Last Updated on March 30, 2021 by Michelle Ball
By Michelle Ball, California Education Attorney for Students since 1995
I wanted to introduce myself and my education practice for anyone reading my blogs or wondering just who I am. My name is Michelle Ball. I am a mother and an education attorney in Sacramento, California practicing education law on behalf of students since 1995. I handle a wide variety of student issues across the state for students of all ages and in all types of educational institutions: colleges, public schools, private schools and otherwise.
One area where I help students is discipline matters, such as school expulsions, suspensions and discipline appeals. Behavior contracts and their terms, involuntary transfers, and even things as minor as detentions or recess restrictions also end up at my office.
I also delve into special education issues, and attend IEP (Individualized Education Program) and 504 (student accommodation plan) meetings. I help parents draft and obtain effective 504s and IEPs. Assistance with getting related services (speech and language, occupational therapy, transportation, behavior support, and others) crop up as well. I assist with resolution of a huge variety of problems plaguing special needs students.
Sports and CIF (California Interscholastic Federation) problems can also plague parents whose child has been denied the ability to play or are accused of transferring based on improper reasons. This is such a critical area for students and parents often rely on school staff to submit documents, which can lead to issues.
College matters also come into my education practice, such as discipline, disability and professor problems. Such matters can be fascinating and I have addressed issues involving internships (e.g. for nurses, vets, health professions), termination, and the failure of a college or university to follow their own rules (a semi-frequent issue). College disability and discrimination issues, such as under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), or even based on a student’s age, also arise.
College discipline penalties can be severe (for example, suspension for two years from the college or expulsion) so negotiation, if possible, or assisting with college hearings is important.
Other Areas of Help
As an education attorney for students, I get into many other school related issues including bullying, sexual harassment of students, retaliation and targeting of students, transfers, charter school issues, sports, discrimination (disability, race, age, national origin, sexual orientation, etc.) and so many other interesting school areas. I respond to my clients needs and take it from there.
Being a solo education attorney in California, I devote time to what comes my way, which after working in this field since the mid-1990s, can be quite interesting and fun!
Help usually begins with a review of documents, and correspondence to the school, school district or college involved. Often I can resolve matters via phone, letter and email without leaving my office. Sometimes a personal appearance is required (e.g. at an expulsion hearing or board of education meeting) or necessary to move things along. My clients and their situations generally guide which way a matter will go.
Parents and students are wise to seek legal help, even if just to consult and bounce their matter off an education attorney.
Types of Consults
I offer in person (on hold during COVID) and phone consultations. Just call my office at (916) 444-9064 or email to set a time up.
I am licensed in California so can practice statewide, but do not handle matters outside California. As such, my blog focuses on California and federal laws which arise in my practice day to day.
I look forward to continuing to work as an education attorney and to providing helpful advice to parents and students with issues related to schools and universities. I can’t wait to hear from you!
[This communication may be considered a communication/solicitation for services]
Education Attorney for Students
LAW OFFICE OF MICHELLE BALL
717 K Street, Suite 228
Sacramento, CA 95814
Please see my disclaimer. This is legal information, not legal advice and no attorney-client relationship is formed by this posting. This blog may not be reproduced without permission from the author and proper attribution of authorship. This blog may not reflect the current state of the law.