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Georgianna Junco Kelman

Education Attorney at Studio City, CA

4.8   54 reviews
  • Licensed for 25 years
    State CA
    Acquired 1998
    Status
    Active No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About Georgianna

Learn Georgianna’s areas of practice.

1
Practice area
  1. Education
    100%
    Our law firm solely focuses its practice on the representation of students with disabilities. Our mission is to secure and protect their access to an equal and appropriate education with maximum inclusion despite the extent of their disabilities.

    22 years, 1,500 cases

When I embarked upon my legal career, being a special education attorney was not initially on the radar. I did not have one clue that special education law was even a thing! I quickly learned! I specialized in criminal defense for almost a decade, including juvenile defense (looking back I realized how many kids unidentified with disabilities were improperly prosecuted and blamed for acts rooted in disability rather than criminal or mischievous intent.) when suddenly I was taken on an involuntary journey that changed the trajectory of my life and ultimately my career. At six weeks old my eldest son, Brandon, was diagnosed with a congenital brain disorder (Focal Cortical Dysplasia) a malformation causing catastrophic seizures (Infantile Spasms) detrimentally impacting his physical and intellectual development. Initially, I was paralyzed with fear and unsure as to which direction to take. But after grieving what was essentially the death of the child I had dreamed of I then began the process of reorienting the course of our lives with the goal of meeting my son's every need taking center stage. As I am sure all parents of special needs children do, I spent countless sleepless nights staring at the ceiling at 2:00 a.m. in search for answers. Paving the way to effectively help my child in every way I could permeated my every thought. I immersed myself in learning everything I could about the brain, special education advocacy, and whatever services existed to help my son conquer his disability to the maximum extent possible. I effectively fought the school district ultimately winning the battle to fully include him...and later applied my personal experience and learned valuable lessons with the same commitment and vigor to the re-shifting of my career. The representation of children with disabilities and the assurance of their meaningful inclusion is more than my job, it is my mission.

In my journey with my son the change of my professional course suddenly became inevitable when I came across so many helpless and desperate parents that were unsure how to access the proper services for their children. They were unaware and uneducated about the special education system and its very complicated and entangled inner workings. The reality was and continues to be that parents are not often given all of the correct information or informed about the available and proper tools by their school districts. Districts are too often not candid about the various types of support and services that can and should be offered. Unfortunately, often the services offered your child are based on a cost/benefit analysis, and one that does not first and foremost consider your child's best interest. I crossed paths with parents eager to help their children but were given misinformation time after time. When I learned how easily special education children can fall through the cracks because they are not treated as the law so clearly mandates, I inevitably and almost organically realized my calling, and although I had embarked on the road to special education law long before on a personal level, I decided to do so officially, and I started my own law practice in 2009. So I became a special education attorney, in the most important and rewarding path of my life. I knew that what I did and continue to do for my son to ensure his utmost success and best life, I could do for the children of no shortage of families in need - and I knew these families could relate to my experience and draw benefit and comfort from it. So I set out to help as many parents as I encountered whose desire to help their children was and is as insatiable as mine.

Sometimes the barriers we face seem unconquerable - but the deep love for our extra special children and the desire to see them succeed is our primary motivating force for anything that we do. It is not easy, but it is a fight worth fighting and one you should not continue to fight alone when your efforts appear fruitless with the continued neglect of Districts to take proper measures to help your boy or girl. Know that with the proper support and tools, the right education for children with disabilities is possible with the ultimately goal of a fulfilling and independent life to the maximum extent possible. Allow me to share with you the wealth of knowledge and information that I have acquired along the way of this life transforming, beautiful and heart-wrenching journey. Below I share with you some very helpful pointers that I believe are imperative elements for parents to apply in special education advocacy.

The biggest and most important piece of advice I can offer you is to BELIEVE IN YOUR CHILD, no matter what the diagnosis, disability or challenge he/she is facing. You must set a high standard and believe that your child can accomplish more than anyone thinks possible. If you give up on your child and start the process with low expectations then everyone gives up on your child. As difficult as it sometimes is, your mind set must be one of eternal optimism. Believe that your child is going to be very capable of achievements despite what therapists, doctors an especially school officials tell you. Set that accomplishment bar very high and keep it steady! The school administrators, mediators and Administrative Law Judges must first see your child, not his/her diagnosis or disability and that is up to you to show them. When the school district is telling you that there is no funding, specific classrooms, and/or personnel services available to help your child, and when you hear (which I promise you will) "We don't do that," do not believe it and do not accept it! It's not a matter of "we don't," it is a matter of "you must" if it meets the individual needs of your child. Your strong believe that your child can be successful as long as these services are provided is what will keep you determined to fight for them! It is the resilient and relentless will of parents that yields success in meeting their children’s unique academic needs. We are here to help you navigate that daunting and complex maze. Remember - There is no greater inequality than the equal treatment of non-equals. 

 

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Location

Law Offices of Georgianna Junco-Kelman
12711 Ventura Blvd.
Suite 410
Studio City, CA, 91604

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Reviews

4.8 / 5.0
  54 customer reviews
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Posted by Jennifer | May 3, 2024
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
An Indispensable Attorney!
Because of Georgianna’s unparalleled tenacity and expertise, our family won a favorable settlement from LAUSD after two long years. Georgianna’s extensive knowledge enabled us to present a strong case to the district that included numerous procedural violations. We are extremely grateful to have her in our corner; our son can now attend a school that is best suited to his needs. Georgianna’s staff is also highly competent and supportive. Isabel never failed to patiently respond to my scores of questions in a prompt manner. Thank you so much for providing such an invaluable service to the special needs community!
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Posted by Liz | October 13, 2023
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Excellent lawyer!
We hired Ms. Kelman several years ago for IEP and district funding help. She and her office (her paralegal Isabel is also amazing!) were dogged and diligent at every step along the way. With every setback, Ms. Kelman kept us focused and moving forward to a very successful result! She is smart, knowledgeable, caring and a fighter for your kids! Highly recommend!
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Posted by anonymous | February 9, 2023
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Georgianna Kelman is a real life super hero.
I agree with every testimonial here! I have had the opportunity to meet icons in my life, people whose star shines so bright, Georgianna is one of them. Some say that stardom creates opportunity to reveal ‘more’ of who you truly are, whether good or bad. Georgianna’s platform, inspired by raising her own child with special needs, has given space for her natural generosity, compassion, determination, fearlessness, and tireless brilliance to explode. There are not enough words in my lexicon to fully encompass her talent and passion. Georgianna is a star. It’s incredible, the relief you feel when she is holding your child’s future in the palm of her loving capable hand. I weep with gratitude every year at the conclusion of our son’s IEP. My husband and I agree, there is no possible way our son could have achieved so much without her. Raising a child with special needs is not easy as we all know. Georgianna fights for your child as if he or she were her own… I know this has been said by others here, but it deserves to be repeated. Georgianna treats ALL of her clients as if they were her family. I agree, “a fierce advocate!” To me, Georgianna is a real life super hero. It truly feels like wonder woman has descended during an IEP meeting, lassos the participants, then proceeds to explain politely, firmly, and with total clarity, what is and is not “going to happen”. At that point, the people trying to sideline, minimize, and dismiss you and your child, are left with their mouths hanging open. Georgianna is respectful, professional, and knowledgable. If you have been lucky enough to come across or been given Georgianna’s information, reach out. Retaining Georgianna Kelman’s services will be the best decision you ever make advocating for your child. Isabel Zepeda, Georgianna’s wonderfully dedicated assistant is also a godsend. They make the perfect team. Georgianna and Isabel, thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We cannot imagine going through this without you.
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Posted by Laura | August 1, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Incredible lawyer
Georgianna was recommended to me by a good friend. I was lost in the IEP process and had no idea what I was doing. Georgianna and her team guided me through the whole process, and really fought for my daughter! She is incredible in her knowledge and made the whole experience run so smoothly. I am so grateful to her and her team!
Posted by Katie | May 26, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Couldn't ask for better - THE BEST
Georgianna and her team are so great to work with and get results. We were totally lost in the IEP process and being from the UK, the entire system is very confusing. They guided us at every step, were patient and kind with all my questions and more importantly, got us the results we needed. We'll be teaming up again next year and as long as it take to get our son what he needs, Could not recommend this team enough. THANK YOU x
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Posted by Grant | January 14, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Relentless!!
Georgianna has been handling our daughter's IEP process for 3 years now. You could not find a more knowledgeable attorney in this space. She is a straight-shooter, does what she says, and has reached settlements beyond our expectations every year. Don't even bother looking elsewhere. Seriously!
Posted by Brady | January 11, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Excellent!
A friend recommended Georgianna Junco Kelman's firm to us when we were desperate to get help for our son with dyslexia. I didn't know what to expect but it was a seamless and professional process and the results were amazing. Our son is progressing and I could not have done it without her help! Highly, highly recommend.
Posted by Eric | August 31, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Big in the Smart; Even Bigger in the Heart
Georgianna, as an education attorney, could not have served our family and son better. She is one of those humans that works far above and beyond one's expectations; this is because she not only has in-depth, up-to-date knowledge and long experience with respect to her expertise, but also because she genuinely feels and cares deeply for your challenges as a family. She has been there and gets it. In working with school districts, she comes to meetings deeply prepared and ready to advocate fiercely, yet still with a sense of kindness and reasonableness. Georgianna will give your options to you straight, so you can be best informed with how to proceed with securing the best possible educational environment for your kid. I cannot praise her work enough!
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Posted by Margarita | August 19, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
A fierce, knowledgeable, compassionate advocate for children with special needs.
Georgianna Junco-Kelman has been a wonderful advocate for my sons and the reason my children have received the correct resources from LAUSD. I first consulted with Georgianna prior to my son’s first IEP. I just wanted some tips from her on how to best advocate for him during the IEP. I was not my intention to walk into the IEP with a legal representative because I didn’t want to seem litigious since I was under the (mistaken) impression that the LAUSD representatives were there to do what was best for my child. Georgiana advised me not to walk into the IEP alone, and thankfully I followed her advise and retained her services. At the IEP I was amazed by her knowledge, assertiveness and ability to push the right buttons to get the administrators to admit that LAUSD did not have the resources to meet my son’s educational needs. The result was that they agreed to fund a non public school. Two years later, when I noticed that my second child was also showing signs of needling special services, I did not think about it twice, and asked Georgianna to represent us from the beginning. Georgiana is extremely knowledgeable in her field and knows how to make things happen. Her assistant,, Isabel, is very helpful and knowledgeable as well. She is very prompt responding to e mails and calls. Both my sons are now thriving at the correct school thanks to Georgianna. We are forever grateful to her, knowing that, if it were not for her, they would still be struggling at their public school and falling farther and farther behind. I highly recommend Georgianna to anyone looking for a fierce, knowledgeable and compassionate attorney who will fight for your child. You couldn’t be in better hands.
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Posted by Ameenah | May 11, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Gets the job done!
I’ve worked with Attorney Kelman on few occasions over the last 7 years. I’m very pleased with her representation of my autistic son. I learned something new from her about our rights during every session an IEP meeting. She truly cares about her clients and fights for us. Her assistant Isabel is a pleasure to work with as well.
Posted by Jennifer | April 18, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
An outstanding and effective fighter for our child! Could not have done it without her.
Georgiana is a highly skilled, passionate and tenacious attorney that fought really hard for our son and achieved multiple successful outcomes that we could not have ever obtained on our own. This is a long hard road to get our special needs son in the right educational setting and so grateful to have Georgiana by our side. We interviewed 6 other attorneys when we were starting out and so glad we chose Georgiana -- she has the knowledge, experience, drive, compassion to get the best outcome. So grateful!
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Posted by Edward | March 15, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Best Guidance for your child
Georgianna is excellent to work with! We were new to this whole process and with out Georgianna’s expert knowledge on how an IEP process works our child wouldn’t have received the help she needed. We are so grateful for her help. If you are ever in a situation your kids needs help navigating the IEP process contact Georgianna right away!
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Posted by Maria Y. | January 3, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Truly Committed To Making a Difference
After years of battling with the school district for my special needs son a close family friend referred me to Georgianna Junco Kelman. During my initial consultation she listened to all of my concerns. She was compassionate and understanding throughout the entire conversation. She took the time to explain our rights and step by step what it would take to achieve our desired resolution. We hired her on the spot and we are so thankful that we did. She fought diligently for my son and got him the services he needed. She was 100% professional, communicative, and truly committed to making a difference. We will continue to utilize her legal services for all matters pertaining to my son. I would highly recommend Georgianna Junco-Kelman.
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Posted by Danna | October 31, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Professional, Compassionate & Highly Effective!
Georgianna is simply the best advocate attorney you can find in LA to help with your child’s special education needs. We are extremely pleased with how our case was settled a few weeks ago. Everything that Georgianna told us to expect throughout the process came to be true. Georgianna was highly recommended by multiple people in our school community. Yes, she is very busy helping numerous families, but with the assistance of her amazing legal assistant Isabel, we always received prompt follow up to our inquiries and felt well supported throughout the process. Georgianna always arrived to the IEP’s and District meetings well prepared and ready to fight for our daughter. She is extremely passionate about students rights and the law. I have already recommended her to multiple other families and will continue to do so. She’s amazing. Thank you Georgianna and thank you Isabel!!!
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Posted by Julie | July 31, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Passionate attorney
If you are looking for a knowledgeable, passionate, efficient, approchable, thorough, reliable attorney, Ms. Kelman is the right special ed attorney for you. She and her team were very responsive and paticient during the whole process. We could not have done it without her! She helped us navigate through the process with eliminating fear and anxiety about the unknowns. We are very grateful! Thank you!
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Posted by Whitney | May 22, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Fought for My Kid’s Best Interest!
I hadn’t needed legal help with LAUSD until this last step, which was tricky. We all agreed that my kid needed a specific and serious higher level of help, but we disagreed on the actual vendor. Georgianna understood our history and need, and, after going through several nerve wracking steps, we won our case! SHE won our case! Highly recommend and can’t thank her enough!
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Posted by anonymous | August 31, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Absolutely Amazing!
When my husband and I hired Ms. Kelman we were desperate for help. We received that help and so much more. Our special needs sons were being mistreated by their school and school district. As much as my husband and I fought, we could not get anyone to care. And then came Ms. Kelman and the first thing she said to me was to 'take a breath' and that she would handle it. She did. She fought for my children like they were her own. We won our due process petition to get my sons placed in a more suitable school plus Full funding! I would like to thank Ms. Kelman and her wonderful legal assistant Ms. Zepeda for their amazing work on our behalf. God Bless you both...
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Posted by anonymous | May 21, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
You WON'T find anyone better!!!
To say that Mrs. Kelman has helped us in our journey with IEP and district processes is an understatement! For years she has been nothing short of instrumental in spearheading our boys' educations and ensuring they receive the resources that they are LEGALLY entitled to. All too often the schools have attempted short-selling my boys with less-than-mediocre services which they surely would not have benefited from, and Georgianna has kept an eagle eye on how the schools attempted to bypass appropriate programs and services in order to save their dime! Not on her watch!!! Georgianna has protected our boys with her keen understanding of special education laws and has managed to obtain the rightful assistance from the district, and they continue to thrive under her protection. She leaves no stone unturned in finding new ways to obtain the proper accommodations for our children. Additionally, Ms. Kelman's heart is bigger than I could have ever imagined! As a mother of 3 children herself, she understands a parent's fears and plight down this road and literally becomes emotionally invested in her case. You witness that when the momma bear in her comes out during IEP's...she is absolutely fierce and she wins (so bring your popcorn 'cause it's fun to watch)! She is a God-sent to our boys and I cannot thank my lucky stars enough for finding this amazing warrior and having her help us re-direct the trajectory of our boys' academic lives!!! Simply put, you will not find a better advocate for your child. I know I won't.
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Posted by Jeff | May 18, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Best Of The Best
If you want the very best attorney that specializes in advocacy for special needs children then look no further. Georgianna has a very unique background because besides being one of the best lawyers I've ever worked with, she is also the mother of a special needs child and so she feels your pain and anticipates every detail because she has been there time and time again. I've been in business for a very long time and have used attorneys from all different practices and Georgianna is far and away the best of the best in her field. She has a commanding presence, extensive expertise and a driving passion that very few people I've ever met possess. There are many who are good, a few that are great, but there is only one BEST! Georgianna is the Best!
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Posted by M. Jill | April 5, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Current Client
We have worked with and continue to retain Georgianna to help secure placement for our elementary aged daughter who has a range of academic and social emotional needs. She has supported our family in gaining an external evaluation, access to multiple educational supports on top of those included in our daughter's IEP, and financial support for educational options usually reserved for families with strong financial resources. Not only does Georgianna have extensive experience navigating the bureaucracy inherent in school districts, but she is also an expert negotiator with the ability to articulate nuances that are key to addressing children's individual needs. We appreciate her wisdom, personal inspiration, compassion, and commitment to ensuring all children have access to a high quality school that propels them to success. We are forever grateful to her and feel lucky to have found such a gem in the LA.
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Cost

Rates
  • Hourly Rates $ 650-700 per hour
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card

Resume

AVVO RATING 7.1 (Very Good)

Work Experience

  • Attorney
  • Law Offices of Georgianna Junco-Kelman
  • 2005 - Present
  • Attorney
  • Law Offices of Jonathan I. Kelman
  • 1998 - 2005

Education

  • Whittier College School of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1998
  • Univ of California at Los Angeles
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 1995

Associations

  • Inclusion Matters by Shane's Inspiration
  • Member Board of Directors
  • 2014 - Present
  • Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates
  • Attorney Member
  • 2010 - Present
  • Autism Speaks Southern California
  • Member Board of Directors
  • 2009 - Present

Languages Spoken

  • Spanish
  • English

Honors and Awards

  • Outstanding Leadership and Dedication Award - Gala Chair
  • Autism Speaks
  • 2018
  • Formidable Advocate Award
  • Inclusion Matters by Shane's Inspiration
  • 2017

Speaking Engagements

Attorney endorsements

Received (4)
Given (2)
Endorse Georgianna
Education Attorney | Aug 18
Relationship: Friend
"Georgianna Junco-Kelman cares deeply about every client as she sees her own parental struggles and that of her son, in each child. She has taught free special education to parents in order to raise awareness and I have personally attended a week-long conference with her wherein I often felt she knew more that the instructor. Georgianna selflessly gives of her time to the Autism Speaks community and wherever she can to raise awareness - this is not just a job for her, it is a cause. I give her my strongest endorsement."
Education Attorney | Feb 27
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Mrs. Kelman is devoted to her clients. I have known her for many years and this area of law is certainly her calling. She will not rest until she successfully gets each and every child the right and appropriate educational plan. I would trust her with my own kids."
Education Attorney | Feb 26
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Georgianna is a caring and passionate attorney who will not rest until her unfortunate clients get what they deserve. The best lawyer in your corner by far...beware school distrcit...with Georgianna on your team....game over!"
Child abuse Attorney | May 01
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
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Avvo Contributions

0 Legal Answers 3 Legal Guides
Studio City Education Lawyer Georgianna Junco Kelman
Georgianna Junco Kelman
Education Attorney
Studio City, CA
Licensed for 25 years