Georgianna Junco-Kelman is the principal and managing attorney at The Law Offices of Georgianna Junco-Kelman, in Studio City, California. Ms. Kelman was born in Cuba and immigrated to the United States at the age of 9 years old. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science with an emphasis in Public Law, from the University of California at Los Angeles, graduating with Departmental Honors. She earned her Juris Doctorate at the Whittier College of Law in Los Angeles, California.
Practicing law in the area of Special Education was not initially on Ms. Kelman’s radar. Her early years as an attorney were spent practicing and specializing in the area of criminal defense, with a concentration on Under the Influence matters and DMV Administrative Per Se Hearings, Departmental Reviews and Writs of Mandate. During her tenure as a criminal defense attorney, Ms. Kelman conducted approximately 2,500 Administrative Per Se hearings and obtained an impressive number of “Set Asides,” earning herself an unsurpassed reputation as one of California’s leading DUI/DMV attorneys. Ms. Kelman’s extensive background and experience with administrative hearings and agencies would later prove invaluable in the representation of children through the state of California special education Due Process mechanism.
Ms. Kelman’s personal journey with her first child, Brandon, born in 2002 with a physically and developmentally impacting brain deformity, ultimately brought her to the path of special education law. Inspired by her own experiences with her little boy, and after meeting countless families desperately in need of support navigating the very daunting and tumultuous waters of the special education system, Ms. Kelman immersed herself in special education law, ultimately founded the Law Offices of Georgianna Junco-Kelman in 2008, exclusively dedicated to the representation of students with disabilities.
Ms. Kelman approaches every client with the same gold standard she applies to her own little boy, committed to the litmus test: if it would not be acceptable for her own child, it is not appropriate enough for her client. She is able to insert and apply not only her legal expertise to her cases, but also her own personal experience in the almost 13-year journey she has traveled with her son. She has walked the walk.
Ms. Kelman was named to Autism Speaks Southern California Board of Directors in 2010, where she currently serves as the Chair of the Sponsorship Committee. In 2011, Ms. Kelman co-founded Autism Speaks Southern California’s premier gala annual fundraiser, The Blue Jean Ball, serving as its Event Chair in 2013 and raising upwards of $700,000.00. Ms. Kelman is an attorney member of COPAA, The Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates and CAPCA, The California Association for Parent-Child Advocacy.
Ms. Kelman appears frequently as a legal analyst and guest panelist on CNN, CNN-Latino and The Dr. Drew Show on HLN, on topics relating to special education. She has also lent her legal expertise on KABC Radio, CBS, ABC, KCAL, NBC, and the leading Spanish Network, Univision. Ms. Kelman has lectured and participated as a featured speaker in numerous educational seminars and workshops, sponsored by Autism Speaks and The Special Needs Network, on the topic of parent’s rights under the IDEA, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Lanterman Act. Ms. Kelman is the former President of the Cuban-American Bar Association, is a member of the California State Bar, the American Bar Association, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Ms. Kelman’s multifaceted, diverse, personal background and vast legal experience assists her daily in meeting the very special needs of children throughout Southern California. Ms. Kelman is married to attorney Jonathan I. Kelman and has three little boys, Brandon, Jack and Cristian, ages 12, 9 and 6.