Amy Dawson is the Executive Director of the Autism Advocacy & Law Center, LLC. She began practicing law in 1992 at the firm of Faegre & Benson, L.L.P. in Minneapolis after graduating from The Indiana University School of Law (Bloomington, IN). Amy’s law practice focuses on issues related to autism, disabilities, insurance, supplemental needs trusts, guardianship, estate planning, family law, and special education for families who have children with disabilities.
Amy served on the Minnesota Senate Autism Task Force, and participated in efforts by the U.S. Maternal and Child Health Bureau to develop guidelines on the care of children who have autism within the medical home. Amy is the parent of twins, one of whom has a history of autism and special health care needs. Amy previously served as the Director of the Health Advocacy and Information Center at the PACER Center and is a recent member of the Board of the Arc Greater Twin Cities. For more about Amy and the mission of the firm, please read our “About” section.
Jason is a Staff Attorney with the Autism Advocacy & Law Center, LLC. He focuses his practice on special education law, guardianship, criminal defense, and juvenile delinquency. Prior to working at the Autism Advocacy & Law Center, LLC, he was an attorney with the State Public Defenders Office. As a public defender, he represented hundreds of clients in criminal, juvenile delinquency and child protection cases. Prior to law school, he worked with youth with special needs as a Program Director for Courage Center Camps and as a Personal Care Attendant. He received his law degree from William Mitchell College of Law in 2010. While in law school, he was a Student Attorney with the Legal Assistance to Minnesota Prisoners (LAMP) program. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in German and Social Justice studies from Hamline University in 2004. He is also fluent in American Sign Language.
Jason is very active in the Twin Cities legal community. He is a member of the Minnesota State Bar Association and is on the Board of Directors of the Minnesota Lavender Bar Association. Jason is also a volunteer attorney with the Lavender Lawyers program, an organization providing pro bono legal services to GLBT youth.
In his free time Jason is a member of a local CrossFit gym and is an enthusiastic fan of the North Star Roller Girls and Minnesota Roller Girls.
Ellen is a Staff Attorney with the Autism Advocacy & Law Center. She currently practices in Social Security law, special education law, family law and insurance appeals. She has previously worked for two local bankruptcy firms, and has prior experience as a law clerk for a Social Security Disability firm. Ellen graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2009 with a Bachelor’s degree in History and Political Science, and from the Hamline University School of Law in 2012. While in law school, Ellen focused her studies on disability law – handling disability discrimination cases in the Employment Discrimination Mediation Representation Clinic and took her seminar course on the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Ellen’s passion for helping people with disabilities began at a young age – she grew up with an older brother with Autism. She also worked with children with disabilities while in college at two different daycare facilities in Wisconsin.