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Claire Chevrier

2017, Equal Justice Works Fellowships, Claire Chevrier

Claire Chevrier

Name of Host Organization: School Justice Project
City, State: Washington, District of Columbia
Issue area: Education/Special Education
Sponsors: Arnold & Porter

The Project

Establish, pilot, and launch education legal clinics in community-based organizations and a juvenile detention center to bring legal services to court-involved students with special education needs.

The Inspiration

Need Addressed By Project
Of the students committed to DC’s juvenile justice agency, 80% have special education needs. With 2000 youth involved in DC’s juvenile court system at any given time, access to education plays a critical role for hundreds of students each day. Advocating for special education rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act often requires access to lawyers and for low-income students, successfully fighting for the educational rights to which they are entitled can be difficult.
The Right Person For This Project
Claire is the right person for the project because:
• She was a school teacher at Title I schools where she taught students with special needs
• She interned at the Children’s Law Center where she helped advocate for the special education needs of students in the foster care system
• She interned at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, where she helped write a special education manual
Plans For First Six Months of Fellowship
In the first six months, Claire will:
• Carry preexisting special education cases
• Identify potential sites and community partners for ELCs
• Develop materials and manuals to aid lawyers in their ability to provide legal assistance at future SJP ELCs
• Create workshops for pro bono attorneys who will staff ELCs