The Recorder – Community Legal Aid Expands Education-Related Legal Services

Published: 07/13/2020 13:17:00

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

According to a press release from Community Legal Aid, the nonprofit serves senior and low-income residents of central and western Massachusetts, and provides legal services to students with legal needs related to education since 2017.

The expansion is possible with 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 the hiring of a new attorney to help low-income families with issues related to their children’s education.

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

According to the release, Community Legal Aid attorneys are available to help families with education issues related to COVID-19 and others that families will face now and in the future as schools will reopen, including: access to materials and information in parents’ preferred language; access to special education, accommodations and services for students in difficulty, whether or not they have been diagnosed with a disability; represent students in disciplinary proceedings (such as suspensions and expulsions) or other withdrawals of learning time; fight against bullying; and tackling barriers to schooling (such as lack of necessary documents).

People between the ages of 3 and 22 who are having difficulty with their studies and want to seek help can call the Community Legal Aid Intake Line at 855-CLA-LEGAL (855-252-5342) or apply online at communitylegal. org/get-help.

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