"We have been working with Tracey since 2010, when she first represented us in our attempts to get appropriate school placing and home therapy for our severely autistic son. We had been suffering from increasingly inadequate support, and as his behaviour declined we had taken the daunting step of putting him in a costly private school as the only viable option. Tracey from the start was brilliant: she thought both in immediate and strategic terms of what we needed as a family then and what we would need in the future. And then went ahead in a calm, wholly committed and profoundly competent way to get it for us, year in, year out, without fail. Over the last six years she has closely monitored every stage of the development of our son’s needs and then gone about meeting them, straining to secure appropriate settlements and quickly and painlessly resolving hearings when they were not forthcoming. Her long experience and inside knowledge are impressive, and she consistently goes way beyond her professional obligations in caring for the families she represents; last year, for example, she drafted a letter in reply to our neighbors’ threats of legal action within 24 hours. Tracey’s mastery of special education law in New York may be unparalleled, and she sees her clients not just as individual students, parents, or indeed clients, but as families. There are some people whose jobs are, more than jobs, genuine vocations, and to our great good luck Tracey is one of them. That our family has managed to stay together through these years it is in large part due to her." -Paul and S, Clients
"In January 2014, my then 4 year old son, was diagnosed with autism by a pediatric neurologist at New York Presbyterian. The neurologist emphasized the specific window of time - from birth to age 7-8 yrs - when a child’s brain can be ‘reprogrammed’. The neurologist used the majority of the appointment to convince us that, therapies targeted to the individual and an education program with autism expertise are vital. We followed up with psychological evaluations, where professionals repeated the same opinion. In March 2014, I suddenly became a single mother: my husband was arrested on domestic violence charges. The Manhattan DA decided for me that the city was prosecuting. I was highly anxious and isolated. My family live overseas, and the Hague law prevented me from returning to my home country with my son because his father was still living here. I was getting calls from my son’s school almost daily telling me my son had had another meltdown and that his safety had been compromised (despite him having a one to one paraprofessional). The staff at the school were not proactive nor adequately trained to handle or plan for such situations. I was on edge whenever my phone rang during the school day. There was never good news – parent’s meetings were always very negative and I felt the ball was always thrown back in my court to ‘fix’ my son’s problems.
We applied for the Horizon/NEST program, as well as several state approved private schools. After being completely ignored by the Department of Education for months – I realized my son had been rejected by these programs. Fortunately, I had been investigating alternatives. I visited Rebecca School and fell in love with it. I chose Tracey on a whim, from a list of special needs attorneys. I later discovered she had over 10 years of experience litigating on behalf of special needs children in the New York area. Our initial meeting consisted of Tracey listening to me - for a very long time. I was emotionally very low at that time, but felt comfortable enough to disclose our family history to Tracey. Tracey immediately made it clear that she cares about families as a whole and does not shy away from a complex situation. Tracey is very straight forward – it was a matter of following her advice to the letter. Tracey makes this easy because she and her team are always very available by phone and email.
I am happy to say that my son has just completed his first year of kindergarten at Rebecca School. Thanks to Tracey and her team, we received reimbursement of 100% of tuition fees from the NYC Department of Education. My son is so happy at school; he is so much more confident – improvements have been tremendous! It was a marathon, but Tracey’s unwavering support in a very difficult situation and proactive approach got us to where we needed to be. I believe Tracey’s extensive networking in the autism world helped us stay ahead of the game. In my case, Tracey was first to recognize a political issue causing a delay in getting my settlement agreement signed – we quickly addressed this head on and got past it. I’m grateful that Tracey is so observant and involved in the special needs arena, far beyond her office.
