Civil Rights and Education Law

Cara Lucier        Helen Ghio

Cara Lucier, Esq., is an attorney specializing in Education Law and Civil Rights. Previously, Cara represented school districts throughout California in the areas of Special Education Law, Charter Schools, and Litigation.  She represented school districts at IEP team meetings, mediations, due process hearings, and in Federal and State courts.  When Cara’s son was diagnosed with Autism, Cara switched to assisting families with special needs. Cara is on the faculty at the University of San Diego, where she teachers Special Education Advocacy, Fundamental Legal Studies, Introduction to Law, and the Practice of Law.  She is a Board Member for Autism Tree Project Foundation and was the Co-Chair of the Early Intervention Committee for the California State Senate Autism Task Force for South Counties.   Cara is frequently asked to teach legal trainings and seminars in the area of education and disabilities law.

Helen Ghio, Esq., Of Counsel, began her law career in both real estate litigation and transactions and moved on to handling complex, large scale multi-state commercial real estate transactions. Since 2002 when her son was born with multiple disabilities due to perinatal viral brain injury, she has been advocating for him and has continuously mentored and advocated for numerous families of children with disabilities. Her son is thriving, embraces his differences, and most importantly understands his strengths. Helen has been involved with the Autism Tree Project Foundation since its inception in 2003, previously served on several nonprofit boards of directors and currently is involved with various other nonprofit organizations. | | 619-222-8300


We advocate for the rights and dignity of all people. 


When your rights are threatened, you need someone on your side.


We offer options such as payment plans, military discounts, flat fee services, sliding scale fee arrangements, no deposit fee agreements, and pro bono representation.

What Clients Say About Us

  • Easy to talk to, Cara speaks english, not legalese! Very important when discussing decisions that have lifelong reprecussions. ”

    John Pham, Encinitas, CA

  • Cara is doing this because she loves it and truly cares for your child. You can see the resolve & determination she has for your kid, it shows. ”

    Theresa Schwabenbauer, Encinitas, CA

  • Having consulted with Cara for 6 years, I can without hesitation she knowledgeable, capable, up to date with changing laws & regulations. ”

    Cal Johnston, Carlsbad, CA

  • Hands down the best advocate I have worked with, very knowledgeable and professional. Highly recommended.”

    Brad Cooper, Del Mar, CA


Our legal and advocacy services include:
-Advice and consultation on education and civil rights issues
-Due Process, mediation, hearings, and appeals
-Representation at IEP team meetings
-Public benefits, including MediCal, IHSS, and Social Security
-Section 504 and ADA issues
-Regional Center issues
-Some insurance issues, claims, and appeals
-Training for parents, groups, or professionals

Why We Advocate

Contact us

Questions?  Or, to schedule a free consultation, please contact us at:

Call Us

Phone: (760) 717-3451

Fax: (760) 436-0836


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