Courtney Yadoo

  • Hosted by New York Legal Assistance Group
  • Sponsored by Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel
  • Service location New York, New York
  • Law school Georgetown University Law Center
  • Issue area Education/Special Education
  • Fellowship class year 2020
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Courtney will provide direct representation, community education, and policy advocacy on behalf of children with autism, increasing access to special education services during the transition from preschool to kindergarten.

In New York City schools, there are more than 20,000 students with autism. These students—78% of whom qualify for free and reduced-price lunch—are regularly denied necessary services, supports, and interventions in violation of the law. This project will advocate for these students during a particularly critical juncture: the transition from preschool to kindergarten called the Turning Five Process. It will help families secure appropriate school placements and special education services, ensuring that students begin kindergarten on the right educational trajectory. 

Courtney has seen the transformative power of early education firsthand. Before law school, she taught first, second, and third-grade students in Integrated Co-Teaching classrooms in Harlem and Brooklyn. 

Fellowship Plans

Courtney will launch preschool-based clinics, providing legal advice and representation during the Turning Five Process, including IEP meetings and administrative due process hearings. She will also develop and conduct Know-Your-Rights trainings, empowering families to exercise their substantive and procedural rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). In addition, Courtney will participate in coalitions that advocate for systemic reform of special education in New York City. 

Meet Other Fellows Like Courtney

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Karmena Diggs

Host: Advocates for Children of New York

Sponsor: The Morrison & Foerster Foundation

Devon Rios

Host: Learning Rights Law Center

Sponsor: Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP

Jennifer Levin

Host: The Legal Center

Sponsor: Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Matthew Bedrick

Host: National Center for Youth Law

Sponsor: Cooley LLP

Current Fellow