Director, Special Education, Holocaust Compensation
Laura joined the NYLAG staff in 1999 as a Supervising Attorney after working for Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and the Center for Constitutional Rights. She currently serves as Director for NYLAG’s Holocaust Compensation Assistance Project, which provides free legal assistance to Holocaust survivors in the areas of compensation and restitution. In addition, Laura is the Director of the Special Education Unit, which advocates on behalf of low-income families on a variety of education issues.
Prior to becoming a lawyer, Laura was a social worker for nearly 20 years, spending the last eight years evaluating children for developmental disabilities at the Rose F. Kennedy Center at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
Senior Staff Attorney, Special Education
Phyllis is senior staff attorney representing special needs children primarily to obtain appropriate educational placements and funding for non-public school placements. Before joining NYLAG, Phyllis worked in the tax department of a large, NY-based law firm, and as an international tax attorney with Mobil Oil Corporation and Bristol-Myers Squibb Company. She graduated from Vassar College, Fordham University School of Law and has a LL.M degree from New York University School of Law.
Staff Attorney, Special Education
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.
Supervising Attorney, Special Education
Coordinating Attorney, Special Education
Ashley Sizemore is a coordinating attorney in NYLAG’s Special Education Unit (SEU). Ashley advocates for students with disabilities attending New York City public and charter schools to ensure that all students receive a free appropriate public education. Her practice includes representing students and parents during IEP meetings, special education hearings, and school discipline proceedings. Ashley graduated from the University of Michigan Law School where she served as Managing Editor of the Michigan Journal of Law Reform and as a Student Attorney for the Michigan Law Legislation Clinic. Prior to law school, Ashley taught third grade in inner city Detroit as a Teach For America corps member. Ashley earned her Master’s in Education with a concentration in Urban Pedagogy from the University of Michigan Graduate School of Education, and her Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Los Angeles.