Frances Shefter, Rockville, Maryland Education Law Attorney – My Shingle


Welcome to MyShingle’s series celebrating Girl-Owned and Mother-Owned Regulation Companies.  This profile features Frances Shefter, an schooling law legal professional in Rockville, Maryland. 

What is your name? 

Frances Shefter

Law College attended and calendar year of graduation.

Stetson University College or university of Legislation, 2005

Identify, site(s) and URL of Legislation Organization.

Shefter Law, PA

110 N. Washington Road, Suite 350

Rockville, MD 20850

Summarize your operate experience, if any, prior to opening your business. Both as a lawyer or prior to turning into a law firm.

I started my schooling with an undergraduate diploma in early childhood education from Towson College.  Immediately after a number of a long time of teaching normal schooling, I received a master’s diploma in distinctive education and learning from Florida International University.  Following seven several years in the classroom, teaching common and exclusive training, I moved to an administrative instructing place as the Particular Instruction Coordinator.  Two decades later on, I decided I was not creating as much of a change in children’s lives as I wanted.  I decided that regulation college was the reply.  Shortly just after graduating from Stetson College College or university of Law with a Certificate of Focus in Advocacy, I opened the business, Shefter Regulation, PA, in Rockville, MD, where by I support families have a Anxiety-Absolutely free IEP™ knowledge.  The firm’s principal area of follow is exclusive education regulation in Maryland and the District of Columbia. 

Given that opening her business, Ms. Shefter has assisted families with all methods in the IEP and 504 process.  She prides herself in reviewing all of a child’s faculty information in purchase to assist households in picking out the ideal route for their baby.  Ms. Shefter then assists information the spouse and children as a result of each individual move of the procedure.  She has assisted people in obtaining eligibility for providers, non-general public placements, 504 designs and assuring that the IEP plans are suitable.  

Getting Ms. Shefter out of the classroom did not take away her passion for instructing.  She hates when educational facilities just take edge of family’s lack of expertise of the regulations and treatments of the unique education and learning approach.  She has dozens of brief movies on her YouTube channel that reveal distinctive sections of the IEP system, IEP elements, 504 programs and other parental legal rights.  Moreover, she sends out newsletters with far more information and facts on every subject.  Check out her web site at to indication up for her publication and a hyperlink to subscribe to her YouTube channel.

When did you get started your agency? 

February 2011

 Why did you determine to start your own regulation company? 

Actually, simply because I was a contract lawyer in Washington, DC and I could not find an additional job that fit.  I realized I required to observe instruction regulation to mix all of my education and learning and expertise but could not uncover a company that fit with my main values and was hiring.

What was the reaction you gained from family members, pals, colleagues, legislation school classmates, judges, etc…when you announced your determination to start?

My husband, Seth, mentioned go for it.  He was so supportive and encouraging.  I really do not try to remember telling anyone else prior to I did it.  I was on the DC Exceptional Court CCAN panel as an Training Attorney, and everyone knew about that.  But I was originally working as a contract legal professional when I obtained appointed to the panel.   When I give up contracting and begun concentrating on my agency only, I just did it and did not actually inform everyone other than Seth.   

What apply places does your organization concentrate on?

My agency solely techniques Schooling Law.

What size is your organization?

1 lawyer, 1 component-time advocate, 1 administrative assistant and 1 social media assistant.

Do you observe total-time or component-time

Full time

What can make your law company special and different from any other regulation organization in the planet?

My instruction history and capacity to relate to every person at an IEP desk.   My education and perform working experience provides me the special potential to be ready to act as an legal professional and an advocate at all meetings.  I am also the only person at an IEP desk that can honestly say she has been in pretty much each individual seat at much more than one particular meeting.  All through my educating profession I participated in IEP conferences as a frequent education instructor, a unique schooling instructor and as the LEA agent.  I have also attended IEP conferences as an legal professional and as a mother.  This brings an excess amount of working experience to the desk since I can actually relate to how her purchasers are feeling during the system. 

How many little ones do you have and what ages are they?

