Colleen R. Villarreal is Senior Counsel in Lozano Smith's Sacramento office. She represents public schools and other educational agencies in special education, student issues, and litigation. Ms. Villarreal was named to the 2017 Northern California Rising Stars list by Super Lawyers Magazine.
Ms. Villarreal represents school districts in special education and student matters and has experience with IEP and 504 meetings, mediations, manifestation determinations, settlement negotiations, and due process hearings.
Ms. Villarreal has also represented the State in numerous administrative hearings on behalf of the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.
Ms. Villarreal has presented on various topics such as Section 504 plans and IEPs, legally compliant and defensible assessments, transition planning, IEP facilitation and development, as well as other topics relating to special education and Section 504. Most popularly, Ms. Villarreal has facilitated mock due process hearings for school district personnel.
Ms. Villarreal earned her J.D., with a concentration in Criminal Justice and a certificate in Advocacy, from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. She earned her B.A. from Dominican University of California.
Following COVID-19 school closures during the 2019-2020 school year, many school districts are faced with making determinations regarding potential compensatory education for their special education student populations. Host Sloan Simmons discusses the concept of compensatory education and school closures with Lozano Smith special education experts Marcy Gutierrez and Colleen Villarreal, including important factors for districts to consider on this subject and the latest OAH rulings on point.