Practicing Exclusively
in the Area of
Since 1992
Representing Parents and Children in Consultation, Negotiation and Litigation


I concentrate in the legal representation of young children and teens in matters related to their rights as students. I bring compassion for families, knowledge of successful educational practices, familiarity with the workings of local school districts, and an expertise in the laws and regulations governing the provision of public and private education to every family I serve. Since 1992, my zealous advocacy has resulted in successful outcomes for countless children with special needs.

For several years I was the senior staff attorney, focusing on school exclusion and special education matters, and subsequently the Director of the Children's Law Center of Massachusetts, Inc., a nationally respected legal advocacy organization for children and youth. In 1997, I was awarded a Child Welfare Law Fellowship from the Kellogg Foundation and served as a teaching fellow at the University of Michigan Law School. In 1999, I opened my private law practice to serve the interests of Massachusetts' families of children with educational needs.

Since then I have represented families from Acton to Amesbury and Boston to Barnstable in matters involving difficulties with their children's public school programs. Cases often include accessing appropriate special education services and/or placements for children with a variety of special needs, seeking compensatory services or reimbursement for parent-provided educational services, as well as matters addressing inappropriate discipline, maltreatment by school staff, bullying and harassment.

The children I serve have been diagnosed with disabilities including autism spectrum disorders, pervasive developmental delays, Asperger's syndrome, sensory integration disorder, ADD/ADHD, executive functioning impairments, language-based learning disabilities, dyslexia, non-verbal learning disabilities, speech impairments, central auditory processing delays, fine and gross motor delays, impaired cognitive functioning, developmental delays, and traumatic brain injury.

I also represent children with primary or secondary emotional and behavioral impairments including depression, anxiety, social skills impairments, bi-polar disorder, psychotic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, addictions, anger management issues, dual diagnosis, attachment issues, and others.

In all cases I serve as a consultant to parents to inform them of their rights to access appropriate educational services for their children. I work collaboratively with any medical or psychological experts or other service providers with whom the child has been working or assist the family in accessing highly respected and experienced experts to guide our advocacy and serve as witnesses if necessary.

I accompany many clients to school and special education "team" meetings to present our case for specialized services or accommodations. I become the family's liaison to the school providing a professional, organized and influential presentation of the rights of the child and the responsibilities of the school district. I utilize the Massachusetts Department of Education's special education appeals process and federal Department of Education Office for Civil Rights to pursue my client's claims.

Many times the threat of full litigation combined with zealous advocacy and exemplary preparation of the case will result in a negotiated settlement in your child's favor. However, if trial is necessary, I am a passionate trial attorney who will utilize effective trail strategies to seek vindication of your child's rights before the appropriate judge or hearing officer.

Attorney Gavin is licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts.