This guide has been created by Brittain McClurg in support of Professor Diamond's Advanced Legal Research class for Fall 2017. The contents of this guide should not be taken as legal advice or as the work product of Mizzou Law librarians.
You should explore special education websites and blogs found under the Secondary Sources Tab. Many of these are written for parents of children with disabilities, which makes them friendly to lay people who lack total understanding of the law. Next, I would look to treatises, also found under the Secondary Sources Tab, to further develop your understanding of the applicable laws for the issue at hand. I highly recommend Education Law by James A. Rapp, which provides practical analysis of special education law.
Look to the specific statutes and regulations promulgated by the federal government. They are found under the IDEA Tab and the Section 504 Tab in this resource guide. Take note that federal regulations and statutes provide the bare minimum that states must provide to their special education students, but each state can promulgate regulations and statutes that provide additional resources or protections for special education students. It is essential that you look at the applicable state when assessing a legal question in the field of special education law.
Once you have identified the specific statutes and regulations involved, explore court precedent regarding the issue. I would start by reading Endrew v. Douglas Cty Sch. Dist. which is a landmark decision handed down in March 2017, and it is found under the Endrew Tab. I also highly recommend wrightslaw.com (link found under Secondary Sources Tab) to find cases with similar facts and issues, which will be essential to how you present your case and advise your client.