Law Firm Contracts with Special Education Advisor


Cerritos, CALIF. —The law firm of Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo (AALRR) has announced that former State-wide Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) Chair Penny L. Valentine, just recently retired as SELPA Director for the Marin County Office of Education, has joined forces with AALRR to support the firm’s forward thinking delivery of legal services.  Ms. Valentine will be serving as a consultant to AALRR’s Special Education Law Practice group, thereby expanding the scope of top-flight special education, Section 504 and student discipline services to AALRR’s 475 school district clients throughout California.

Ms. Valentine brings many years of special education management, budget and programmatic expertise derived from prior executive and leadership positions at the Marin County Office of Education, San Diego County Office of Education, Corona-Norco Unified School District, Upland Unified School District and California School for the Deaf in Riverside.  Ms. Valentine officially begins her consulting partnership with AALRR on August 5, 2013. Ms. Valentine’s leadership and expertise will be felt immediately with the firm’s clients.

“We are really excited and very fortunate to have an individual with Penny’s attributes, leadership abilities and statewide reputation in the field of special education join our firm as a consultant,” said Senior Partner Karen E. Gilyard, Chair of AALRR’s statewide Special Education Law Practice Group. “Penny brings great experience, fresh ideas and exciting new opportunities to our practice group that will provide another dimension to the value we deliver to our clients.”

Senior Partner Adam J. Newman who co-chairs the practice group adds, “Penny’s affiliation with our firm is a win-win for everyone.  Our clients will value the seasoned expertise that comes with Penny’s educational leadership in special education. Her services will be the perfect complement to what we do as full-time legal specialists in the area of special education.”

Ms. Valentine expressed, "I am thrilled to be part of the expanding services that AALRR is offering to their clients.  I look forward to working with districts proactively to improve services for children with disabilities."

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About Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo

AALRR is a full service California law firm with a focus on employment and labor, education, corporate, real estate, construction and complex and commercial litigation. We are counsel to more than 400 school districts and public and private universities. Our diverse teams bring a seasoned perspective to California’s complex legal landscape for both private and public entities. AALRR maintains offices in Cerritos, Fresno, Irvine, Pleasanton, Riverside,  Sacramento and San Diego. For further information about us, visit our website at or sign up for key updates at our blogs or

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