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Our Firm

Norma’s love for the field of special education law comes from her personal experience of being a parent of a child with Dyslexia and sibling to a developmentally disabled adult.  She spends her spare time as an active member of Decoding Dyslexia New Jersey (DD-NJ) and a board member of The Reading League (TRL)-NJ Chapter. She conducts parent workshops, shares experiences and resources with parents, has visited Washington D.C. for Dyslexia Day on the Hill, and testified before the New Jersey Assembly’s Education Committee in 2013 in support of New Jersey’s Dyslexia Bills which were signed into law later that year.

 

Norma has been a practicing attorney for over 25 years.  She is a seasoned Special Education Attorney who works diligently to ensure that students’ educational rights are protected.  She has extensive experience settling favorable cases through mediation, settlement conferences and at hearing.   Notably, in 2019, 2021, and 2022, Norma was chosen as one of New Jersey’s Best Lawyers for Families in Education Law. 

 

She focuses her practice on special education and guardianship in New Jersey and New York.  Her experience has also included teaching at the Education and Health Law Clinic at Rutgers University School of Law-Newark and teaching a special education law course at The City University of New York School of Law. 

 

Norma co-founded and led,  Children Having Individual Learning Differences, Inc, (C.H.I.L.D.) a NJ non-profit organization designed to support parents with children who have special needs within the Verona Public Schools for over 13 years.  In 2006, C.H.I.L.D. became the school district’s Special Education Parent Advisory Committee (SEPAC) and remains an active organization today.

 

Norma has also worked for two notable New Jersey law firms dedicated to the representation of families with children and adults with disabilities, where she handled both special education and guardianship matters.

 

She has worked in the area of public interest, corporate and real estate law, however, the transition to special education law in 2012 has been the most rewarding experience of her over 25 year legal career. 

Education

St. John's University, B.A.

Queens College, M.A.

The City University of New York School of Law, J.D.

Bar Admission

New Jersey

New York

Court Admission

District of New Jersey

Associations

New Jersey State Bar Association

New York City Bar Association

New Jersey Special Education Practitioners (NJSEP)

CUNY’s Community Legal Resource Network (CLRN)

International Dyslexia Association

The Reading League-New Jersey Chapter

Decoding Dyslexia New Jersey

 

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My Approach

Norma is a graduate of CUNY Law School and has carried the school's motto, "Law in the service of human needs" throughout her professional law career, in her community and in her private life.  She is committed to helping students with all learning challenges particularly students with dyslexia.  She also sees that her responsibility as an attorney is to empower the families she works with  to enable them to advocate for themselves going forward once she has resolved their matter. 

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Of Counsel
Vida M. Alvy, Esq.

After more than 25 years engaged in the field of criminal law and procedure on an appellate level, Ms. Alvy transitioned to the field of Special Education in the New York City Department of Education in 2005.  In 2007, she was selected to spearhead and manage a new special education appeals group at the Department and engaged in high level administrative and federal appellate work.  After five successful years administrating that group, she became the Deputy Director of the NYC Department of Special Education Legal Unit managing a legal and administrative team of 70 engaged in administrative and appellate special education litigation, IDEA compliance, settlements and significant policy issues. 

After working for the Department of Education for more than 12 years on the District side, she founded Alvy Law, PLLC in August 2017 to bring her passion for writing and special education issues to families who are experiencing difficulties helping their disabled children and navigating the intricacies of the IDEA.  Since her firm's founding she has successfully represented scores of families in New York and more recently in New Jersey

Of Counsel
Maxine Checchi, Esq.

Maxine Checchi earned her law degree from New York Law School and is admitted to practice law in New York and New Jersey. With over 25 years of experience working in the NYC school system as a teacher, school psychologist, impartial hearing litigator and supervisor, Maxine is uniquely positioned to evaluate your situation and determine the best process to help you achieve your goals. 

 

As a former supervisor of school psychologists, Maxine brings a wealth of understanding of the IEP decision-making process to the table. Prior to retiring from the NYC Department of Education, Maxine oversaw the work of the Committees on Special Education as Deputy Senior Executive Director of Special Education Services and Evaluations. In this leadership role, she was responsible for overseeing the processes followed by the Committees on Special Education in identifying students and recommending IEP services to students attending preschool, school age non-public schools and charter schools. 

Maxine is an adjunct professor at Yeshiva University, teaching Legal Issues in Special Education to graduate students earning their M.A. in special education. 

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