Lori Kirsch-Goodwin and Hope Kirsch are special education attorneys with Kirsch-Goodwin & Kirsch, PLLC, representing students with disabilities and their families throughout Arizona. For over 15 years, they have devoted their practice to obtaining appropriate educational services, supports and placements for students from ages 3 to 22 in public schools, and higher education. Their practice involves IEP and 504 advocacy, student discipline, due process, OCR, bullying, restraint and seclusion, and appeals as well as personal injury limited to injuries at school. Lori and Hope are both admitted to the State and Federal District Courts in NY, NJ and AZ, and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, and both are AV® Preeminent™ rated (5.0 out of 5.0) by their peers and judges representing the highest rating in legal ability and ethical standards.
Lori has been a litigation/trial attorney for nearly 30 years and has had over 30 jury trials. She entered the special education arena 15 years ago when one of her twin boys, who has autism, was evaluated for special education and related services, and has been advocating for and representing other families since. Lori brings her litigation skills to the table as well as her sensitivity for the families she represents. Lori also handles DDD and SSI appeals. Lori recently obtained a victory in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals involving the (lack of) appropriateness of a charter school’s selection of location for a private school for a student with ASD.
Hope is a founding member of the Arizona special education law firm of Kirsch-Goodwin & Kirsch, PLLC, where she partners with her sister Lori Kirsch-Goodwin. Hope is a licensed special education teacher and 20+ year litigation attorney. For over 15 years, she has represented students and their families throughout Arizona in all school related matters, from IEP advocacy to Due Process, appeals, 504s and OCR complaints, bullying, restraint and seclusion and personal injury. The firm handles disciplinary matters (suspensions, long-terms suspension, expulsions) of both special education and general education students, and in higher education as well. Hope was a special education teacher and special education coordinator for 18 years before embarking on a career in law. She worked in the New York City public schools in settings ranging from self-contained classes to special education day schools, day treatment programs and hospital programs. Throughout her career as an educator, Hope worked with students with autism, emotional disabilities and multiple disabilities. She has written hundreds of IEPs, served as a witness for the NYC Department of Education at due process hearings, and supervised and trained teachers in curriculum, methodology, writing IEPs and behavior management techniques. She earned a B.S. from Boston University in Special Education in 1975, an M.A. in Special Education from NYU in 1977, and she earned 30+ post-graduate credits in educational supervision and administration at NYU and Baruch College of the City of New York. She obtained her law degree from Brooklyn Law School’s evening division while continuing her work in education. Hope began her law career as a judicial clerk and then as a civil and commercial litigator as she began building a special education practice. Hope was instrumental in the passage of the very first and the most recent restraint and seclusion legislation, helping with the drafting and testifying before both the Senate and the House. It was Hope’s case against Deer Valley Unified School District that prompted the initial legislation addressing restraint and seclusion. Hope is on the Governing Board of Arizona Autism United (AZA United), a member of the Council of Parent Advocates and Attorneys (COPAA), and a house manager for the Council of Jews with Special Needs. She is a frequent presenter nationally and throughout Arizona on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Section 504 and other education law topics, and regularly trains other attorneys, advocates, school administrators and staff, parents and providers in educational advocacy.