Matthew Trail has represented hundreds of children and parents across the state of Florida in IEP meetings, discipline referrals and due process complaints. As a former legal aid attorney, judicial clerk and Peace Corps volunteer, Matthew had dedicated his career to ensuring justice for those most in need.
Matthew grew up in Tennessee and received his undergraduate degree in 1999 in communications-journalism from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. He worked for two years as a journalist in Texas and North Carolina before returning to Tennessee for law school.
After graduating law school from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 2004, Matthew joined the U.S. Peace Corp and was stationed in Albania. While in the Peace Corps, Matthew worked on a variety of community projects with local NGOs assisting poor children and trafficking victims.
Upon returning to the United States, Matthew began work as a judicial clerk and then took a job with the Florida Equal Justice Center in Fort Myers and became admitted to practice in Florida in 2008.
While at the Florida Equal Justice Center, Matthew represented a diverse array of clients with problems ranging from domestic violence to immigration. Matthew’s focus however has always been in helping disabled and troubled children and teens in the education setting. He led a media and community campaign on behalf of behaviorally challenged students at the Royal Palm Exceptional Center and he has regularly lobbied the Florida State Legislature on behalf of his clients.
- Education Law
- Estate Planning
- Family Law
- Immigration Law
- Juvenile Law
- Free Consultation
- Credit Cards Accepted
- Rates, Retainers and Additional Information
We charge sliding scale fees based on income.
- Albanian: Spoken, Written
- Spanish: Spoken, Written
- staff attorney
- Florida Equal Justice Center
- Represent disabled foster children as court appointed attorney ad litem in dependency court and juvenile justice proceedings. Lobby on behalf of Florida legal aid programs to the Florida State Legislature both in district offices and at the Florida State Capitol. Created a coalition of community partners and developed a media campaign on behalf of behaviorally challenged disabled students that led to a significant reduction in involuntary commitments and arrests of mentally ill children. Represent disabled children to enforce federal special education rights by participating in individual special educational meetings, disciplinary hearings and filing federal and state complaints. Represent victims of domestic violence in divorce, custody and protective order proceedings Represent tenants in eviction and safe housing litigation. Supervise pro bono attorneys, legal interns, Florida Bar Foundation fellows and paralegal staff.
- judicial clerk
- Rutherford County Circuit Court
- • Responsible for examining court files, conducting legal research, drafting memoranda and opinions and making recommendations to the judge about pending cases. • Assisted the judge during trial and acted as court officer.
- University of Tennessee College of Law
- University of Tennessee - Knoxville
- B.S. | Communication Journalism
- Easter Seals Florida
- Advisory Board Chair
- - Current
- Activities: Assist with organizational development, fundraising and recruitment for local chapter of international disability service non-profit.