“We never give up on finding the right placement for a student,” says Marion. “We envision and implement a strategy that will put the child’s education back on track. “ Marion notes.
- Special Education Advocacy and Litigation
- Tuition Reimbursement Actions for Private Schools
- General Education Advocacy
- Advocacy for Youth and Young Adults with Mental Health Challenges
- Representation in Student Discipline Cases
- Advocacy and Claims against Student Bullying and Harassment
- Higher Education Advocacy for Young Adults with Educational or Emotional Challenges
- ACT or SAT Accommodations
- OPWDD Advocacy and Fair Hearings
- New York University School of Law, J.D.
- Long Island University, B.A., summa cum laude
- New York
- Southern and Eastern Districts of New York
- United States Supreme Court
- United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
- Westchester Jewish Community Services, Advocate of the Year
- Soroptimist Distinguished Service Award
- 2011 School Board Recognition Award
- Super Lawyers, Education Law, 2020
- New York State Bar Association
- Westchester Women’s Bar Association
- Board of Directors, NAMI Westchester
- Executive Board Member, Lower Hudson Special Education Task Force
- Financial Secretary, Blue Star Mothers of the Hudson Valley
Marion M. Walsh, Esq., a partner with the firm and an experienced attorney, leads our growing and vibrant special education practice. Marion has worked in education law for over 20 years and has been an advocate for children in many capacities. Few attorneys bring the depth and breadth of her experience to this practice. She particularly works in assisting students with complex mental health challenges locate an appropriate school placement and services and transition to college and independence.
As team leader, Marion ensures that each family and student receives individual attention and that the team develops a well-considered plan to help the child, teen or young adult receive an appropriate education. She ensures a customized approach as each case often requires a unique and evolving strategy. With the COVID-19 pandemic creating unprecedented difficulty for students with disabilities, she and the team have fought diligently to help find creative solutions for students.
“We never give up on finding the right placement for a student,” says Marion. “We envision and implement a strategy that will put the child’s education back on track.” Marion notes. As one example, for one client, who faced school phobia and severe bullying, the firm has obtained 840 hours of compensatory tutoring so the student can achieve a diploma. In many other cases, she has settled or prevailed on tuition reimbursement claims. (These scenarios do not guarantee similar results).
Marion prioritizes a collaborative approach with school districts. Yet, if school districts do not compromise, she will work tenaciously through litigation to achieve the client’s aims– whether increased services in public school or tuition reimbursement for a needed private placement. She has enjoyed success in many impartial hearings, state review proceedings and federal appeals. To Marion, the law represents a tool for social justice and change and she prides herself on taking on difficult cases to protect vulnerable youth.
Ms. Walsh has worked to improve public school districts for all students and has volunteered in public service. She is a past president of the Hendrick Hudson Board of Education and served on the board as a trustee for nine years. Prior to joining Littman Krooks, Ms. Walsh worked as an attorney for a law firm concentrating in education law, where her practice focused on special education compliance and defense.
Marion also serves as an impartial hearing officer for children with disabilities and is certified by the New York State Education Department. She frequently presents on special education and general education law. She serves on the Board of Directors for NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Westchester She is certified in Youth Mental Health First Aid. She has volunteered with NAMI Westchester as a trained “Ending the Silence” presenter to teach middle and high school students and parents about warning signs of mental illness and suicidal ideation and how to speak up and get help. She is a member of the Council of Parent Advocates and Attorneys and presented in 2019 on strategies for litigating a Child Find case for students with emotional disabilities.
She received the “Advocate of the Year” Award, from Westchester Jewish Community Services in June 2014.
Prior to practicing in education law, Marion worked in legal publishing. She has written books and advice for school administrators nationwide on all aspects of education law. She has also been a supervising editor for IEP Team Trainer, The Financial No Child Left Behind Compliance Insider and for The No Child Left Behind Compliance Insider. Marion has written three books: “What Do I Do When? The Answer Book on the No Child Left Behind Act,” “The Superintendent’s Guide to Special Education Policies and Procedures,” and “Student Discipline & School Safety: Administrator’s Guide to Best Practices, Policies & Procedures.”
Ms. Walsh worked in securities law immediately after graduating from law school. She worked on securities law compliance and litigation at an internationally recognized law firm.
She received her J.D. from New York University School of Law, where she was an Articles Editor for the Annual Survey of American Law and her B.A., summa cum laude, from Long Island University C.W. Post Campus. Marion is admitted to practice in New York, the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and the United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York. She is on the executive committee of the Lower Hudson Special Education Task Force.
Marion lives with her husband Will, an environmental litigator, in the Hudson Valley. They have four children and enjoy free time reading and playing with the family’s Great Pyrenees rescue and Labrador, a released pup from the Guiding Eyes for the Blind.
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