Karen S. Norlander
For more than 25 year, Ms. Norlander has devoted her practice to education law, and children with special needs. She began her practice in Westchester County as counsel to Westchester Student Advocacy Inc. and moved to Albany in 1989 to assume the position of associate counsel at the State Education Department, where she remained until 1995 providing counsel and guidance to the Commissioner and staff in matters primarily focused on students. Thereafter, Ms. Norlander served as general counsel to Statewide Youth Advocacy and practiced in the Family Courts. In 1999 she became special counsel to the law firm of Girvin & Ferlazzo, P.C. where she has facilitated the expansion of the firm’s special education practice and provides representation to several districts on special education matters. Ms. Norlander has also taught courses in Education Law and Special Education at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
Ms. Norlander is also a certified hearing officer and serves as counsel to the Council of New York Special Education Administrators, the Long Island Association of Special Educators , the Centris Group and National Professional Resources, with whom she authored its first publication in a series on RTI. Ms. Norlander is also a certified social worker.
Over the years Ms. Norlander has been a frequent lecturer and author of training materials for districts, parents and attorneys on matters relating to students and special education. Over the years, she has represented both parents and districts in matters involving the rights of children with disabilities before impartial hearing officers, the state review officer and in state and federal courts. Ms. Norlander is a member of the Women’s Bar Association and the New York State Bar Association where she is a member of its committees on Children and the Law and Persons with Disabilities.