Chana is 8 and Esther is pretty much 5

Has turning into a mom affected your choice to start out or proceed to run your very own law business? If so, how? 

Soon following Seth and I received married, we started fertility treatment.  It was great focusing on both escalating my new business and performing on having expecting.  Obtaining Chana, and then Esther, strengthened my sensation that opening my agency was the ideal decision.  I have the overall flexibility to be a mom and attend college features through the day whilst being a job design for my children.  I don’t forget escalating up considering I could not be a good mom and operate total time.  Nicely, I now proved myself completely wrong.  I can be an magnificent mother, a complete-time attorney, AND operate my very own legislation company.

If you are married/residing in a fully commited romance with a associate, what job has your partner played with regard to your exercise and mutual family members obligations and conversely, what impression has possessing your firm had on your marriage and job as a mother?

Seth has been my selection 1 supporter.  We break up relatives obligations with cooking, caring for children, and operating the household.  We outsource a lot for the reason that he performs full time also.  But, we are the two equals in the property.  There is no “man’s” get the job done or “woman’s” work.  Well, except possibly killing bugs.  That is his task.

I have blocked off spouse and children time nearly every evening and most weekends.  My mobile phone gets set away and no operate is accomplished unless of course it is a considered workday, which is only about as soon as a thirty day period.  Quantity and top quality spouse and children time is important to the two of us.  We waited a prolonged time to have youngsters and went via a quite large amount.  We want to delight in them although they are even now inclined to dangle out with us.

What are the pros and downsides of regulation firm possession as a mother with regard to attaining get the job done-lifestyle equilibrium? 

Execs: make my individual agenda, superior purpose design for my children, out there to show up at university situations if enough see is offered

Drawbacks:  Not ready to just take time or a day off when boy or girl is ill or requirements something at school at times have to do the job evenings or weekends sometimes are unable to attend university events when progress observe is not given

What are the professionals and disadvantages of regulation organization possession from a expert standpoint?

Professionals:  pick out my consumers determine how to regulate cases get to do things my way take care of my own calendar

Downsides:  get worried about where by the subsequent customer is coming from not obtaining a continual paycheck no getaway or unwell depart

In your viewpoint, has the pandemic adjusted your colleagues’ attitudes in direction of mothers and fathers – especially mothers – in the workforce? 

Not really.  The only matter that arrives to mind is maybe that we can take care of even far more, ie functioning from dwelling with kids attending digital school next to us.

Remember to share a parenting mishap or embarrassing child second that one more dad or mum who practices can relate to.

When I was in virtual court docket a single working day, my then 3-yr-old pretty much climbed on my head.  Fortunately it was just a standing listening to and everyone just reported hello to her.

Make sure you share a tale about an opponent or colleague who grossly underestimated you (whether or not due to youth, limited working experience or just becoming a woman or dad or mum) or an amazing victory that you obtained

At an IEP conference I had a male principal try out to speak down to me and say that I did not comprehend running a college.  He was pretty much standing in excess of me in an authoritative way.  I remained seated and calmly described all my degrees and practical experience.  His draw dropped and he said, “So, basically, you can do my job and your work.”  I claimed, “Yep!”  He sat down and the conference ongoing.  I bought the university student anything my customer required.

In your check out, what role does legislation company ownership by mom attorneys enjoy in advancing gender equality in the legal career? 

It proves to us that we can have it all.  Guys are nevertheless heading to be the exact same and some will address us unequally.  But we will prevail.  I truly appreciate when an individual underestimates me or asks me who I operate for in a condescending way.  It is enjoyment placing them again in their spot in a sweet fashion.   I also like the assistance and enjoy we have for just about every other just mainly because we are fellow mom’s, lawyers and legislation company homeowners. 

Let’s pay it ahead – share your finest suggestions or most potent lesson discovered with other woman mom lawyers who may be imagining about beginning a agency or have started off a agency but are going by way of a rough patch. 

Just one working day at a time.  Do not be afraid to check with for support.  Reach out to fellow mother, attorney, legislation organization house owners and get tips.  You can have it all just just take the first move and never seem again!! 


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