Kalani Linnell joined Raffaele and Puppio in 2022 after working for a large regional law firm in central Pennsylvania. As an advocate, Kalani strives to make student-centered decisions understanding that public education is the cornerstone of our communities. Kalani’s practice includes Title IX, special education, student conduct, general school solicitor matters, general municipal solicitor matters, and litigation.
Kalani understands the nuances of education law. From a practical standpoint, Kalani was formerly a teacher in a large Chester County school district prior to law school. Kalani counsels’ clients on day-to-day matters including student speech and discipline, sexual harassment, school safety, IEP meetings and drafting of special education documents, and policy review.
In addition to advising clients, Kalani is an aggressive litigator. She represents clients in special education due process proceedings, county court cases, and federal court cases. Kalani has argued in front of the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court in a First Amendment student discipline case that was eventually decided by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
A special interest of Kalani’s is Title IX compliance in schools. Title IX prohibits sex discrimination and requires an affirmative response by schools upon notice of sexual harassment in their education programs or activities. Kalani consulted with the Pennsylvania School Board Association in 2020 to create the model Title IX compliant policy as well as the trauma informed approaches to education policy. In 2020, the Pennsylvania Lawyer magazine published an article Kalani authored about the changes to Title IX and its impact on schools. Kalani has also presented at the national level on “The Intersection of Title IX and Special Education” at the Council for School Attorneys/National School Boards Association conference in 2023. Not only does Kalani partner with clients to complete compliant investigations and adjudications under Title IX, but she also represents clients in Title IX litigation.
In addition to her traditional practice, Kalani presents at the local, state, and national level on cutting edge legal topics. She has provided well-received continuing legal education programs for her peers and is recognized for her relatable teaching style. She also trains and provides professional development to schools and colleges regarding Title IX, disability/special education, and other topics that are relevant to audiences in the education sector. Kalani has presented on threat assessments, special education procedures, HIPAA and FERPA in schools, defensible IEPs, and sexual harassment in schools.
Kalani attended Drexel for law school, graduating in the top 15% of her class with honors for her commitment to pro bono service and contributions to legal scholarship. In addition, Kalani worked with school aged children as a swim coach for six years and acted as a first responder for the Ocean City, MD Beach Patrol for ten seasons. She currently lives in South Philly with her fiancé and her dog who is named after Ruth Bader Ginsberg.Read more...