Academy Director

S. James Rosenfeld, Esq.  joined the Law School in September 2001 where he supervised the Special Education Clinical program until 2005. Thereafter, he served as Director of Continuing Legal Education until June 2009, following which he became Director of Education Law Programs. During this time he established the National Academy of IDEA Administrative Law Judges and Hearing Officers, which has trained special education hearing officers from over 25 states. He currently serves as Chair of the Special Education Section of the National Association of Administrative Law Judiciary (NAALJ). He has also presented advocacy training programs for parents of children with disabilities.

Prior to joining the Law School, he founded and for five years served as Executive Director of COPAA (The Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates), a private, non-profit organization established to improve the quality and increase the quantity of legal resources for parents of children with disabilities. In April 2002, Jim was invited to testify before the President’s Commission on Excellence in Special Education. He also participated in the Monitoring Stakeholders Project convened by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), to consider changes in OSEP’s monitoring and compliance (“Focused Monitoring”). He has had a long interest in improving the IDEA hearing system and, in 1985, testified before Congress on suggested improvements.

Rosenfeld was Founding Managing Editor of EDUCATION FOR THE HANDICAPPED LAW REPORT (now INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES EDUCATION LAW REPORT [IDELR]), which has become the standard legal reference service for special education law. In 1988, he started EDLAW, Inc., which published EDLAW Briefing Papers; he also co-authored and published EDUCATION RECORDS: A MANUAL and TRANSPORTING STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES: A MANUAL. He established The EDLAW Center in January, 1997, to develop and sponsor projects for systemic changes in public education, the first of which was the creation of COPAA.

Jim received his B.A. (1961, magna cum laude) from the University of Florida and his J.D. (1964) from the New York University Law Center. He is a member of the Washington State Bar and the Bar Association of the District of Columbia and is admitted to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He has served on various committees of the American Bar Association and the Federal Bar Association and as Chair of the Committee on Technology of the Education Law Association.

He has represented the National Association of State Directors of Special Education, the Council for Exceptional Children and the Council of Administrators of Special Education in the U.S. Supreme Court as amicus curiae in Virginia v. Riley. He has also participated in the Danforth Foundation Program for Federal District Judges and has testified before the U.S. House of Representatives on the due process hearing system established by IDEA. He has also addresed, among others, the National Organization of Lawyers for Education Associations, Education Law Association, American Foundation for the Blind Annual Meeting (Keynote Speaker), Council for Exceptional Children, Council of Administrators of Special Education National Conference on Public Policy in Education, Council of Great City Schools, Institute for Small and Rural Florida School Districts, Northwest Institutes on Special Education, National Association of State Directors of Special Education, and the National Organization on Legal Problems of Education.

A national advisory board assists in the planning and development of Academy trainings. The board consists of experienced administrative law judges, hearing officers and attorneys representing both education agencies and parents.

Advisory Board

The Board has been established to assure that the Academy’s activities reflect the needs of those it serves. The Advisory Board suggests topics for annual trainings, recommends potential speakers and reviews solicited and unsolicited presentations. The present advisory board consists of:

  • Julian Mann, III, ALJ (North Carolina)
  • Jeffrey Masin, ALJ (New Jersey)
  • John B. Gatto, ALJ (Georgia)

Members of the Advisory Board are changed periodically to reflect changes in employment and assure a wide representation of viewpoints.