Director of Whittier Law School’s Special Education Clinic
B.A.. , University of California, Santa Cruz,
J.D., Whittier College School of Law,
M.A., Ph. D., University of California, Los Angeles
Tel. 714.444.4141 ext. 309
Building Three, Legal Clinic
Dr. Goetz joined Whittier Law School as a clinical professor in the Children’s Rights Legal Clinic and founded the Whittier Law School Special Education Legal Clinic, which partners exclusively with Lanterman Regional Center, in 2001, after having founded the first Special Education Law Clinic in California at Pepperdine Law School in 1996. Dr. Goetz provides law students enrolled in the Special Education Clinic with the substantive analytic skills to interpret the law and actively learn through direct involvement about the process and institutions of the legal justice system as it relates to children with disabilities. Individual clinic students develop an understanding of the policies and procedures which affect legal representation of children with disabilities in the education system. Legislation and case law in the field of special education is analyzed, and awareness and appreciation of the concerns of persons with disabilities is raised. Students learn the law on an individual level, as it interfaces with a whole system of services: social, educational and medical. Students are given the opportunity to work on a wide variety of client matters under Dr. Goetz’ supervision, including but not limited to educational assessment, appropriate educational placements and related services such as speech therapy, occupational therapy and behavior modification.
Since the Special Education Clinic’s inception at Whittier Law School, clinic students have provided legal assistance and direct representation and successfully resolved issues for over 1000 families with children ages 2-24 with a wide variety of diagnoses and special needs. Clinical students’ work has a broad impact and creates system change. Many of the students who have participated in the clinic have gone on to become disability and/or special education attorneys upon graduation.