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 Tracey Spencer Walsh, Esq Tracey@SpencerWalshLaw.com 212-401-1959

Tracey Spencer Walsh, Esq


Tracey Spencer Walsh

Tracey Spencer Walsh is a 1994 graduate of the Fordham University School of Law and has also taught the “Special Education Law" course as an Adjunct Law Professor at Fordham Law School. Tracey also is the Co-Founder and Vice Chair of the New York State Bar Association's Committee on Special Education. Tracey has litigated and settled hundreds of IDEA cases for private school tuition reimbursement on behalf of students with disabilities, such as autism, Down syndrome, genetic disorders, learning disabilities, and emotional disturbance. Tracey has also been successful in cases involving compensatory education.

Tracey also is experienced in arguing sophisticated special education law appeals in federal courts, including in the Circuit Courts of Appeals.  Tracey is admitted to practice in New York and Connecticut and also is admitted to the U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, the Second and Eleventh Circuit Courts of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court.

Tracey successfully argued R.K. v. New York City Dept of Educ. before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, helping to define the limits of the “due deference” doctrine in New York, Connecticut and Vermont. Tracey also argued before the Eleventh Circuit in R.L. v. Miami-Dade County School Board in a case of first impression in the Eleventh Circuit involving the issue of"predetermination."  In R.L. Tracey successfully argued that the school district denied R.L. a free appropriate public education ("FAPE") when it illegally predetermined the student's placement - an issue that had never been decided before by the Eleventh Circuit (which includes Florida, Georgia and Alabama).

Among numerous decisions in favor of students, Tracey also is responsible for a decision ordering the New York City Department of Education to not only “include” a student with Down Syndrome in a mainstream classroom but to hire an “inclusion specialist” and an independent Board Certified Behavior Analyst.

Tracey is widely published on a variety of special education law issues, including tuition reimbursement, funding for home services, and bullying. In addition to her writing, Tracey often is a featured speaker at national special education conferences as well as the annual conferences sponsored by the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA). Tracey has given presentations at COPAA's conferences and the Independent Educational Consultants' Association (IECA) conferences

Tracey has also worked on many pro bono matters, including amicus briefs filed on behalf of Autism Speaks. Tracey assisted with an exciting and important amicus brief on behalf of Autism Speaks - Ermini v. Vittori. This case involved a custody dispute under the Hague Convention.  A couple, citizens of Italy came to the United States so that their son with autism could access applied behavior analysis ("ABA") intervention. The couple separated and the father returned to Italy and sought the court's intervention to return the children to him in Italy. The Second Circuit ruled that the child could remain in the United States with his mother so that he could continue his autism intervention through which he was making progress. Tracey is listed as a resource on the Autism Speaks website.
Jennifer is a special education attorney experienced in representing parents of students with special needs protected under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), including persuasive advocacy at the appellate level. Jennifer has extensive experience in writing appellate briefs for appeals to the New York State Education Department State Review Officer and the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.




Activities & Affiliations

• New York State Bar Association's Committee on Special Education, Co-Founder and Vice Chair
• Fordham Law School, Adjunct Law Professor

Bar Admissions

• New York, Connecticut


 Jennifer Ratcliff Jennifer@SpencerWalshLaw.com 212-401-1959  Ext. 2

Jennifer Ratcliff
212-401-1959  Ext. 2


Jennifer Ratcliff

Jennifer is a 2010 graduate of the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law and Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations. During law school, Jennifer served as the Managing Editor of the Maryland Journal of International Law.  Her article, International Adoption: Improving on the 1993 Convention, won the Joseph Bernstein Award for the most significant piece of student authored legal writing published in the Maryland Journal of International Law’s 2010 edition.  It was also selected to be published in the New York State Bar Association’s International Law Practicum.

Jennifer is admitted to practice in New York and Florida and the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.  Jennifer is a member of the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA) and the New York State Bar Association.





Activities & Affiliations

• Maryland Journal of International Law, Managing Editor
• Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA) , Member
• New York State Bar Association , Member


Bar Admissions

• New York, Florida