Joel advocates for appropriate placement and services for children with special needs. Such advocacy may involve negotiations with school officials and staff, including principals, psychologists, and teachers; attendance at meetings where students’ annual programs are developed; and administrative hearings and appeals. Joel has practiced law for thirty-four years. Before joining NYLAG, he worked on a broad range of real estate matters, including project financing for community groups and other not-for-profit organizations. He also was a part-time administrative law judge for a city agency that adjudicated violations of building, fire, and other laws. He attended Columbia College, has a master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and graduated from the Northwestern University School of Law, where he was a notes and comments editor of the law review. Before going to law school, he was a freelance newspaper reporter for The New York Times (Sunday Real Estate Section), The Village Voice, and the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.