Robin S. Ballard represents statewide private and public school districts in all facets of special education law, including evaluations, eligibility, program development and placement determinations, dispute resolution with parents and disciplinary matters. She regularly attends Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings and mediations conducted through the Department of Education and appears before the Office of Administrative Law for emergent and plenary hearings. In addition, Dr. Ballard often conducts in-service presentations on special education and 504 issues for teachers, special services personnel and service providers in various districts, including the preparation of legally compliant documents. She has also led trainings for employees of Boards of Education on effective strategies for dealing with difficult situations and effective communication with parents.
Robin’s education and experiences from while she was in her doctoral program are assets in meeting clients’ needs in the area of special education law. While in graduate school, she conducted therapy with individuals suffering from addictions, chronic mental illness, sexual abuse, learning disabilities and other mental health diagnoses. Further, Robin performed psychological and educational testing to identify aspects of individuals’ functioning and areas in which they were in need of therapeutic intervention. These experiences with counseling and testing individuals with psychiatric disabilities have given her insight into the difficulties experienced by the special education population, which is the focus of her work.
In addition, Robin is very familiar with mental health terminology and exhibits an extensive understanding of psychological and educational testing reports, as well as psychiatric evaluations. Her background has been particularly useful in preparations for hearings, particularly in developing direct and cross-examination of expert witnesses.
- Included on the list of Morris/Essex Health & Life magazine's 2018, 2019 and 2020 "Top Lawyers" in Education
- Repeatedly selected to the New Jersey Rising Stars® * list, featured in New Jersey Monthly magazine, in the area of Schools & Education
- Featured in an article in New Jersey Super Lawyers 2010 *
- Recognized by New Jersey Law Journal in its “40 under 40” publication for achievements and public service (2008)
- Use Caution When Removing Student with Challenging Behavior from General Ed Classroom (SpecialEdConnection®, April 20, 2018)
- Avoid 504 Compliance Concerns in Before, Afterschool Programs (SpecialEdConnection®, October 15, 2015)
- Prevent Use of Restraint, Whether by Trained Staff or in an Emergency, from Denying Student FAPE (SpecialEdConnection®, December 2, 2016)
- Consider 3 Factors in Determination of Whether Student Can Be Educated in General Ed Classroom (SpecialEdConnection®, April 20, 2018)
- In-service presentations on special education and 504 issues for teachers, special services personnel and related service providers in various districts, including the preparation of legally compliant documents
- Trainings for employees of Boards of Education on effective strategies for dealing with difficult situations and effective communication with parents
- Co-Author, “Accommodating Learning Disabled Applicants during Bar Examinations: What is Reasonable Under the ADA?” with Amiram Elwork, Ph.D. (The Bar Examiner, November 2005)
- Co-Author, “Learning Disability and Professional Licensing Examinations: What Accommodations Are Reasonable Under The ADA?” with Amiram Elwork, Ph.D. (Journal of Psychiatry and Law, Spring 2003)
- Doctoral Thesis: A Psycholegal Analysis of Accommodating Learning Disabilities in Professional Education and Licensing under the Americans with Disabilities Act, successfully defended on November 27, 2000
- Member, New Jersey State Bar Association
- Guest Instructor, St. Elizabeth College (Morristown, New Jersey) for school administrators pursuing their doctoral degrees
- Attends mediations with school districts conducted by the Office of Special Education Programs
- Negotiates settlements of special education and 504 disputes for public school districts
- Represents school districts in the Office of Administrative Law, the United States District Court and the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, when necessary
- Assists school districts in responding to complaint investigation requests
- Attends IEP meetings when parents bring representation