"I am a graduating senior at the University of California, Merced. I am proud to say I would not be here without Thomas Nelson’s positive intervention in my educational troubles. He is like no other educational attorney; he truly advocates for the students and listens to both the parent's and the student's goals. He then works to the best of his ability to compel the school district to provide the student with the tools they need to reach their goals.


He was both my brother's and my attorney through middle school and high school; he then passed to us the power to advocate for ourselves as I moved on to the University of California and my brother to Purdue University." ~ Student





Most families who seek a special education advocate or attorney do so out of frustration with their child’s program. Often the problems they’re facing have developed over months or even years.


If you are the parent of a child with special needs, having the right advocate-attorney who understands your child’s needs will help put your child back on the track to success.


Special Education Advocate-Attorney: Thomas S. Nelson


As a practicing attorney for over 25 years, Thomas S. Nelson takes great pride in helping children with special needs. Thomas is a two-time recipient of an award for his pro-bono legal services on behalf of children with special needs. As an active member in the disability community, Thomas sponsors free educational seminars and community events for parents. He has presented to such disability groups as the Learning Disabilities Association, CHADD, International Dyslexia Foundation, TACA (Talk About Curing Autism), Down Syndrome Society, Epilepsy Foundation, Spina Bifida Foundation, Walden Family Services, and the Center for Parent Involvement in Education. Thomas also brings his expertise and years of experience as an advocate-attorney to the table to ensure that each child he represents receives the program she needs to reach her potential.


We Play a Supporting Role in Your Child’s Education


Special education is a team effort. As a parent, you’re the expert. Under the Individuals with disabilities education act (IDEA), you’re an equal member of the IEP team. Our job is to get the school district to listen to you and recognize your child’s needs. We believe that collaboration is the best way to bring lasting change and improvement to your child's educational program.


A successful strategy also depends on remaining positive, staying objective, rising above emotion, and focusing on the goal. It’s important to have an affordable advocate-attorney that is mindful of your specific objectives.


We work with parents at every stage in the process


As part of your team, we will make sure that your child’s education stays on track. Our philosophy is early resolution: The quicker a dispute is resolved, the faster the benefits reach your child.


We offer advocacy services at discounted rates. But if a dispute arises, we possess the skill, knowledge and expertise to address the more complicated legal issues under the IDEA. For example, we can attend an IEP meeting as an advocate, but if the district fails to offer needed services, we can step in the role of an attorney and file for due process to resolve the dispute. Although we strive to resolve issues amicably, we believe that our ability to initiate a due process complaint makes it more likely that the school district will quickly provide the services necessary to meet your child’s needs.


A Free IEP Evaluation Provides Valuable Insight


Because of the "Attorney Fee Recovery" provision of the IDEA, we often work with clients on limited incomes. Before concluding that you are unable to afford an attorney, call for a free evaluation. This is an opportunity for you to discuss the issues you’re having, ask questions, and obtain a legal opinion. Knowing your child's rights allows you the ability to direct the next step. We’re here for you!