Kathleen A. McDonald is the Office Managing Associate in the firm's Fresno office. Her areas of practice cover Student Services and Special Education, and Business, Facilities & Real Estate. Ms. McDonald spent four years teaching severely handicapped students at a high school in the Central Valley from which she gained considerable experience in both the legal and every day challenges facing special needs students. She provides compliance counsel in the areas of the Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA).
Prior to joining the firm, Ms. McDonald was of counsel at a firm practicing environmental and land use law and assisted clients in solving complex compliance issues arising from the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and their state of California analogues. Ms. McDonald also had expertise in obtaining cost recovery under the Underground Storage Tank Cleanup Fund for clients who had cleaned up sites contaminated by leaking underground storage tanks. In addition, Ms. McDonald worked on a variety of land use matters that involved special district formation, local taxation by developers and historic preservation. She has written several articles and given seminars on various environmental law issues.
Ms. McDonald's pro bono legal service has included assisting grandparents with obtaining guardianships of their grandchildren, mentally ill minors with obtaining Social Security disability benefits, and a family daycare home association with obtaining local zoning commission approval. In addition, she was a mentor to incarcerated youth through the Los Angeles County Bar Association's attorney mentoring program.
Ms. McDonald earned her Juris Doctor from the University of California, Los Angeles. While there, she authored "Battered Wives, Religion & Law: An Interdisciplinary Approach," which was published in the Yale Journal of Law & Feminism. She received her Bachelor's Degree, magna cum laude, from the University of California, Los Angeles, and both her Master's Degree in Special Education and her Education Specialist Credential from Chapman University.