As a practicing attorney for over 25 years, Thomas S. Nelson takes great pride in helping special needs children. As an active member in the disability community, Thomas sponsors free educational seminars and community events for parents. 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.





"I am a graduating senior at the University of California, Merced. I am proud to say I would not be here without Thomas Nelsonís 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



"Dear Mr. Nelson,

You really are there for the most disenfranchised parents, including single moms who are often isolated. You have a deep interest and unconditional caring and concern for low income parents and children of San Diego, who may have a few or no resources to help their children through a crisis, such as my son's.

You were the first person I met, since the DRC and OCRA, that was not intimidated by the elements involved in confronting this powerful entity called America's school system.

Thank you for your bravery and for being there for me and my child." ~ Parent



"During an emotionally frustrating time for our family following the wrongful expulsion of my son from high school, we did not know where to turn. Thomas Nelson was knowledgeable, and approachable. As an advocate for our son, the expulsion was ultimately removed from his record, but, more over, he won us a remarkably better private placement for our son that resulted in amazingly positive changes for him! I know without his guidance and representation we would never have achieved these things." ~ Parent



"Tom Nelson is truly here for the kids. Tom helped my autistic son receive a regular education 1st grade placement as well as increased services for reading, writing, and math. It's refreshing to know an attorney who could help my child get the education he deserved, even though we could not afford an attorney." ~ Parent



"Thomas Nelson is a great special education attorney who helped make sure the school met my needs. What Mr. Nelson has done for me is something that not many attorneys in California could do. I am currently a student at Ohio State University. I am thankful to have had Mr. Nelson's help. " ~ Student



"Mr. Nelson represented our daughter, who was inappropriately removed from her high school. Thanks to his advocacy, this injustice was reversed. He was highly professional, very competent and knowledgeable, and yet very compassionate. He listened and was totally attentive to detail. I donít believe we would have had such a positive outcome if we had not been fortunate enough to have found Mr. Nelson." ~ Parent



"I cannot say enough about the help that Tom has given to our family in our dilemma of getting my grandson's educational and placement needs met. Tom not only exhibited knowledge and skill, but also compassion. He was also very reachable. When you feel frustrated and boxed in and have nowhere to turn, call Tom and he will fight for you." ~ Grandparent



"Without Tom's guidance and assistance, my son would probably not be in public school right now. After being on a 504 plan for years, Tom fought for special education eligibility and won at due process. Tom also helped my son from being expelled from the school district. Tom's patience, hard work, and compassion for kids that are struggling really showed through. I would recommend him strongly to any parent that wants to get their child back on track." ~ Parent



"Thomas Nelson was my teenage sonís special education attorney at his school district due process hearing. Thomas successfully won a ďManifestation DeterminationĒ correction in my sonís school expulsion record. This was a critical victory for a child with an ADHD disability. Attorney Nelsonís keen attention to every detail, his calming demeanor with my family, and thoughtful guidance throughout this emotional ordeal was paramount in the victory. Thomas Nelson was direct and truthful in all respects from day one. I will never forget how happy he made us." ~ Parent



"I struggled with the school district for many years and reached an impasse when Mr. Nelson took my son's case to due process. The district was ordered to provide a comprehensive reading program, and compensatory speech therapy. I'm grateful to Mr. Nelson for enabling my son to finally have an educational program that allowed him to reach his utmost potential." ~ Parent



"Our son was up for expulsion, and we had no idea what to do. Mr. Nelson was referred to us as an attorney who handled expulsion hearings. Mr. Nelson explained everything to us where we could perfectly understand our options and course of action. He was very professional, competent, and extremely knowledgeable.


Mr. Nelson won the expulsion hearing on behalf of our son on appeal. We thank him for preventing the school district from expelling our son from school and appreciate what he has done for us." ~ Parent



"Our daughter was diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Delay (PDD) and tested on the Autism spectrum at age 4. She was unable to verbalize and had frequent epileptic seizures. We worked with the school system to establish an IEP for speech and OT services. As we became more involved in the classroom, it was apparent our daughter was receiving very little of her scheduled speech and occupational therapy sessions. We were overwhelmed and frustrated, and we had to find an advocate that would speak for our daughter. We knew Tom Nelson had an interest in helping special needs children receive their IEP services.


Tom worked directly with the school system to rapidly resolve this and our daughter soon began receiving additional makeup sessions. Our daughter began showing progress and was talking within 24 months. We owe a deep debt of gratitude to Tom Nelson for helping us find hope and to clearly navigate through the system." ~ Parent



"Mr. Nelson helped my son stay in school. My son has ADHD, but the school disregarded this condition, and tried to expel him. Tom fought a manifestation determination, and won. Tom was responsible for my son obtaining a private school placement (at school district cost) to meet my son's needs. I can't thank him enough." ~ Parent



"Tom helped our daughter obtain the education she deserved. Tom was honest and up front with us. When we went to mediation with Tom, our school district changed their mind and agreed with most of what we were fighting for. Tom was able to get our daughter make up services, while also securing services for her for the future." ~ Parent



"Dear Mr. Nelson, thank you for coming all the way to the school district and defending me. Thank you for helping me and trying to get me back in school. Your friend." ~ Student



"When my husband and I try to best advocate for our son, no doubt emotions can run high; especially when presented with a lot of paperwork from the school in preparation of an IEP. Mr. Nelson keeps me on track allowing me to rule out emotion and instead, focus on what is important for our child. Bottom line; Mr. Nelson knows his stuff and has put our family in the right direction every time when advocating for our son who simply learns differently than his classmates." ~ Parent



"Tom is extremely approachable and available. Anytime I needed to speak with him, he was more than happy to answer all of my questions. It's nice to know an attorney who cares about his clients." ~ Client