New York City Department of Education CSE - Special Education Unit Attorney (Level 4) in NEW YORK, New York

Position Summary: Under the supervision of the Director of the Special Education Unit of the Office of Legal Services, with wide latitude for independent judgment and decision-making, the Special Education Unit (SEU) Attorney engages in difficult and complex legal work having significant financial, procedural or policy consequences. Performs related work.

Reports to: Deputy Director of the Special Education Unit and the Special Education Unit Managing Attorney

Direct Reports:SEU Attorneys, Special Education Community Associates and Community Coordinators

Key Relationships: The Special Education Unit Attorney works closely with Special Education staff, including the Special Education Office, Committees on Special Education, the Office of School Support, and the staff in the Office of Legal Services.


  • Prepares for and/or tries complex cases involving significant precedents, novel and complicated determinations of law and fact, or having significant legal, policy or financial implications for the Department of Education.
  • Determines the advisability of presenting witnesses, as well as the admissibility of types of evidence and matters of legal strategy.
  • Provides training for the field staff and the Committee on Special Education (CSE) clinical staff on compliance with federal and state education laws and regulations.
  • Confers with special education specialists, technical experts, and other attorneys, including counsel for litigants.
  • Negotiates and implements the settlement of special education claims.
  • Conducts legal investigations; administers meetings to confer with CSE impartial hearings teams and clinical staff to discuss pending special education claims and CSE special education-related matters.
  • Prepares and argues difficult cases and appeals in administrative tribunals and in the courts.
  • Reviews, revises and approves agreements prepared by other attorneys.
  • Analyzes studies and reports on the effects of city, state and federal legislation.
  • Trains and supervises SEU Legal Associates to review, gather documentation, investigate and prepare reports and settlement recommendations regarding the propriety of parents’ due process claims.
  • Oversees the SEU Legal Associates to maintain appropriate records on cases filed for impartial hearings, responds to due process complaints, and determines the Department’s obligations to parents and students pursuant to impartial hearing orders.
  • Analyzes the relative strength of impartial hearing cases and evaluates the appropriateness of plaintiffs’ demands.
  • Instructs appropriate offices in the DOE as to their obligations to parents and students pursuant to impartial hearing orders.
  • Reviews internal settlement recommendations.
  • Gathers evidence and assists in researching issues for the Special Education Unit.
  • Appears at pre-hearing conferences; reviews administrative decisions.
  • Researches state and federal case law and implications for settlement negotiations.
  • Works with public advocacy groups, parents and private attorneys to arrive at mutually beneficial settlements.
  • Reviews, revises and approves stipulations of settlements.
  • Provides training for the field staff and attorneys on settlements and agreements.
  • Reviews and negotiates claims for attorney’s fees.
  • Prepares preliminary reports, statistical data and recommendations pertaining to cases.

Level 4 Assignments

In addition to the duties and responsibilities described above, performs the following:

  • Serves as Team Leader for multiple staff attorneys in trial preparation and presentation and settlement of cases in the Special Education Unit.
  • Assists the Managing Attorney with the training and supervision of agency attorneys from the Office of the General Counsel (OGC) who are assigned to the Committees on Special Education.
  • Serves as supervisor for SEU community associates and administrative staff in the pre-hearing and settlement of cases.
  • Assists the Managing Attorney for Litigation with the training and supervision of agency attorneys from the Office of the General Counsel who are assigned to the Committees on Special Education.
  • Manages case assignments for ten day letters, due process proceedings and settlements.
  • Trains newly appointed Team Leaders and acts as liaison between managing attorneys and team leaders for review of escalated cases.

Qualification Requirements


Admission to the New York State Bar AND three (3) years of progressively responsible United States legal experience subsequent to admission to any State Bar.

NOTE: Selected candidates must remain members of the New York State Bar in good standing for the duration of their employment.

*Applicants who have a client with a legal or business matter pending against, before or with the DOE must obtain such client’s consent to apply for employment with the DOE. If invited to interview for this position, such applicants are required to disclose the nature of such matters at the interview. *


  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to understand provisions of applicable laws and regulations.
  • Ability to write clearly and concisely.
  • Litigation experience.
  • Settlement experience.
  • Efficient legal research skills.
  • Supervisory experience.
  • Internal candidates preferred.

Salary: $96,506+

Please include a resume and cover letter with your application.

Applications will be reviewed until position is filled. We encourage applicants to apply as soon as possible

NOTE: The filling of all positions is subject to budget availability and/or grant funding.


It is the policy of the Department of Education of the City of New York to provide educational and employment opportunities without regard to race, color, religion, creed, national origin, alienage and citizenship status, age, marital status, disability, prior record of arrest or conviction (except as provided by law), sexual orientation, gender (sex), and to maintain an environment free of discriminatory harassment, including sexual harassment, or retaliation as required by civil rights law. Inquiries regarding compliance with this equal opportunity policy may be directed to: Office of Equal Opportunity, 65 Court Street, Room 923, Brooklyn, New York 11201, or visit the OEO website at

Tracking Code: 12625

Job Location: NEW YORK, New York, United States

Position Type: Full-Time/Regular

New Posting: Yes

Readvertisement: No

Recanvass: N/A

District: N/A