“My experience as a former special education teacher and a relative of children on the spectrum provides a unique lens to analyze and relate to a child’s individual needs.”
Maria McGinley joined Mayerson & Associates in 2009 and became a partner in 2015. As the firm’s managing attorney, Maria works on all aspects of firm management and supervision. Prior to law school, Maria was employed by the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) as a special education classroom teacher. Initially hired to be an “ABA teacher” providing individual pull-out ABA sessions for young children with autism in a District 75 special education school, she went on to teach in multiple 6:1:1 District 75 “autism” classes as well as 15:1 high school classes. Maria also provided early intervention services through a private agency. While Maria loved being a teacher, she recognized that many NYC students were not receiving appropriate services and support to meet their individual needs. Maria’s experience as an educator is an invaluable asset to our clients.
At Mayerson & Associates, Maria has represented hundreds of families and is an expert litigator with an excellent track record at both the administrative and federal levels. Maria has authored many articles on a variety of special education topics and regularly presents at local, national, and international conferences as well as continuing legal education seminars. Maria also has been interviewed by the media regarding special education and safety issues. Maria is the Chair of the Board of Directors of the NJ Chapter of Autism Speaks and sits on the Development Board of QSAC (Quality Services for the Autism Community).
Some of Maria’s notable federal cases include Doe v. Darien, a matter involving the sexual abuse of a student by a paraprofessional, S.A. v. New York City Department of Education, awarding compensatory education services, T.Y. v. New York City Department of Education, awarding tuition reimbursement, services, and support, T.K. v. New York City Department of Education, a landmark bullying case, T.M. v. Cornwall Central School District, a landmark least restrictive environment “LRE” case, C.F. v. New York City Department of Education, a matter involving a student’s need for 1:1 ABA instruction, R.E. v. New York City Department of Education, a landmark decision regarding what evidence can and cannot be used at hearing, P.K. v. New York City Department of Education, a matter involving a student’s need for 1:1 ABA instruction and additional services, Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District RE 1 (as amicus), the Supreme Court’s 2017 decision adopting a robust FAPE standard, Ermini v. Vittori, 758 F.3d 153 (as amicus), a case involving an international custody dispute brought under the Hague Convention involving a student’s need for ABA therapy, and C.L. v. New York City Department of Education, 2014 WL 278405 (as amicus), a matter involving a student who required 1:1 instruction to learn.