Special Education Law Symposium
June 21-25, 2021

Section 504 Coordinators Institute
June 24-25, 2021


The 2021 Special Education Law Symposium and Section 504 Coordinators Institute will again be conducted virtually via Zoom webinar and at the same reduced registration fees as in 2020. Symposium sessions will again be recorded for registrant password access through October 15, 2021.

Plan to attend the full week or per day, depending upon your interest. Earn three Lehigh University graduate credits, Act 48 credits for PA educators, or enroll for non-credit professional development.


Distance Learning:

Lehigh University encourages the alternative of remote technology so that important events might continue during the COVID-19 pandemic without jeopardizing public health and safety.

The symposium has always valued face-to-face interactions, a hallmark of our conferences over the decades. We look forward to a future return to Lehigh University’s beautiful campus in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. However, the current national emergency challenges us to be innovative and flexible. Just as we encourage our students with and without disabilities to see challenges as opportunities, it is our time to model that spirit.

In June, the 2020 symposium was markedly successful in this inaugural virtual format with over 225 registrants, a record for us, from across the country.

The registration fee will again include on-line access to all attorney outlines (including legal citations), access to all applicable laws and regulations, and session recordings.

Reduced 2021 Registration Fees:

Please note the following continuing reduced rates, as we pass along savings from expenses (e.g., meals) that the symposium will continue to not incur in this distance learning format.

  • Full-week fee: $925 (reduced from the on-campus fee of $995)
  • Per day fee: $245 (reduced from $295)
  • Section 504 Institute two-day fee: $495 (reduced from $545)
  • Monday keynote: $65
  • Ethics Session for attorneys: $20


The symposium will begin on Monday morning. Monday evening, we will hold a Keynote Address with Q and A by Senator Chris Murphy (Connecticut) and Cathy Holahan, J.D., M.S.W.

The symposium will again overlap with a separable two-day (June 24-25) Section 504 Coordinators Institute, designed to provide both a conceptual framework and “nuts and bolts” implementation guidance for school personnel designated to implement this emerging non-discrimination statute. An added focus will consider the importance of Section 504/ADA in schools during the pandemic. Click on Section 504 Coordinators Institute for more information.

Twenty-three accomplished special education attorneys will present eight new “hot topics” in three-hour sessions. The topics have been chosen because they are present both in the latest court decisions and in the daily practice of special education attorneys. Click on Legally Experienced Track Hot Topics.  A Legally Basic track will concurrently offer foundation topics under the IDEA and Section 504. See the 2021 Schedule (access through the brown banner at the top of this page).

The 2021 Special Education Law Symposium faculty will include the following twenty-three attorneys (both sides and from across the country): Jean Adams (California), Steven Aleman (Texas), Laura Anthony (Ohio), Jason Ballum (Virginia), Hope Blackburn (New Jersey), Matt Cohen (Illinois), Andrew Faust (Pennsylvania), Brian Jason Ford (Pennsylvania), Kate Gerland (Colorado), Justin Gilbert (Tennessee), Craig Goodmark (Georgia), Eileen Hagerty (Massachusetts), Eric Herlan (Maine), Rachel Hitch (North Carolina), Isabel Machado (New Jersey), Jose Martin (Texas), Thomas Mayes (Iowa), Dr. Anne McGinnis (New York), Catherine Michael (Indiana), Frances Shefter (Maryland), Parris Taylor (Louisiana), Jessica Varn (Florida), Dr. Perry Zirkel (Pennsylvania), as well as school administrator Edward D’Addio (Massachusetts), and Dr. Summer Whitmore, Executive Director, EDSCLA (Louisiana).

Dr. Perry Zirkel, Lehigh University professor emeritus of education and law, will conclude the symposium on Friday afternoon with “A Legal Snapshot of COVID-19 Issues for Public Schools, with the Primary Focus on Special Education,” following the Friday AM’s traditional National Case Law Update.