Elisa Hyman, ESQ., PARTNER
Elisa represents parents and young people in IEP meetings, impartial hearings, and appeals to the State Review Office. Elisa also represents plaintiffs in civil litigation and class action lawsuits. She has practiced special education law in New York since 1998.
With more than twenty-five years of experience as a litigator, Elisa has represented hundreds of parents in hearings and federal court to assist them in obtaining private school tuition, special education services, tutoring, compensatory education, Applied Behavior Analysis and accommodations.
She currently serves as co-counsel to the Autism Services class and the NPS Directive class in the M.G. v. New York City Department of Education litigation. Elisa has also served as lead and co-counsel on several federal class action suits involving special education, disability discrimination and other education rights to facilitate systemic change in the school system. She has also advised and trained thousands of parents and professionals in the area of special education law.
In 2007, Elisa founded the Special Education Law Group at Friedman & Moses, LLP. Since then, Elisa and her firm have served as Of Counsel to that firm. Between 1998 and 2007, Elisa spent eight years at Advocates for Children of New York (AFC), first as the organization's Deputy Director and then as the Executive Director. Prior to starting her career in public interest law, Elisa was a lawyer in the litigation department of White & Case.
Elisa has authored several publications, consulted in the area of education policy and is a CLE instructor and lecturer in the area of special education law.
Elisa has her J.D. from Duke Law School and a M.A. in Economics from Duke University. Elisa is admitted to practice in New York, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Gloria Bruzzano, ESQ., Partner
Gloria Bruzzano handles all aspects of representation for parents of children with special needs, including initial intake, case strategy, participating in IEP meetings and representing families in impartial hearings, appeals to the State Review Officer and in federal court. She also co-supervises the cases in the Special Education Practice Group. Prior to joining the Law Office of Elisa Hyman, Gloria was the Supervising Attorney of the Special Education Practice Group at Friedman & Moses.
Gloria has over nine years of experience in the field of special education law and has been dedicated to working in the field of public interest law since 2002. Before joining F&M, Gloria was an associate at the Law Firm of Neal Rosenberg. Before starting her career in private practice, Gloria was an attorney and supervising attorney in the special education unit of the New York City Department of Education (“DOE”) where she provided legal services and training on special education and litigated fair hearings on behalf of the city to best assist children. After three years of litigation for the DOE, Gloria then served as a Compliance Officer and Director of Compliance for special education compliance across the five boroughs.
Gloria has her J.D. from Pace University Law School and is admitted to practice in New York, New Jersey, the Southern District of New York, the Eastern District of New York, and Federal Courts of New Jersey.
Aeri Pang, ESQ., OF COUNSEL
Aeri represents parents of children with special needs in impartial hearings and federal court. She is available to accompany parents to IEP meetings, consultations, and workshops. Prior to joining the Law Office of Elisa Hyman, Aeri was Of Counsel to Friedman & Moses, LLP, where she practiced special education law.
Aeri has varied and extensive experience advocating on behalf of students with special education needs.
Aeri holds a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Michigan and a J.D. from the Cornell Law School. She is admitted to practice in New York, the Southern District of New York, and the Eastern District of New York.
ANISHAH CUMBER, ESQ.,OF COUNSEL
Anishah represents parents of children with special needs in impartial hearings and is available for IEP meetings, consultations, and workshops.
Anishah has extensive experience practicing both family and special education law. Prior to joining the Law Office of Elisa Hyman, Anishah was Of Counsel to Friedman & Moses where she represented children and families in special education matters. Anishah is well-versed in transition issues for young adults with disabilities and previously worked for Resources for Children with Special Needs, Advocates for Children, and the Legal Aid Bureau of Maryland. Anishah is also a certified mediator and has used her skills as a volunteer mediator for the Muslim community.
Anishah obtained her B.A. from Amherst College and a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law. She is admitted to practice in New York, the Southern District of New York, and the Eastern District of New York.
Erin O'Connor, ESQ., of counsel
Erin O’Connor represents parents at impartial hearings. Prior to joining the Law Office of Elisa Hyman, Erin was Of Counsel to Friedman & Moses where she represented families of children with special needs.
Prior to practicing special education law, Erin clerked for a United States Magistrate Judge in the Eastern District of New York for eight years, researching and writing on a wide array of issues. In addition to her special education work, Erin currently sits on the board of two non-profit organizations.
