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Our background, experience, and professional and community involvement has earned McKinley & Ryan its strong reputation. We have taken leadership roles in the legal community and have been actively involved as officers and leaders in local and state wide charitable organizations.
Lorrie is one of the very few lawyers in the Philadelphia area with undisputed expertise in bot employment law and special education advocacy and litigation. She is passionate, bold and creative advocate with a long track record of protecting the civil rights of employees and students under the nation’s civil rights law at every level of the state and federal courts.
Lorrie is widely recognized for her contributions in the employment provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act as well as her advocacy on behalf of children with special needs. Lorrie started her career at Community Legal Services, Inc., in Philadelphia, where she eventually became Project Head for the Employment Law Project at Community Legal Services, Inc. She counseled or co-counseled dozens of cases in federal court involving disability rights in employment and education, including numerous appeals in both the Third Circuit and the United States Supreme Court to secure Fourteenth Amendment Constitutional due process protections for injured workers. Her work in that case has been highlighted in an exhibit in the Supreme Court Section of the United States Constitutional Center.
Lorrie has earned awards for her advocacy and has held leadership roles in the local bar and legal community. In 2005, Lorrie was elected as a Fellow in the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers based on her outstanding achievement in the profession. Lorrie has also received the Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. Award from the Philadelphia Bar Association and the Philadelphia Volunteers for the Indigent Program and the Legal Leadership Award from the Philadelphia Area Project on Occupational Safety and Health (PhilaPOSHA). For many years Lorrie was Coordinator of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania’s Plaintiff’s’ Employment Panel and lectured regularly at the Panel’s educational programs. She also served on the Board of Public Interest Civil Litigation Fund.
In addition to her experience as a litigator, Lorrie has an extensive background as a teacher. She spent five years on the clinical faculty of the University of Pennsylvania Law School where she taught a civil practice course and supervised students in the Penn Legal Assistance Office. She also served for five years as an adjunct Lecturer-in-Law at the Villanova University School where she taught a course in Pre-Trial Practice. Throughout her career Lorrie has lectured widely at professional seminars both in Pennsylvania and on a national level on an array of topics related to her areas of practice.
Lorrie is a graduate of Temple University School of Law. She received a B.S. from Penn State University. Lorrie is admitted to practice in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court. For over a decade, Lorrie has been selected by her peers as one of the “Best Lawyers in America.” Since 2008, she has also been listed as a “Super Lawyer” by Thompsons Reuters based on peer recognition and professional achievement.
Nancy is a skilled and persistent negotiator who gets results for her clients. She counsels parents and students and effectively helps them enforce their rights through litigation under the individuals with Disabilities Educational Act (IDEA), Section 504, and other federal and state statutes and regulations that protect the educational rights of children in public schools and post-secondary educational institutions. She represents parents in all stages of education negotiations and litigation, from CEP meetings to resolution meetings/settlement conferences, due process hearings, and discipline proceedings such as manifestation hearings, and state and federal court.
In addition to special education advocacy, Nancy has had a long career providing human resource management and litigation support in employment matters to social welfare agencies, including mental health service providers. As counsel for these organizations, she provides consultation in the areas of compliance with state and federal discrimination and workplace laws, organizational policies and procedures, hiring, termination and performance management issues, and litigation defense in state and federal court and before administration agencies including the EEOC and PHRC.
Nancy’s interest in special education law grew out of her lifelong experiences working with children with learning needs and having a family member with severe mental illness. Nancy graduated from college with special education certification and spent several years teaching students with learning disabilities and emotional support needs. After law school, she worked as an associate in several Philadelphia law firms specializing in civil litigation where she handled complex civil litigation matters in state and federal court. Nancy worked part-time for the Disabilities Law Project where she furthered her interest in advocacy for persons with disabilities.
Nancy has a long history of volunteer public service. She served two terms as Board Member of the Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania, and served as President of the Board. She served two terms as a Board Member of Pennsylvania Protection and Advocacy, Inc., now Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania. She has been actively involved with the Philadelphia Bar Association, including its Public Interest section, and served as the Chair and Co-chair of the Section’s Committee on the Legal Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Nancy graduated from Temple University School of Law. She received an M.Ed. from the College of William and Mary and a B.S. from the University of Dayton. Nancy is admitted to practice in the United States District Court for the Eastern and Middle Districts of Pennsylvania, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.