Paul Hefley

(619) 764-6168

Paul A. Hefley, Jr.

“For me, the practice of law, more than anything else, is a helping profession. And I can't think of a better way to use a law degree than by using it to help children get the special education they deserve. As a father of two children, I understand the great responsibility I have when parents entrust me with their child's future—even if I only play a small role for a short period of time. What's at stake in every case is never lost on me.”

~ Paul A. Hefley, Jr.

Paul wanted to be an attorney since he was in middle school. His love for the law began following a class project where he played the role of a trial attorney in a re-enactment of a workplace injury case during the American Industrial Revolution. During the project, Paul developed a trial strategy, examined witnesses, and delivered a closing argument. While participating in the class project, Paul caught glimpses of the power and majesty of the law and came to realize that it could be used to bring about justice in society or serve the selfish interests of a select few. From that moment, he resolved to become an attorney and work to hopefully bring about a better society—one case, and one family, at a time.

After high school, Paul joined the U.S. Army where he served honorably as a combat medic in Kansas, Korea, and Hawaii.

After leaving the military, Paul used his G.I. Bill to attend the University of Louisville where he majored in philosophy and took many elective courses in political science, sociology, and economics. In order to make ends meet while working to earn his undergraduate degree, Paul worked the night shift at a package processing company in Louisville.

Following undergrad, Paul moved to Houston, Texas. Concerned about the rising cost of law school, Paul wanted to make sure law was the right path for him before expending the time and money necessary to earn a law degree. He then completed a post-baccalaureate paralegal certification program and worked as a paralegal for a Houston law firm for several years before moving to San Diego, California (his wife's hometown) to attend law school.

Paul graduated from Thomas Jefferson School of Law (“TJSL”), in San Diego, California. During law school, Paul focused on litigation and trial advocacy in the classroom and through participating in prestigious internships. Paul was a member, and Chair, of TJSL's Moot Court Honor Society and a Criminal Law Fellow. He interned for one year at the San Diego Office of the Public Defender, where he advised clients of their constitutional rights, made courtroom appearances, conducted legal research, examined witnesses, and argued motions. He also was a judicial extern at the San Diego Superior Court, where he reviewed various attorneys' motions, conducted legal research regarding the motions, and drafted legal memoranda and adjudication recommendations for several judges.

In his practice as a special education attorney, Paul has helped countless families obtain additional supports, services, and placements needed for his clients to get the special education they deserve.

Paul is an experienced litigator and trial attorney. He has litigated special education cases in the California Office of Administrative Hearings, the United States District Court for the Southern District of California, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.


University of Louisville, cum laude
Thomas Jefferson School of Law

Bar Admissions

State Bar of California
United States District Court for the Southern District of California
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Practice Areas

       State and Federal Special Education Law:

Recent Blog Posts


  • "Paul has a genuine interest in helping resolve Special Education legal matters and it truly shows."

    My family's experience with Paul was excellent from the start. Having never had to work with a lawyer before and not knowing what to expect, Paul was clear and thorough about the case process throughout our entire time working with him. Communication was very good as he kept us up to date regular...
  • "If you are looking for someone strong and fearless, contact Paul."

    Attorney Paul helped me with my sons case and was amazing. Mr. Hefley has strong communication with his clients and is always fighting for the best interests of his clients. My son was able to get the hours he missed on his IEP and made things very simple for me to understand. We can't thank you ...
  • "Paul is top notch!"

    Paul is top notch! He felt so strongly about our case that he agreed to take us on even though at the time he was focusing on wrapping up other cases. We are so grateful for that decision. Paul was responsive, knowledgeable, personable, and understanding. Every step of the way I knew he was movin...
  • "You are great at what you do."

    I would not have known any of this If it wasn't for you. I'm sure you are greatly appreciated by a lot of parents that you have already helped with their situations. It really means a lot to me and you are great at what you do. It was simple and very easy for as nervous as I was. Felt very comfor...
  • "He will make every effort to advocate for the rights of children with disabilities."

