Community Legal Aid expanding education-related legal services

Staff Report
Published: 7/13/2020 1:17:00 PM

Community Legal Aid is expanding its education law practice from Hampden and Worcester counties to Franklin, Hampshire and Berkshire counties.

According to a Community Legal Aid press release, the nonprofit serves elderly and low-income residents of Central and Western Massachusetts, and has been providing legal services to students with education-related legal needs since 2017.

The expansion is possible thanks to funding provided by the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, Northern Berkshire County United Way, Berkshire United Way, Williamstown Community Chest and Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation. According to the release, the funding will support hiring a new attorney to assist low-income families with issues related to their children’s education.

Dahlia Romanow, a graduate of Smith College and New York University’s School of Law, has been hired to fill this new position. While in law school, Romanow worked in several internships advocating for special education students, tenants facing eviction and other vulnerable clients.

According to the release, Community Legal Aid’s attorneys are available to help with COVID-19-related and other education issues families will face now and in the future as schools reopen, including: accessing materials and information in the parent’s preferred language; accessing special education instruction, accommodations and services for students who are struggling, regardless of whether they have been diagnosed with a disability; representing students in disciplinary proceedings (such as suspensions and expulsions) or other removals from learning time; combating bullying; and fighting barriers to school enrollment (such as lack of necessary documentation).

Those between the ages of 3 and 22 who are experiencing any difficulties related to their education and who want to apply for help can call Community Legal Aid’s intake line at 855-CLA-LEGAL (855-252-5342) or apply online at communitylegal.org/get-help.




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