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A Professional Development Series for Current & Emerging Leaders in Education

Caplan & Earnest’s Masterminds Program offers a haven for special education and Section 504 administrators, where they can learn information and skills while building camaraderie with a cohort of best-and-brightest peers who understand the demands of this work. In your sessions, engage in refreshing, action-oriented conversations with seasoned attorneys and fellow education administrators, and gain the clarity you need to deliver the support and leadership your colleagues and school communities deserve.

  • Improve morale for yourself and others
  • Hear and understand different viewpoints
  • Define, refine, and recommit to your priorities
  • Learn the risk factors that lead to legal disputes
  • Play with ideas you’ve encountered nowhere else
  • See your familiar territory in a new and positive light
  • Form connections with bright and dedicated leaders, just like you
  • Participate in engaging lectures with Caplan & Earnest attorneys

Space is limited—sign up today to reserve your seat in the 2024-2025 Caplan & Earnest Masterminds Program.

Students with Disabilities

Since the foundation of the Masterminds Program, energetic, supportive Masterminds have built this track into a treasured marketplace of ideas for special education leaders throughout the state. These professionals face weighty challenges and overwhelming complexities day after day. Masterminds promotes camaraderie and procedural acumen for these leaders, who serve as essential intermediaries between schools, districts, and families. Attorneys Beth Friel and Hope Griffin facilitate a Masterminding process that offers invaluable perspectives and actionable ideas for navigating the ever-evolving landscape of education for students with disabilities.

New This Year: Exclusive Offer for Special Education Directors and Executive Directors

In addition to the 10 small-group sessions that are the heart of the Masterminds Program, each participating special education director or executive director will also receive exclusive access to five Mega-Masterminding Sessions designed to bring together the wisdom of all the special education directors participating in the Masterminds program.

Please note that participation in the Masterminds program does not create an attorney-client relationship with Caplan & Earnest. Presentations do not constitute legal advice, and discussions during monthly meetings are not protected by attorney-client privilege.


The Masterminds Program is a professional development series running from September through May. The Special Education program track includes 10 virtual one-hour sessions, plus an additional five, one-hour sessions for directors and executive directors. All meetings of the Masterminds Program run on Thursday and Friday mornings.

Final schedules are built after the registration window closes and attorneys complete the group assignment process. C&E attorneys hand-select the small groups based on scheduling preferences and with an eye toward ensuring a great mix of complimentary experiences within each group. (Sorting Day is a great day at the C&E office—imagining the dynamics between the Masterminds as each group comes together is such a joy!)

Your small group will be assigned to a regular timeslot for the year. However, we are committed to accommodating your demanding schedule as best we can. You are always welcome to “guest” in another session when your schedule poses an unavoidable conflict with your assigned group.


Beth Friel headshot

Beth Friel

Beth is attuned to the nuances and rippling effects of disputes arising between families and school teams. She guides Masterminds to rise above an immediate frustration point, orient their efforts productively, and find their way to solutions that honor the best in everyone involved.
Hope Griffin headshot

Hope Griffin

Hope specializes in finding simplicity within chaos, allowing Masterminds to cut through distraction and to act with clarity and purpose. Her Masterminds amplify their impact month after month as they sharpen their acumen and approach to emerging issues.

The fee for the Masterminds special education program track is $1,600 for special education directors and executive directors, which includes exclusive access to five Mega-Masterminding sessions. The pricing for all other special education administrators is $1,200.

During the 2024-2025 school year, each group is limited to no more than 10 Masterminds. This ensures that you receive the time and attention you deserve as a participating member in Caplan & Earnest’s Masterminds Program.

Licensed school and district administrators are eligible to participate in all tracks.

Attorneys, board members, non-employee parents, and community members are not eligible to participate in Caplan & Earnest’s Masterminds Program during the 2024-2025 school year. Caplan & Earnest staff will verify the accuracy of registration information and will refund any payments made on behalf of ineligible participants.

Please note that participation in the Masterminds program does not create an attorney-client relationship with Caplan & Earnest. Presentations do not constitute legal advice, and discussions during monthly meetings are not protected by attorney-client privilege.


If you have any questions about the Masterminds program, please email Beth Friel.


If more than 10 participants, please fill out the form again.

Participant information

(Please remember, we will be assigning groups based primarily on scheduling considerations and then tailoring presentations to those groups. If one of the slots is unworkable, or if you have a strong preference to be in a group with individuals working within an area of specialization, please let us know.)
Please select every single time slot that could possibly work for you, based on your typical availability (exceptions are fine—you can guest in other groups as needed). We personally sort Masterminds into their small groups in order to promote cross-pollination of great ideas and perspectives. The more options you select, the better!

Pay for the Masterminds Program

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