Erin has a J.D. from Brooklyn Law School, a Master of Science in Social Work from Columbia University (1998), and graduated magna cum laude from American University in Washington, D.C. in 1996. She is admitted to practice in New York, the Southern District of New York, and the Eastern District of New York.
Jean Lucasey, ESQ.,of counsel
Jean Lucasey represents parents in impartial hearings. Prior to joining the Law Office of Elisa Hyman, Jean was Of Counsel to Friedman and Moses, representing families of children with special needs.
Jean has been certified by the New York State Education Department as an Impartial Hearing Officer for Special Education matters since August 2010. In that capacity, she has presided over hundreds of due process hearings, deciding disputes between families and their school districts. Jean served as judicial clerk and then as an associate judge in the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Court in Connecticut until 2004, after which she was reappointed to the bench in Mashantucket in April 2015, where she continues to serve. Beginning in 2006, Jean worked as an education advocate and attorney for a non-profit agency that helped children in public schools. Before earning her J.D., Jean worked as a journalist and was a professor at Iona College.
Jean has her J.D. from the University of Connecticut School of Law, an M.A. in journalism from the University of Missouri, and is admitted to practice in New York.
Ayodele rashid, esq., OF COUNSEL
Ayodele Rashid represents parents in IEP meetings and impartial hearings. Prior to joining the Law Office of Elisa Hyman, Ayodele was Of Counsel to Friedman & Moses, LLP where she practiced special education law.
Throughout the course of her career, Ayodele has focused on advocating for individuals who have traditionally lacked access to legal services and who have been subject to discrimination and unequal treatment due to race, poverty, or involvement with the criminal justice system.
Ayodele began practicing education law when she joined the Special Education Unit ("SEU") at the New York City Department of Education. At the SEU, Ayodele handled impartial hearings concerning the implementation of appropriate individualized educational programs and school placement. After the conclusion of her tenure at the SEU, Ayodele continued to work with students and children by joining Alternative Schools & Programs at District 79, where she worked with several programs to ensure compliance and the provision of services to incarcerated students, parenting youth, students receiving drug treatment services and over–age and under-credited students.
Ayodele has also worked for the Administration for Children's Services where, on behalf of the city of New York, she prosecuted cases for children at risk of abuse or neglect.
Ayodele's career in public service began in law school where she worked with the Center for Law and Social Justice, and the Capital Defender, and Federal Habeas Clinic.
Ayodele is a graduate of Brooklyn Law School and is admitted to practice in New York.
kim susser, esq., of counsel
An experienced litigator, Kim represents parents in impartial hearings and provides advice and consultation about all aspects of the special education process. She joined the Law Office of Elisa Hyman as Of Counsel in 2018.
Kim also maintains her own family law practice where, in addition to practicing every aspect of family law, she also provides consulting services and conducts employment law investigations.
Kim has more than 25 years of experience litigating in the Family, Supreme and Integrated Domestic Violence Courts of New York State. She has published several articles on domestic violence and has presented to and trained hundreds of professionals throughout the State.
Kim joined the New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) in 1997 to develop a law student clinic. She was promoted to Director of the Matrimonial and Family Law Unit where she managed a staff of lawyers and paralegals until 2017.
Kim served as a Visiting Assisting Clinical Professor and Director of the Family Law Clinic at the Touro College Jacob Fuchsberg Law Center during the Fall of 2016. She also served as an Adjunct Professor at St. John’s University School of Law and taught at New York Law School. Prior to working at NYLAG, Kim was a staff attorney at Victim Services (now known as Safe Horizon) where she represented victims of domestic violence in Family Court. From 1990 until 1995, she was a trial attorney in the Juvenile Rights Division of the Legal Aid Society where she represented children in child protective and delinquency proceedings in Kings County.
Kim is a member of the Statewide NYSBA/NYWBA Domestic Violence Initiative and the Lawyer’s Committee Against Domestic Violence.
Kim holds her J.D. from George Washington University National Law Center and is licensed to practice law in New York.
jennifer frankola, esq., of counsel
Jennifer Frankola counsels families through the IESP and IEP process, including Early Intervention (“EI”), the Committee on Preschool Special Education (“CPSE”), the Turning Five Process and the Committee on Special Education. She represents families at IEP meetings, impartial hearings, and state and federal appeals. She also co-supervises the firm's tuition reimbursement practice. Jennifer is also an arbitrator with the American Arbitration Association. Prior to joining the firm, Jennifer was a senior litigation associate at Lewis Johs Avallone Aviles, LLP, where she founded the Education Law Group.
