My professional experience centers on education and law, intersecting at special needs advocacy. During my advocacy career, I have successfully advocated for improving educational opportunities for special needs students, their parents, as well as protecting some of their most hard-working Arkansas teachers and guidance counselors. My current advocacy practice is limited to school district and state-level administrative jurisdictions, and I have ample experience in the mediation setting and the courtroom, too. In every case, my goal is to make life better for a child and a family, both now and in the future.
I work hard to keep myself current. In the last year, I have attended many hours of pertinent continuing education workshops and seminars produced by bar associations in Tennessee and Missouri, by MPACT , S.T.E.P., Wrightslaw, and COPAA. These wide-ranging activities prepare me to bring the latest legal strategies and advantages home to my clients. Before entering the University of Tennessee College of Law, I held teaching licenses in Illinois, Michigan, and Tennessee. I earned the Juris Doctor at UT and licensed to practice law in that state since 1998. In 2017, I added Missouri law licensure, by examination. I am not licensed to practice law in Arkansas. Both IDEA and Section 504 permit me to represent and counsel disabled and learning-disabled students in meetings with school districts and at due process hearings before state hearing officers and mediators.
I completed training as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (“CASA”) in Craighead County, Arkansas, and appeared in court for foster children in appointed cases on several occasions. The Arkansas Governor’s and Jonesboro Mayor’s awards for volunteer community service were awarded to me several times. I received the Advocate’s Prize from the University of Tennessee College of Law while a student, as well as awards for legal writing and advanced legal research. Recently, I worked as a pro bono attorney at a Knox County, Tennessee expungement clinic sponsored by UT Legal Clinic, the Beck Cultural Exchange Center, Community Step-Up, and Vet to Vet. I am a member and officer of the Craighead County unit of the NAACP, and a member of Kiwanis Club of Jonesboro.