I am so thankful that Tracey stood up for my son and me. Tracey empowered me at time when I felt victimized. I cannot recommend her enough – she is honest, faithful and resolute in her pursuit of results for special needs families. - J.M., Client
"We are elated with Tracey's commitment to our son. We have settled earlier than ever before, received excellent guidance and communication, and feel we are in the best of hands. The fact that her fees are substantially more affordable than any other attorney we've worked with is a true blessing. Thank you Tracey, you are THE best." - Michele, Client
"My daughter is learning disabled and her needs were ignored by the school district for years. They never followed her recommended IEP, and when the elementary school gave her a 504 plan, at the start of Middle School the district removed the Plan without notifying me or my husband. The district gave my daughter a middle school diploma even though she had bad grades the whole time. In high school, she continued to struggle and started avoiding school. I didn't know the law then. I am a Spanish-speaking immigrant and we don't know what our legal rights are for school issues. I believed the school staff until I started to research how I could help my daughter. I decided I needed a lawyer to help me with this mess. I talked to 3 lawyers. They all told me there was nothing they could do until I found Tracey Walsh and I sent her all of the information. She told me she could help my daughter, and she did make this happen. She proved to our school district that, in fact, my daughter has a learning disability and ADD, and they finally offered to help for my daughter without us having to go to court. Tracey's legal service made the district pay for all requested testing to prove my daughter had a disability, and after that, the school district held a resolution meeting with us and placed my daughter in a school that can help her with her problems. The district stopped ignoring my requests for help, because they didn't want me to bring Tracey Walsh around. So now, my daughter is going to get the help that she needed for all these years, and only because of Tracey Walsh - she was the only lawyer that would get involved in my daughter's case." - Maria, Client
"During an emotionally frustrating time for our family fighting for our family and fighting for our son's rights, we did not know where to turn. I was stressed out before I approached Tracey. She gave me straightforward answers and advice on what I had to do to handle the district and their unfair behavior towards us. Talking to Tracey made me feel that she had experience doing her job. She gave me solid guidelines and replied back to my emails, containing my questions and concerns, immediately. During the case, Tracey listened to my concerns, and took my suggestions when she saw it could help our case. That showed me that she is very pragmatic and appreciated my input. Having Tracey on our team helped me with legal vocabulary and to get to know the law better. As a result, with her guidance and representation, we have a successful settlement with the district. Now that this burden is out of our way, we can concentrate on our son's continued success. In the future, if I ever have any questions or concerns, I know I am calling Tracey without any worries or reservations. I have already recommended her to my friends in need of a good special education attorney and I will continue to do so in the future as well." - S.S., Client
"I met Tracey through a family who was helped by her. My family was at a crossroads because our daughter was told she could no longer attend the school which she had been attending since Pre-K. Tracey was God sent. I remember meeting with her at her office. She was calm and attentive. She listened to me and promised no miracles, but a guarantee that she would work tirelessly on our behalf. Less than 3 months later, our case was settled. Tracey also defended me when the IEP meeting was set on a date that was not convenient to us. We really feel comfortable with Tracey and will be with her for the long haul. This practice puts clients first." - V.S., Client
"We were new to the country, the system, and most importantly, to the diagnosis. We had identified what services our son needed but we did not know if we would be able to get them for him. This generated a great deal of anxiety and we knew things could go either way and that thought terrified us. As a parent of a child with autism, you have many battles to fight on your own. Tracey not only managed to ease our fears on a legal level but she also did on an emotional level. She was our support. She had our back and she was going to do all she could to fight for our son to get the services he desperately needed. She never gave up, she was sharp yet dignified and graceful in all her dealings. She always figures things out and is not outsmarted! She has optimism, empathy and legal prowess - a winning combination! As a result we got the services we needed for our son. We also were given a great deal of support, comfort, advice and information that would help to make life with autism easier. She made the entire process as effortless as possible and for that we will be forever grateful!" - A.B., Client
"My association with Tracey spans more than 3 years now and I could not have asked for a more knowledgeable, personable and high integrity advocate for our child with special needs... Tracey's attention to detail and her ability to leverage her expertise to achieve the best outcome possible for her clients is exemplary. However, the most outstanding quality in her is the empathetic way in which she connects with her clients and their causes. Tracey is one of the most formidable allies and the most trustworthy advocate a client can hope for."