Before entering law school to focus on public interest law and civil rights, Jennifer was a full time public school teacher in the Bronx through the New York Teaching Fellowship. While in law school, she was a member of the New York City Law Review and she interned for the Honorable Ronald L. Ellis, United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Jennifer is a recipient of the Joseph Doherty Civil Rights Fellowship, which allowed her to pursue post-apartheid human rights work in Durban, South Africa. In 2006, she was selected as a Project Equity Fellow for her work at Advocates for Children of New York, Inc..
Jennifer has also been honored by the National Association of Women Lawyers and the Irish Echo. She has been named as a Rising Star for Super Lawyers for the last six years.
Jennifer is a frequent CLE instructor in the area of education law and is in a number of bar associations. She sits on the Board of the Irish-American Bar Association of New York and is president of the Brehon Law Society.
Jennifer has her J.D. from CUNY Law School, a Masters in Education from New York University and received her B.A. from Manhattan College. She is admitted to practice law in the State of New York, the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court of the United States.
Noelle Boostani, ESQ., Associate
Noelle Boostani represents parents and students on matters related to the enforcement of their special education rights.
Prior to joining LOEH, Noelle was a Fellow with the Court Square Law Project, where she represented clients in the areas of special education, family, housing, and small business law. She has also fellowed at Advocates for Children, in the School Justice Project Division, representing parents/students with special education rights, with a focus on the enforcement of appropriate disciplinary actions
She joined LOEH in 2018 as a Junior Associate. She is admitted to practice in NY.
Susan wexler cohen, ESQ., of counsel
Susan represents parents of children with special needs in impartial hearings. Prior to joining the Law Office of Elisa Hyman, Susan worked at a prominent employment litigation law firm in Philadelphia, where she primarily represented individuals in discrimination and civil rights claims arising under various federal, state and local statutes. Susan is also a certified mediator through the New York Peace Institute.
Susan has accumulated varied and extensive experience representing children with special needs.
Susan holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and a J.D. from Brooklyn Law School. She is admitted to practice in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the District of New Jersey and the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.
Charles Scholl, ESQ., Attorney
Charles Scholl handles all aspects of representation for parents of children with special needs, including case assessment and strategy, working with parents to obtain funding for Independent Educational Evaluations, preparing parents to participate in IEP meetings and representing families in impartial hearings, appeals to the State Review Officer and in federal court.
Charles has over eight years of experience in the field of special education law. Prior to joining the Law Office of Elisa Hyman, Charles was a senior special education staff attorney at Partnership for Children’s Rights from 2011-2018 and he previously worked for Ms. Hyman as an attorney of the Special Education Practice Group at Friedman & Moses in 2010-2011. During law school, Charles clerked for the New York City Department of Education (“DOE”) on special education, where he worked for Gloria Bruzzano and Ayodele Rashid.
Before attending law school, Charles was a middle school teacher for six years in California and for one year at a charter school in Washington, D.C. Charles has his J.D. from City University of New York and is admitted to practice in New York and recently applied for admission in the Federal Courts of the Southern District of New York.
Ashleigh Stricker, Paralegal
Prior to working at the Law Office of Elisa Hyman, Ashleigh spent over 6 years working as an ESL instructor for adult immigrants and refugees from all over the world as well as elementary age students from China. For three of those years, she was also a senior paralegal at both an immigration law firm in Northern New Jersey and a family law firm in Arizona where she supported more than 7 attorneys. She has volunteered and fought for both education and immigration rights with organizations such as Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, El Centro de Educacion de Trabajadores, and New York Immigration Coalition.
Ashleigh graduated from Missouri Baptist University in 2011 with a B.A. in English and received her paralegal certificate in May of 2018.
Nathan May, paralegal
Nathan May is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. Before beginning his work as an education law paralegal at LOEH in June 2018, he served for a year as a City Year AmeriCorps member in a public elementary school in Boston. He has also conducted research for Boston's Center for Law and Education and served as a tutor and mentor through organizations such as the West Philadelphia Tutoring Project and Seattle's Youth Tutoring Program.
julie wallin, office manager
Julie Wallin joined the Law Office of Elisa Hyman in 2017. Prior to joining the firm, she led business planning teams at several top American designer brands.
Julie holds a B.A. in History of Art from the University of Michigan.