    I have a positive experience with Atty Paul. He will make every effort to advocate for the rights of children with disabilities. I strongly recommend Atty Paul to handle the case and stand up for children's right to receive a free education. Thank you Atty Paul
  • "His assistance has been nothing short of life-changing."

    The assistance provided by Attorney Paul Hefley has been truly invaluable in securing the necessary support for my son's Individualized Education Program (IEP). His expertise in special education law, coupled with his compassionate and patient approach, has made a significant difference in our li...
  • "He's very organized, knowledgeable, honest, and kind."

    Paul A. Hefley, was very responsive to my case and kept me informed about the progress he was making on my behalf and I was very pleased, with his excellent in both professionalism and experience. He's very organized, knowledgeable, honest, and kind. I would strongly recommend him if anyone is ex...
  • "During meetings with the school district, Paul was knowledgeable, kind, and firm."

    We are so grateful to Paul and his team for helping us successfully advocate for our child. Paul was communicative and reassuring from the start. During meetings with the school district, Paul was knowledgeable, kind, and firm. Paul's work got our son the help he needed.
  • "Excellent Attorney"

    Excellent attorney, compassionate, patient with his clients and extremely professional.
  • "Paul Hefley to the rescue!"

    We met with Paul for a consultation as our school was using passing grades and not classroom behavior as the false measure to establish an IEP. After the initial consultation, it was clear that this was an attempt to discourage families from receiving help in which they are legally entitled.We pr...
  • "Paul's main priority was doing the best for our son."

    Our son is special needs and he has an IEP. Due to the COVID-19 shutdowns, we had some concerns about our sons education. We spoke to Paul about our options.Paul always conducted himself in a very professional manner while at the same time looking out for the best interest of our son. Paul's main...
  • "I wish we found him earlier."

    I amazed about the honesty and the clarity that Paul has in helping us trough the whole process with both our kids. I wish We found him earlier.
  • "Paul is the right person for you!"

    If you need a person who will fight for your child no matter what obstacles arise or how challenging the case is, Paul is the right person for you! He will not give up until the results are favorable for your child's future. Paul is tenacious, honorable and knows the law in such a precise way tha...
  • "I 100% recommend Paul Hefley."

    I just want to Thank you so much for understanding my son complicated case. I was at a cross road and no was understanding what was going on. My son was about to be forced into a program that would not help him get the proper support and education, the district was forcing this on us or he would ...
  • "Mr. Hefley is the epitome of a great lawyer."

    Mr. Hefley is the epitome of a great lawyer. One must have a true sense of what special education children are facing and he does. I couldn't be more grateful for his help in assuring my sons have the educational supports they need to thrive. Thanks!!
  • "He is helpful, an excellent communicator and we cannot recommend him more highly"

    Paul has made this whole process very easy for us. He is helpful, an excellent communicator and we cannot recommend him more highly. The stress of our situation was mitigated by Paul.
  • "Paul is an angel for families like us and a warrior lawyer..."

    We were lucky to have found Paul! He was not only very knowledgeable about the school issues but also very caring and compassionate since he is also a parent himself. We were banging our heads against a school that refused to do the the right thing for my daughter in terms of her IEP. He helped u...
  • "Mr. Paul hefley was the best decision we ever made in representing our daughter's IEP."

    Mr. Paul Hefley was the best decision we ever made in representing our daughter's IEP. Mr. Hefley took the time to understand our concerns and made sure we felt reasonable with the outcome of our daughter's settlement. If something wasn't right, Mr. Hefley would not hesitate contacting the distri...

Can special education disputes be resolved during the summer break?

Yes, they can. There's no need to wait until the 2024-2025 school year to get your child's educational program back on track. Contact IEP Law Firm PC today to schedule a free consultation.


IEP Law Firm PC is committed to answering your questions about California special education law and helping you address any issues you may be facing.

We offer a free consultation and will gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.