Special Education Attorney
Our mission is to make a dream for a child a life-changing reality
Jennifer takes the mystery out of this often convoluted and very personal process, and Guides families through it step by step
Jennifer Ratcliff has been representing parents of students with special needs protected under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) since 2011. She opened her own practice in 2017. In that time, Jennifer has helped numerous families navigate the impartial hearing process and obtain funding for their children's tuition and educational services. She also has experience on the appellate level, including drafting appeals to the New York State Education Department State Review Officer and the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
Jennifer is a graduate of the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law and Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations. She is admitted to practice in New York, Florida and the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Jennifer is the Vice Chair of the New York State Bar Association's Special Education Committee and a member of the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA).
WHY RATCLIFF LAW?
WE WILL DEMYSTIFY THE PROCESS FOR YOU
Jennifer believes that the more informed families are, the most comfortable they become. We want to ensure that our clients never feel alone or lost in the process. Jennifer walks each family through the timeline for reimbursement/ funding, and explains reason behind each step that must be taken, both in the beginning of their engagement with Ratcliff Law, and as they move through their case and reach each milestone.
WE PRESENT FAMILIES WITH ALL THEIR OPTIONS
Jennifer believes that one size does not fit all when it comes to special education litigation. No two children are alike, nor are any two family situations alike; therefore, no family's case will be exactly like any other's. From making the decision to accept a settlement over going to hearing, to selecting evaluators and providers who you and your child are comfortable with, Jennifer will involve you in your own case, and with the support of her counsel, help you to make the decisions that make the most sense for your family.
WE UNDERSTAND BECAUSE WE'VE BEEN THERE
Jennifer is no stranger to the challenges and importance of special education litigation for families. 20 years ago, she watched her own family struggle to navigate this process.
They were able to make it through this successfully, and so can you - with the right legal team by your side.
REIMBURSEMENT PROCESS GUIDE
"I want to describe my appreciation for your concern, effort and help when I most needed it in searching for answers for my Son. Things have been very difficult for my Son over the past 3 years as he has struggled in public schools as the onset of mental illness has set in. This has been a very upsetting time for me as I have watched him suffer and deteriorate emotionally. When it got to the point where I knew that the mainstream public schools are not for him, I faced a crisis. Not knowing how the system works and being forced to face our school district on my own was very intimidating and difficult for me. That is when I contacted you for guidance in my endeavor to improve things academically, socially and emotionally for my Son. Before finding you, I had previously contacted several Educational Attorneys, who I either felt were not going to help me with effort or sounded incompetent in this area. I found that on the phone you were a caring professional with excellent knowledge and genuine concern for my situation. That is why I listened to you and followed your advice. I felt right away that you empathized with my crisis and lack of direction. You listened to my long story and I knew your attention was there and that you are a person that is driven to help people. You have been a great source for referrals to me. Along the way, you have been communicating and supporting myself and other parties you have referred me to, who are also excellent professionals, giving me strong effort, being available, concerned and involved and on my side. I want you to know that for all you have done and continue to do for me... that I appreciate and can’t even express exactly how grateful I am for your help."
S.V. and P.V. (Clients)
"We were initially in a confused panic when trying to figure out the Kafka-esque process of finding and funding appropriate placement for our twice-exceptional child, and we feel so fortunate to have found Jennifer to guide us on our journey. From our very first phone call, she put us at ease with her calm nature and breadth of knowledge. We had many questions and concerns along the way, and Jennifer answered our numerous calls and emails with patience, clarity and good humor. She helped us achieve an excellent settlement, and we feel grateful that she'll be at the helm as we embark on this process a second time - we know we're in extremely capable hands. We would recommend Jennifer to anyone (and already have recommended her several times)!"
"I am eternally grateful to Jennifer Ratcliff and her team for enabling my son to receive his services. Her professionalism, honesty and easy to talk to personality makes the whole process of negotiating with the Board of Education less stressful. The settlement that the Ratcliff firm pulled off made me, my provider and, as a result, my son so happy and grateful. I have previously used the services of a different lawyer and the stress and headaches were indescribable. I would highly recommend that any parent who needs help with the complicated and confusing Board of Education call Jennifer Ratcliff."
Special Education Attorney
145 E 84th St., New York, NY 10028