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Marion W. Walsh
“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. 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.
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 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.
Marion focuses volunteer work on mental health conditions such as depression. She serves on the Board of Directors for NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Westchester and on the Advocacy Committee. She has been certified in Youth Mental Health First Aid. She volunteers 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 also a trained family facilitator and volunteers monthly to co-facilitate a support group. She is also training to volunteer with NAMI Homefront, which is designed to address the needs of families of those who have served or are currently serving our country.
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 board 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. She is an active member of Chappaqua Friends Meeting.
Marion grew up in a military family and is proud to have a family member serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. She volunteers as Financial Secretary for the newly formed Blue Star Mothers of the Hudson Valley, NY 15 Wallkill New York.
Honors & Awards
Westchester Jewish Community Services, Advocate of the Year
Soroptimist Distinguished Service Award
2011 School Board Recognition Award
AVVO, Top Rated Lawyer, New York Metro Area, 2021
New York State Bar Association
Civic and Community Service Boards
Executive Board Member, Lower Hudson Special Education Task Force
Financial Secretary, Blue Star Mothers of the Hudson Valley
News & Articles
From the Library
Office for Civil Rights Reminds School Districts of Important Obligations in Ongoing Pandemic
by Marion M. Walsh, Esq. The Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education (“OCR”) has delivered a Report on the disparate impacts…
What Parents Need to Know About New York State’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Policy
By Marion M. Walsh, Esq., Littman Krooks LLP As the school year begins, school districts in New York State will be examining new policies on…
New York State Rules on Aging out of Special Education
By Sandi Rosenbaum and Marion Walsh, Esq., Littman Krooks LLP It is important for parents and students to understand when the entitlement to special education…
Understanding the Differences between the IDEA and Section 504
By Marion M. Walsh, Esq., Littman Krooks LLP The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section…
Planning for the Transition to Kindergarten for Student with Disabilities
By Sandi Rosenbaum, Educational Advocate and Marion Walsh, Esq., Partner, Littman Krooks LLP Parents of students starting kindergarten in the fall may want to keep…
5 Rights Your Child Has in School That You Should Know About
By Marion M. Walsh, Esq., Littman Krooks LLP As your child heads back to school this year, make sure you know his rights and entitlements…