Betsey A. Helfrich leads the firm’s special education department. Betsey has successfully represented school district clients against a variety of claims in state and federal courts as well as in special education due process hearings and appeals. Betsey also provides general counsel to schools on special education matters and conducts local and national trainings regarding Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and all areas of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
Betsey frequently guides school clients and is a national presenter regarding virtual instruction and the impact on special education students. Betsey recently conducted a webinar regarding Virtual Instruction During the COVID-19 Outbreak: The Legal Aspects for Special Education Students to guide schools and other school attorneys during unprecedented times. Betsey presented on this topic at LRP’s 26th Annual Special Education School Attorneys Conference in New Orleans in 2020 and spoke at the 40th Annual National Institute on Legal Issues of Educating Individuals with Disabilities regarding the Legal Aspects of Blended, Virtual Instruction in May 2019. In spring 2019 Betsey gave the keynote address at the Transporting Students with Disabilities Conference in Frisco, Texas. Betsey was invited to present at LRP’s 38th & 39th Annual National Institute on Legal Issues of Educating Individuals with Disabilities. Betsey is also a frequent presenter for the National Business Institute. In 2012, Betsey was invited to speak at the National School Board Association Council of School Attorneys seminar in Santa Fe, New Mexico, regarding the Children’s Internet Protection Act and her work on the case, PFLAG v. the Camdenton School District. In 2013 Betsey presented at ISTE, the International Society for Technology in Education Conference held in San Antonio, Texas. In 2015 Betsey was invited to present at the National School Board Association Council of School Attorneys seminar, held in Nashville, Tennessee. In 2016, Betsey spoke at the National School Board Association Council of School Attorneys seminar in Portland, Oregon, regarding student mental health and student suicide. Betsey also served on the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s workgroup regarding youth suicide prevention and awareness.
In 2013, Betsey successfully represented the South Callaway R-II School District before the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.
In July 2014, Betsey was honored by Missouri Lawyers’ Weekly as a recipient of the Up & Coming Award. This award recognized Missouri attorneys age 40 and younger who demonstrate professional accomplishment, skill, and leadership and demonstrate an extraordinary commitment to the community through their volunteer service and leadership.
Betsey graduated magna cum laude from the University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Law in 2006 and in the same year was selected as a Tierra Farrow Outstanding Woman Law Student.
In 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020, Betsey was recognized as a Missouri and Kansas Super Lawyers Rising Star.
- Crocker R-II School District Due Process/IDEA Complaint Successfully Dismissed in the Western District of Missouri |
- Mickes O’Toole Attorneys Obtain Judgment in School District’s Favor in Section 504, ADA, and Section 1983 Case |
- Helfrich Successful before Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals |
- MGO Recovers $18,000 in Attorney Fees in ADA Lawsuit |
- Mickes and Helfrich Successfully Defend Southwest Missouri School District in Missouri Court of Appeals |
- Don’t Forget About Substitutes! Examining the Obligation to Provide Substitute Teachers with Key Student Information – By: Betsey Helfrich
- Flood, Fire, and Families: The Enrollment and Education of Displaced Students – By: Betsey Helfrich
- Section 504: What’s New and What’s Next – By: Betsey Helfrich
- Directory Information – Time for an Update? – By: Betsey Helfrich
- How are you Sharing Information with Substitute Staff? Examining the Obligation to Share Key Student Information – By: Betsey Helfrich
Areas of Practice:
- Special Education Law
- Education Law
- Employment Law
- Appellate Practice
Bar and Court Admissions:
- Missouri Bar
- University of Missouri –Kansas City School of Law, J.D., 2006
– Magna Cum Laude
– Tierra Farrow Outstanding Woman Law Student, 2006
- University of Missouri – Columbia, B.A. Communications, 2003
– Magna Cum Laude
- National School Boards Association COSA Member
- Missouri School Boards Association COSA Member