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 Dep't 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 and, 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 also authored several publications, is a CLE instructor and lecturer in the area of special education law and has consulted in the area of education policy.
Elisa has her J.D. from Duke Law School and a M.A. in Economics from Duke University. Elisa is admitted 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 of 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 for the New York City Department of Education (“DOE”), in the special education unit, providing legal services and trainings on special education and litigating 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 hearingsand federal court. She is available to accompany parents to IEP meetings, consultations and workshops. Prior to joining the Law Office of Elisa Hyman, Anishah 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. Prior to joining the Law Office of Elisa Hyman, Anishah was Of Counsel to Friedman & Moses, where she practiced special education law.
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 and and 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 parent at 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.
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 her 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.
Erin is admitted to the bars of New York and the Eastern and Southern Districts 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 also 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. Starting 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 and an M.A. in journalism from the University of Missouri and is admitted to practice in New York.
Lauren Druyan, ESQ., associate
At the Law Office of Elisa Hyman, P.C., Lauren represents parents of children with special needs in impartial hearings and is available for IEP meetings, consultations and workshops. Prior to joining the Law Office of Elisa Hyman, Lauren was Of Counsel to Friedman and Moses, representing families of children with special needs.
Lauren began practicing special education law as an attorney for the New York City Department of Education's ("DOE") Special Education Unit. As an attorney representing the DOE in special education matters, Lauren litigated numerous hearings, handled the negotiation and execution of settlements, and provided legal guidance and support to DOE staff.
Lauren is a graduate of Brooklyn Law School and the University of Pennsylvania and is admitted in New York, New Jersey and the SDNY.
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 to practice 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 & Program 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. As a law student, 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 in New York.
Alicia Abelli, esq., OF COUNSEL
miriam nunberg, esq., of counsel
Miriam advises parents in the area of Section 504 and helps to develop Section 504 plans. She also represents Parents in impartial hearings.
Miriam also has her own educational consulting practice where, among other things, she provides training and consulting with parents and schools to bring life to the civil rights laws, so that students can participate fully in their educational environment free from roadblocks due to race, color, national origin, sex, LGBTQ status, or disability.
Miriam spent fourteen years in the Office of Civil Rights where she Mediated and investigated complaints regarding discrimination on the basis of disability, race, national origin, gender, and age, against elementary, secondary, and post-secondary educational institutions receiving federal financial assistance.
After leaving OCR, Miriam founded and was the co-executive director and then Senior Director for Public Policy and Public Affairs for the Brooklyn Urban Garden Charter School. Miriam also served as the Director of Diversity Relations for Brooklyn College.
Prior to starting her career as a lawyer, Miriam was a special education teacher in New York City, where she experienced first hand the inequities in the public school system.
Miriam holds her J.D. from Benjamin Cardozo Law School, a Master’s degree in Education from Smith College and her B.A. from Brandeis University. She is licensed to practice law 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 as Of Counsel to the firm 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 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 he 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, the Irish Echo, and 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, Associate
Susan wexler cohen, of counsel
Charles Scholl, Attorney
nicolas Apter-vidler, paralegal
Nicolas Apter-Vidler is a graduate of Princeton University. Nick has been working as an educational law paralegal for four years and is preparing to attend law school. He supports the law practice and attorneys with all aspects of administrative hearings, appeals and federal court actions and drafts pleadings, briefs and motions under the supervision of lawyers. Before joining the firm, Nick worked as a paralegal at Friedman & Moses i in the Education Law group. Nick is also a semiprofessional violinist who has traveled and played internationally.
John Rodriguez, law clerk
John Rodriguez is a graduate of Columbia University and Hofstra Law School. Before joining the Law Office of Elisa Hyman, Esq., and previously Friedman and Moses LLP, he spent a year negotiating attorney fees for the Community Legal Assistance Corporation and Hofstra Law School in a complex, nine-year housing rights case involving over 100 billers. He also has experience with technology, business, and intellectual property law. He currently serves as the firm's Law Clerk, focusing on intake screening and assisting the attorneys with legal research and drafting.