Alyssa R. Bivins is Senior Counsel and co-chair of Lozano Smith's Special Education Practice Group and practices out of the firm's Sacramento and Fresno offices. Ms. Bivins represents school districts and other educational agencies in special education, student, and litigation matters.
Ms. Bivins regularly provides guidance to school district administrators in navigating the complex landscape of state and federal education law, including nuanced issues related to medical
marijuana and mental health programs. Ms. Bivins also represents school districts at Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings, special education mediations, due process hearings, and expulsion hearings.
Ms. Bivins has represented school districts in nearly every legal forum in California, including federal district court, California superior court, the California Courts of Appeal, the Office of Administrative Hearings, the Office for Civil Rights, and the California Department of Education. For instance, Ms. Bivins successfully represented a large school district at oral argument before California's Third District Court of Appeal. Ms. Bivins has also obtained an entirely favorable outcome on behalf of a small school district in response to an extensive Office for Civil Rights complaint.
Ms. Bivins' experience in education law goes beyond representing school districts, as she has also taught School Law and Ethics of Educational Leadership
to Masters students at the California State University, Sacramento. Additionally, Ms. Bivins' article "Vanquishing Vaping on Campus" was published in the California School Boards Association (CSBA) blog and the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) Resource Hub. Ms. Bivins was also quoted in LRP Publications' article "What to Expect from California's New Assistive Technology Law."
Prior to joining Lozano Smith, Ms. Bivins practiced education law with two other California-based education law firms, the Children's Law Clinic at Duke University School of Law, and the Duke University Office of Legal Counsel. Ms. Bivins also served as the Senior Law Clerk to District Court Judge John A. Mendez of the Eastern District of California.
As the co-chair of Lozano Smith's Special Education Practice Group, Ms. Bivins plans and presents at Lozano Smith's annual Special Education Legal Consortium and Food for Thought events. Ms. Bivins has presented on special education, student discipline, and mental health issues at the annual ACSA Every Child Counts Symposium, the ACSA North State Conference, and the ACSA Academy for school administrators. Ms. Bivins frequently provides training to school districts and county offices of education on the IDEA, Section 504, student discipline, and much more. Ms. Bivins also regularly contributes to Lozano Smith's podcast and webinar programs.
Ms. Bivins is heavily involved in both the education and legal communities. Ms. Bivins has served as a Reading Partners tutor at an elementary school in the Robla School District since 2015. As the Programs Coordinator for the Sacramento Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, Ms. Bivins plans events to facilitate interaction between Eastern District and Ninth Circuit judges and Sacramento attorneys. In January 2020, Ms. Bivins was appointed to the Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Panel by the district court judges for the Eastern District of California.
Ms. Bivins earned her J.D. from Duke University School of Law (cum laude) where she served as an editor on the Duke Law Journal and as President of the Education Law and Policy Society. Ms. Bivins also contributed to A Parents' Guide to Special Education in North Carolina
, published by the Children's Law Clinic.
Ms. Bivins graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the College Honors Program at UCLA, where she obtained a minor in Education Studies.
Host Sloan Simmons talks with Lozano Smith Special Education Practice Group leaders Marcy Gutierrez and Alyssa Bivins about the latest developments on COVID-19 and special education, with a focus on Senate Bill 98 and the most recent state and federal directives and guidance heading into the 2020-2021 school year.
Sloan Simmons sits down with Lozano Smith Special Education Practice Group Leaders Marcy Gutierrez and Aly Bivins, along with special education, 504, and student attorney Kyle Raney, to discuss this year's legislative activity in the area of special education, as well to get their views on what school officials should be thinking about in the special education arena looking forward to 2020.
The issue of students using marijuana in California's public schools is an ever evolving issue, and leaves many confused as to the state of the law. Sloan Simmons engages experts in this area of school law, Aimee Perry and Alyssa Bivins, on the most recent developments, including what hasn't changed in terms of student discipline, what may have changed in special education, and proposed legislation poised to impact students and schools on this topic. This thoughtful discussion fully explores the latest on this topics, including trending practices and options for school officials.