Massachusetts Special Education and School Attorney

Francesca devotes  her career to protecting the interests of children and their parents who may feel disempowered and need assistance navigating the intricacies of the special education process.

As an empathetic, hands-on counselor, advocate, and attorney, Francesca works closely with her clients and has a seasoned patience with both younger children and teens.  She takes the time to get to know, and forge strong bonds with, the children and parents she counsels. Francesca believes that relationships based on trust are the only way to meaningfully help her clients.  

Francesca employs a consultative approach and formulates custom strategies to serve clients in a variety of ways: consulting and coaching; preparing parents for and/or participating in meetings during the special education process; and representing clients in procedures with the Massachusetts Bureau of Special Education Appeals (BSEA).

Before law school, Francesca worked with children in caregiving and educational environments and found her passion for working with children needing a voice in the legal system. While a student at Suffolk University Law School in Boston, she spent a summer working as an intern and fellow at the Children’s Law Center, shadowing the organization’s Education Attorney.  Francesca was an active member of the Student Public Interest Law Group and also completed an internship at a social security disability law firm.  

Francesca later worked as the Youth Permanency Coordinator at the Department of Children and Families (DCF) and represented DCF as a certified student attorney at Permanency Hearings.

After law school and before joining the team at Next Phase Legal, Francesca refined her knowledge of federal disability laws while working as a HIPAA and Civil Rights investigator at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights.  These experiences bolstered Francesca’s ability to counsel her clients on federal disability and privacy laws related to education.  

Francesca is a member of the Special Education Advocacy Network (SPAN), the Council of Parent and Attorney Advocates (COPAA), and the Bar Association of Norfolk County. 

Outside the office, Francesca loves spending time with her daughter, her husband, and her giant dog, Ravioli.  Francesca also enjoys art, yoga, traveling and eating, preferably all at the same time.

Education:

  • University of Massachusetts, Amherst: Double Major in Legal Studies and Italian, cum laude
  • Suffolk University Law School, Boston, MA: Juris Doctorate