Sean Pevsner established this law firm with his best friend, Mark Whitburn. They have been best friends since 1986. Mr. Whitburn assisted Mr. Pevsner throughout these years. This firm is one among many goals which they have accomplished together. For more on their story, please visit our news page.
Mr. Pevsner is a University of Texas Law graduate with severe cerebral palsy who operates a motorized wheelchair by the use of head movements. Due to his quadriplegia, he cannot write but must rely on an interpreter or a specialized computer to do his work. People underestimated him from the moment that he was born to the present. He was born clinically dead. The anesthesiologist had to administer CPR for 45 minutes until he could breathe on his own. The anesthesiologist probably was thinking this guy is not going to survive as he was administering the CPR, but Mr. Pevsner proved him wrong after those 45 minutes. Mr. Pevsner has been proving people wrong for 41 years. People who were the so called experts said that his life span would be very short. They said he would probably live until he was in his thirties.
These people said that he could not go to a regular school, much less take mainstreamclasses such as Latin, English literature and calculus. Again, he proved them wrong. His grades were A’s and B’s in these mainstream classes. At the end of his high school in 1990, the Arlington Independent School District officials projected that he would graduate ahead of their initial plan for his graduation. Originally, they believed that he would graduate at the age of 22. He graduated at the age of 19 in the top 20% of his high school class. Despite all of these achievements, people did not believe that he could attend a major university like the University of Texas at Austin. At this point, his self advocacy skills automatically went into overdrive whenever someone even mentioned the word “can’t” in the same sentence as his name.
He went on to major in Greek and Latin at UT, while making significant contributions to the university’s community. The UT Classics Department bestowed on him the WJ Battle Award for excellence in Greek and Latin translation. He graduated in 1998, receiving several awards for his advocacy and contributions to the university. Yet, despite these accomplishments, people did not believe that he could go to law school and become a practicing attorney. Once again, Mr. Pevsner proved these people wrong by graduating from UT Law School and gaining admittance to Texas State Bar.
Mr. Pevsner worked with Disability Rights Texas, which is a non-profit organization that protects the civil and human rights of Texans with disabilities through a fellowship sponsored by Equal Justice Works. He assisted people with disabilities in obtaining equal access to education, employment and community services. Mr. Pevsner complemented Advocacy’s services, not only by providing legal assistance to these individuals, but also by teaching them self-advocacy skills.
As part of his Equal Justice Works fellowship project, Mr. Pevsner created the Flexible Interactive Process Manual to assist both the employer and employee to have a constructive working relationship. This manual was a part of his Equal Justice Works Project to educate people with disabilities on their rights in the workplace and how they can self-advocate to protect their rights in the community.
Mr. Pevsner’s project has broken new ground in that it focused each of its stages on educating students in those skills. His project also focused on ensuring the proper implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and assisting students with disabilities in taking advantage of the full benefits of this federal law during their secondary education. This project also focused on higher education for people with disabilities. Mr. Pevsner has shown people with disabilities how to employ the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to ensure their own access to an equal opportunity for higher education.
After leaving Disability Rights Texas, Mr. Pevsner continued to assist others with disabilities. He has assisted clients with cerebral palsy obtain IDEA services by representing them at school, meetings and negotiating with opposing counsel their behalf.
At Whitburn & Pevsner, PLLC, Mr. Pevsner has developed a vibrant special education practice and has worked on other aspects of education law, as well as guardianship and other probate proceedings.