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Rachel Niegelberg

  • Hosted by Children's Law Center
  • Sponsored by Anonymous
  • Service location Washington, District of Columbia
  • Law school Harvard Law School
  • Issue area Children/Youth, Education/Special Education
  • Fellowship class year 2023
  • Program Design-Your-Own Fellowship

The Project

Rachel’s (she/her/hers) project will provide advocacy and direct representation to low-income students in Washington, DC experiencing health-harming education in which their behavioral health needs are not being met.

One in five students in Washington, DC has a disability, and their education needs frequently go unmet by their schools. Students with disabilities in DC have lower academic success rates than their peers in other urban areas. COVID-19 has magnified this disparity, leading to insufficient solutions and leaving students with disabilities behind.

Fellowship Plans

Through the Healthy Together Medical-Legal Partnership, Rachel will provide accessible, on-site legal services to families of students with disabilities at the Shepherd Park Pediatric Primary Care and Complex Care Clinics and the Rare Disease Institute. In addition to directly advocating for the educational needs of students and their families, she will provide collaborative education and outreach to medical providers and community members about special education rights and best practices for identifying at-risk children.

Rachel’s ten years of experience as a public school teacher motivates her to advocate for all students to receive the educational foundation they are both entitled to and deserve.

As a former teacher, I have seen the power of education as well as the barriers created for the most vulnerable students. Students with disabilities, like all students, deserve a supportive and accessible educational opportunity.

Rachel Niegelberg /
2023 Equal Justice Works Fellow

Meet Other Fellows Like Rachel

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Rachel Judd

Host: Rocky Mountain Children's Law Center

Sponsor: The Morrison & Foerster Foundation

Mary Claire Hyatt

Host: Legal Aid of Arkansas

Sponsor: Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, Walmart, Inc.

Lily Eagle Colby

Host: Youth Law Center

Sponsor: Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

Christina Campbell

Host: Center For Educational Excellence In Alternative Settings

Sponsor: Greenberg Traurig, LLP