My name is Margaret McNair and I have been a special education attorney for the past 5 years. There are 3 things you need to know about me to know me: I have 4 daughters who are beautiful inside and out, I have the best husband anyone could ask for and I am saved by grace.
Before becoming a special education lawyer, I was a full time mother to 4, now grown daughters. I grew up in Los Angeles and attended my local public elementary and middle schools and I graduated from Crenshaw High School. My experience at these schools was not perfect but I was safe, I was nurtured, I was enriched and I learned everything I needed to learn. From there I went to UCLA for my undergraduate degree and then received my law degree in 1986.
While I was in law school I met my completely amazing and totally wonderful husband, Greg, and we had our first daughter. Fast forward 12 years and 3 more daughters and I had 4 young girls in the Los Angeles education system. But this was not the Los Angeles education system that I grew up in.
I could not be sure that my girls would be safe, nurtured, or even learn the basic things they were supposed to be learning in their local schools. It took a lot of searching and sending them to a combination of the few good local public schools, magnet schools, and at times even private schools just for them to get the same quality of education I got in the public school system. I was driving them to schools everywhere from the Culver City area to Gardena. This wasn’t so that they could get an elite education it was because they were experiencing more pressure, more danger, and less support at their local public schools than I did at Crenshaw back in the day!
While all 4 of my daughters were in school I quit my job as an assistant district attorney to be a full time mom and I was very involved in volunteering in their schools. It took all of this just so my daughters could get a good, solid education. I knew I was really putting in work and not every mom can be a full time mom and make time to find these good schools, volunteer, and drive their children all around the city. At this point I thought, “Okay something is definitely not right here.”
Once my youngest daughter was almost in high school I decided to start working again. I got a job at a special education law firm and I found my calling. Now I am the supervising attorney at Hope 4 Families, a special education law firm. Special education combines all of the things I love: children, justice, education, ministry, homebuilding, encouragement, writing, blessing folks, and building up communities of color.
I am writing this blog because I wanted there to be a place where people could come for real talk about how to work with the special education system. I don’t want people to have to struggle through figuring out education the way I see so many parents struggling every day. I hope this can be a fun, fresh, uplifting space that provides you with practical advice, guidance, and support during your education journey.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!