Robert Thurston of Thurston Law Offices and SchoolKidsLawyer.com dispels any preconceived attitude you may have toward lawyers. He does this via his compassion for special needs kids, an altruistic heart, and a whole lot of coffee.
Rob and I weren’t close friends during our high-school days (or more appropriately, daze) at the suburban assembly line known as Cherry Hill High School East. But through the magic of Facebook, we now have a much stronger connection.
I’ve never met an attorney quite like Rob Thurston, which is high praise indeed. His quest in life is to help parents navigate the sometimes precarious minefields awaiting their special needs children and teens at school.
To know Rob is to admire his professional passion for the law…
By All Writes: Why did you decide to found Thurston Law Offices / SchoolKidsLawyer.com? When did you found/start it?
Robert Thurston: Not to be Rand Spear, I assure you. I was tired of working in firms or organizations where I had no opportunity to choose which clients I would work with.
When I worked for those firms, I received unsolicited cases, regardless of my interest in their respective causes. I wanted to work for myself and pursue cases and legal issues that stir my lawyerly (yes, a real word) ardor.
I started my firm in 2005 (in Illinois) and then transferred my practice back to the New Jersey/Pennsylvania area in 2012. My focus on special education casework has been steady since 2009.
BAW: What specific legal services do you offer your clients?
RT: Thurston Law Offices primarily handles special education law, bankruptcy, family law and consumer law, but it’s a general practice. Other than criminal cases, we resolve most legal problems.
I am a strong litigator, but I also provide consultations, legal research, and representation outside the courtroom (such as an IEP [Individualized Education Program] meeting with a school administrator).
BAW: Who makes a good client for you?
RT: I enjoy working with clients interested in their own case who understand just how critical their participation is. Most people incorrectly believe that once they retain a lawyer, the case “belongs” to the attorney. This is a misperception; the case truly belongs to the client!
As your attorney, I’m your representative in court–your advocate and proactive “voice” within a legal setting. I enjoy helping people who realize they can’t do it themselves.
BAW: What is your ultimate “happy moment” when working with your clients?
RT: Nothing makes me happier than a client who is dually pleased with the case’s outcome (in his/her favor) and my work. It’s rare, but when I receive a thank-you note from a client, I do a happy dance.
In fact, I’m thinking about videotaping my dance and editing it into a GIF (for my website and social-media accounts)…
BAW: If you could relocate Thurston Law Offices / SchoolKidsLawyer.com to anywhere in the world, where would you go, and why?
RT: Wow, that’s a tough question. Lawyers are limited by where they are admitted to the bar (to practice law). But, playing along with your hypothetical question, I’ll assume this pesky requirement is temporarily irrelevant.
So…I’d love to live in Italy or France, because they are two of the most beautiful places in the world. From either country, you have easy access to all of Europe. But mostly, I’d happily relocate to either one for the food!
BAW: What are your favorite books (or who are your favorite authors) to read, and why?
RT: My favorite genres are mysteries and farce. For mysteries, my all-time favorite author is Dick Francis. He was a former jockey who loved horses, so all of his books feature horse-racing or breeding in the story line. I also like John Mortimer’s legal mysteries; he was responsible for the Rumpole series.
Finally, my three top-tier authors are all men who penned iconic literature: John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemingway, and Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. One of my most cherished memories is being lucky enough to hear Mr. Vonnegut speak at the College of Wooster in Ohio. A fascinating, compelling writer…
Tired of bumping heads (or other parts of your anatomy) with school administrators and psychologists about your child’s IEP or 504 plan? Looking for a lawyer who cares about special needs kids and will help you fight for your child’s access to a proper education?
As the father of a son with a disability, Robert Thurston’s legal caseload is much more than business–it’s unquestionably personal. His law firm, based in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, serves both PA and NJ clients.
To initiate a confidential conversation with Rob regarding your specific legal situation, please call him (267-209-0783) or send him an e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org).
In 2016, Rob will add “published author” to his list of credentials. The book is entitled SchoolKidsLawyer’s Step-by-Step Guide to Special Education Law: Workbook for Parents, Advocates and Lawyers.
Rob’s digital footprint makes it easy to find him on social media. Visit Robert Thurston on LinkedIn, Twitter, and his two Facebook business pages: one for SchoolKidsLawyer.com, the other for Thurston Law Offices.