- S.B., Client
"Tracey is a seasoned advocate as well as a very strong litigator. Tracey has great expertise and knowledge within the field of special needs." - Lisa Frenette, IBI Associates
"Tracey is extremely knowledgeable in the field of law. She is meticulous and detailed-oriented. I would highly recommend Tracey strongly to anyone and without reservation."
- S.B., Client
"Tracey Spencer Walsh is a God-send to children and young adults with special educational needs. She brings both passion and competence to her calling. On the one hand, she is deeply, personally, and emotionally devoted to assuring that these vulnerable individuals are allowed to benefit from the rights, opportunities, and accommodations that the law provides. On the other hand, she has the legal skills and knowledge to prevail against the better funded school district in-house lawyers and hired-guns. Tracey's legal and factual research is solid. Her manor before magistrates is poised and eloquent. Apart from the specific cases of which I am aware (including my son), there must by now be hundreds of individuals who owe their educational opportunities to Tracey's efforts."
"Our family has been Tracey Walsh’s client for several years. Having worked with other attorneys on various matters, we continually find working with Ms. Walsh a little surprising. We would expect her to know the law, to understand procedure, to think logically, and to articulate our position, and she does. However, she is not only capable, but caring. If we really need to talk to her, she always (and I mean always) finds a way. If we email her without expecting her to respond until the next week, she responds on the same day. Despite her many responsibilities, she never seems simply to try to get our case off her desk. Instead, she takes the time to think the matter through with our interests in mind and to find the best solution for us, even if that solution requires original thinking. Anyone would be fortunate to work with her."
"Tracey occupies a unique and crucially important niche as an advocate for special needs students and their families. She brings a level of compassion to her clients that allows them to more clearly understand their rights and options in the midst of difficult circumstances. Tracey and her firm were able to advocate for our son and get him the services he needed and also get the NYC Department of Education to take on the financial obligation they would have otherwise pushed onto us. An expert in navigating the bureaucratic morass and keeping our case on track.
At every level, all of our communications were professional, reassuring and there was never any doubt that the needs of our son came first."
"Tracey knows how to help families with special needs. She has deep experience with the Disabilities law and was able to assist us in achieving a good outcome for our family."
"Tracey is an excellent legal advocate for children with special needs and their families. She has broad knowledge of special education and disability services for children and adults with special needs." - Dr. Michael Cohen, Neuropsychological & Diagnostic Services
"I have worked with a number of attorneys at different times in my career I can easily say that Ms. Walsh is among the most diligent, talented, and dedicated I have known. In addition, Ms. Walsh is easy to work with in that she is very clear in her requirements, helpful in resolving problems, and always aware the details I may I have missed. I have no reservations in offering her my recommendation." - Peter Gerhardt Ed.D
"Tracey is, without a doubt, one of the best litigators out there. She is an extraordinarily passionate and dedicated advocate who has the right mix of compassion, intelligence, commitment and fierce determination. I know her as a fellow colleague but if I ever needed an education attorney, she would be my first choice." - Professor Leah Hill, Associate Dean for Experiential Education; Clinical Associate Professor of Law, Fordham University School of Law
As parents, with our son, Colin, diagnosed on the Autistic spectrum, it can be an overwhelming challenge when thinking about how to best support his educational needs. At first, we were extremely frightened about how we would approach obtaining the best education support offered by NYC DOE. After meeting Tracey Spencer Walsh, Esq. and her team at an NYU conference on Autism, we knew right then and there we had a parent advocate and legal support that could not only help navigate the complex process, but also be there when we needed her as counsel. Tracey Spencer Walsh is an amazing attorney, and delivered beyond our expectations in meeting the needs of our child, Colin, and our family. We were able to settle with the DOE in the smartest way possible for the first and second year of Colin's schooling. The settlements obtained by Tracey and her firm were above expectations and we are grateful to have Tracey Spencer Walsh, Esq. working as a representative for our son, Colin. - Patrick and Chastity, Clients