mutually beneficial settlements.
- Reviews, revises, and approves stipulations of settlements.
- Provides training for the field staff and attorneys on settlements and agreements.
- Reviews and negotiates claims for attorney’s fees.
- Prepares preliminary reports, statistical data and recommendations pertaining to cases.
- Reviews administrative decisions.
- Reviews, revises, and approves requests for pendency.
- Acts as liaison to the Office of the Corporation Counsel for special education matters filed in Federal Court.
LEVEL 4 ASSIGNMENTS
In addition to the duties and responsibilities described above, performs the following:
- Serves as Team Leader for multiple staff attorneys in trial preparation and presentation and settlement of cases in the Special Education Unit.
- Assists Managing Attorneys with the training and supervision of agency attorneys from the Office of the General Counsel (OGC) who are assigned to the Committees on Special Education.
- Serves as supervisor for SEU community associates and administrative staff in the pre-hearing and settlement of cases.
- Assists the Managing Attorney for Litigation with the training and supervision of agency attorneys from the Office of the General Counsel who are assigned to the Committees on Special Education.
- Manages case assignments for ten day letters, due process proceedings and settlements.
- Trains newly appointed Team Leaders and acts as liaison between managing attorneys and team leaders for review of escalated cases.
- Reviews, revises, and approves memoranda seeking fiscal settlement authority.
- Reviews, revises, and approves settlement agreements.
- Serves as a team leader for pendency determinations prepared by multiple staff attorneys.
- Serves as a team leader for multiple staff attorneys working on special education matters filed in Federal Court.
Admission to the New York State Bar AND three (3) years of progressively responsible United States legal experience subsequent to admission to any State Bar.
NOTE: Selected candidates must remain members of the New York State Bar in good standing for the duration of their employment.
- Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
- Ability to understand provisions of applicable laws and regulations.
- Ability to write clearly and concisely.
- Litigation experience.
- Settlement experience.
- Efficient legal research skills.
- Supervisory experience.
Salary: $103,671- $114,717
(Internal candidates who are selected for this position and who currently hold comparable or less senior positions within the DOE will not make less than their current salary.)
Please include a resume and cover letter with your application.
NOTE: The filling of all positions is subject to budget availability and/or grant funding
As of August 2, 2021, all NYC Department of Education new hires (who are not currently employees of the City of New York) must provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination prior to beginning their employment unless they have been granted a reasonable accommodation for religious or medical reasons. More information can be found in Executive Order 75.
DOE Non- Discrimination Policy
It is the policy of the Department of Education of the City of New York to provide equal employment opportunities without regard to actual or perceived race, color, religion, creed, ethnicity, national origin, alienage, citizenship status, age, marital status, partnership status, disability, sexual orientation, gender (sex), military status, unemployment status, caregiver status, consumer credit history, prior record of arrest or conviction (except as permitted by law), predisposing genetic characteristics, or status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual offenses and stalking, and to maintain an environment free of harassment on any of the above-noted grounds, including sexual harassment or retaliation. For more information, please refer to the DOE Non-Discrimination Policy.