Our Team
 
Michelle Siegel

I am a compassionate and knowledgeable special education attorney who will aggressively represent your family in your struggle to secure the appropriate educational programs and services you are entitled to in New York. I am committed to upholding the rights of individuals with disabilities and have the track record to prove it. 

I consistently prevail in due process hearings and am successful in obtaining favorable settlements for my clients. I am fully equipped to assist your family throughout every step of the process, including advocating for an appropriate IEP through securing your award.

I began practicing law in New York at the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office where I successfully prosecuted complex felony cases in the Major Narcotics Investigations Bureau and Special Victims Unit.

A graduate of the University of San Francisco, I am admitted to practice law in New York and California and am a member of the bar of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

michellesiegel@msiegelaw.com

Cynthia Lane

Cynthia managed complex civil litigation cases before transitioning to special education law. She became passionate about assisting families with children that have special needs while advocating for her own son. Cynthia realized that she could use her litigation experience assisting families seeking an appropriate education for their child that is designed for the child's learning differences. She is dedicated to fighting for families who are pursuing special education and related services on behalf of their child.

Cynthia received a bachelors degree from the University of Southern California and graduated with honors from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. She is admitted to practice law in New York and California.

cynthialane@msiegelaw.com

 

Justin Killian

Justin has over fifteen years of litigation experience. He began his career as a complex commercial litigator, representing clients in such diverse actions as the Enron bankruptcy and a civil RICO lawsuit against the Florida Marlins and Major League Baseball. Justin then moved into special education law in 2014. He spent three years with the city – first with the Corporation Counsel and then with the Department of Education – litigating and negotiating cases filed by parents under the IDEA. Having seen the process from the DOE side, Justin felt moved to come to our firm so that he might use his knowledge and experience to help secure the best possible outcomes for students with disabilities.

Justin received his bachelors degree summa cum laude from Fordham University and graduated from the Fordham University School of Law. Justin is licensed to practice law in New York State and is a member of the bar for the U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Eastern District of New York.

justinkillian@msiegelaw.com

 

 

Steve Alizio

Steve has extensive and varied experience within the education sector.  Prior to law school, Steve was a high school mathematics teacher in New York for seven years.  He received his M.S.Ed. from Hofstra University, and studied philosophy and politics at The George Washington University and Pembroke College, Oxford University.  Steve earned his J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School, where he was the Executive Development Editor of the Michigan Law Review, Vice President of the Education Law and Policy Society, and Event Coordinator for Legal Advocates for Children and Youth.  Steve spent his final semester studying law at Columbia Law School, and served as a student educational consultant for Columbia’s Center for Public Research and Leadership. 
 
Prior to joining our team, Steve practiced special education law at the New York Legal Assistance Group’s Special Education Unit, where he advocated for students with disabilities and worked on related legal matters, including a federal class-action lawsuit.  He is admitted to practice law in the state of New York.

stevealizio@msiegelaw.com

 

Mary Fernandes

Mary Fernandes received her Masters in English from Boston University and has an advertising background prior to becoming a special education teacher in 2003. She received her MSEd from CUNY College of Staten Island and worked for 13 years as a D75 special education teacher for students with autism and other developmental disabilities. In addition, she has worked as an ABA therapist in early intervention agency programs in the city. Her joy in working with students with autism and other severe disabilities led her to complete the TARA autism specialist program at Pace University. Both as a teacher and and as a parent of a son with autism, Mary is dedicated to advocating for the rights of children and parents and helping them navigate the complex educational system in NYC. It is an honor to have her as part of our team playing an important role in the lives of special needs families.

maryfernandes@msiegelaw.com

Analise Altobelli

Analise Altobelli graduated with an English Literature degree from Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland. After working for a legal services organization serving families and their children with disabilities and then working for a special education attorney in Maryland, Analise moved to New York in order to continue her passion of helping students with disabilities get an equal right to education.

analisealtobelli@msiegelaw.com

Makeba James

Makeba James graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from the University of Rochester. While at college, she developed a passion for advocacy, social justice, and fighting for underrepresented groups. Makeba is excited to be a part of our team, where she can help special need families fight for access to the education they deserve.

makebajacobsjames@msiegelaw.com

Jena Cordova

Jena Cordova Neuman is a social activist and project manager who has successfully advocated for her special needs son over the last four years. This experience inspired her to help families in similar situations know their rights and find the resources to serve their children. Prior to her advocacy work, Jena graduated from the International Culinary Center NYC and ran a film production catering company while also consulting for new restaurants. Jena holds a B.A. in biology from Texas Tech University.

jenacordova@msiegelaw.com

     
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