Attorney Susan J. Bardet opened her law office in 1999, devoting her entire practice to helping families of children with disabilities obtain appropriate special education programs.
Families face daily challenges, aggravated by the difficulties posed by complicated special education laws and procedures, frustrations with the cumbersome system, and the pain of watching their children struggle. In her private practice, Susan saw families become despondent because they waited too long to gather the necessary documentation to persuade school officials to address their children’s needs with programs and services that work.
Susan decided to found Special Ed Legal Consults to reach more families than would be possible in a special education practice that includes full representation. We help parents solve the issues they face with their school districts by helping them understand the legal framework that applies to their child. By reaching parents earlier in the process, our goal is to give parents the tools to advocate persuasively yet collaboratively with their school districts in an effort to avoid time-consuming and expensive litigation. Earlier intervention helps children succeed, and delay can be devastating.
Before opening her special education law practice, Susan served as in-house counsel for two different corporations for close to ten years, handling operations, contracts, personnel, disability, labor and employment, and environmental compliance matters. She understands management concerns as well as employees’ needs to integrate work and family.
While helping parents navigate the special education maze, Susan gained great appreciation for the daunting challenges these parents face every day. She has shown respect, empathy, and compassion for every family she has assisted.
Special Education Law Organizations and Awards:
Chair, Northern California Attorneys and Advocates, 2001-present; Organization devoted to special education advocacy on behalf of families
Trainer and speaker for Parents Helping Parents; Children’s Health Council; Gatepath Family Resource Center, Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital conferences; neuropsychologists’ groups; reading specialists; and special education community and employee resource groups
CA Association For Parent-Child Advocacy (CAPCA), Secretary, 2005-2011; member, 2005 to present
Member, Advisory Committee to Office of Administrative Hearings, Special Education Division; 2008-2009
Council of Parents Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA), Membership Committee; 2001 to 2011; member, 1999 to present
Parents Helping Parents, member
Recognition by the San Francisco Bar Association for special education legal volunteer work for Community Alliance for Special Education (CASE), 2 years
“Support for School Personnel and Parent Training: Often Overlooked Keys to Success”
Community Service and Awards
Mentor to attorneys new to special education law
Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center, Board of Directors
Mental Health Association of San Mateo County, Board of Directors
Volunteer Peer Counselor, Peninsula Family Service
Recognition for Pro Bono Program participation by San Mateo County Bar Association and the Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County
Recognition by the State Bar of California Board of Governors for pro bono work
Peninsula Temple Beth El, Board of Directors; Chair, Religious School Board
Peninsula Jewish Community Center, Board of Directors
Home and Hope hospitality for homeless families, overnight volunteer
School Site Council member at two high schools, one middle school, and one elementary school
Education and Academic Honors
J.D., cum laude; Lewis and Clark Law School, Portland, Oregon
Recipient of three American Jurisprudence Awards
B.A., English; Reed College, Portland, Oregon
Phi Beta Kappa
Member, The State Bar of California