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Special Needs Law Attorney



photo by Julie Blackwell

Claudia Inés Pringles is an attorney with a practice dedicated to special needs law and estate planning. She assists clients with special needs planning, special education, and disability consultation services and is a frequent speaker on these topics.  Ms. Pringles earned her undergraduate degree in economics from Pitzer College (Claremont Colleges) in 1992 and a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1998. She is the author of Throwing a Life Saver without Going Overboard:  Considering Alternatives to Guardianship, which was published in the Vermont Bar Journal, and co-author of A Holistic Transition Guide for Families of Children with Disabilities.

Outside of the office, Ms. Pringles is a dedicated disability advocate and busy volunteer. Since moving to Vermont in 2004, she has been involved in many initiatives aimed at improving the lives of people with disabilities. She was the first parent representative to be invited to participate with the Department of Education’s newly created Special Education Monitoring Team and she was the first parent co-chair of the Vermont Autism Plan Advisory Committee. She was one of the lead advocates behind Vermont’s Autism Insurance/Treatment law and received a national award from Autism Speaks for her advocacy and leadership in this role.  Ms. Pringles previously served as a Co-Chair of the Vermont Autism Task Force, a council member of the Vermont Statewide Independence Council and a board member of the Vermont Center for Independent Living (VCIL).

In 2016, Ms. Pringles was elected as one of 11 district level delegates for Sen. Sanders in his quest for the presidency.

Ms. Pringles’ experience in the community and her experience as a parent of a child with special needs has given her unique insight into the struggles, challenges and celebrations that families and their loved ones experience.

Ms. Pringles and her family live in the beautiful state of Vermont. She is the proud parent of two daughters, including a 19 year old daughter on the autism spectrum.

Matthew S. Keister, Esq., Of Counsel. Matt  is an attorney with a practice dedicated to assisting clients navigate special education and 504 plans. Originally from the Washington D.C. metropolitan area, Matt came to Vermont in 2007 to study at Vermont Law School. He has worked in the field of financial compliance for much of his career, including in positions in Chicago and Denver, as well as in Vermont, where he returned in 2014. He has also practiced in the areas of estate planning and bankruptcy law.

Being the father of a child with special needs, Matt is enthusiastic to be of service to other families facing challenges that arise within the field of special needs law. He understands that he has a special opportunity to apply both his personal experience and his understanding of the law in advocating for families in Vermont. Matt firmly believes that individuals with special needs deserve ardent support – both to protect their rights as well as to improve opportunities for growth and advancement.

Matt earned his B.A. in English from the University of Maryland in 2003 and his J.D. from Vermont Law School in 2009. He is admitted to the Vermont State Bar and the U.S. District Court for the District of Vermont.

In his free time, Matt enjoys spending time with his family, being outdoors, and delving further into the study of metaphysics. He lives in Central Vermont with his wife and daughter.

Shelby Armstrong is the executive assistant at the Law Office of Claudia Pringles, PLLC. She recently relocated to Vermont from Texas where she was previously tutoring underprivileged children to help raise literacy rates and increase their chances of future academic success. Shelby graduated with her master’s in Literature from Texas State University. While in grad school, she worked at the Writing Center where she helped freshman to PHD students, and sometimes professors. She also organized major university-wide projects. It is through her passion to help others and her extensive organizational skills that I felt she would be a great fit to help assist our wonderful network of clients. Shelby has a history of strong performance in high-volume, high-pressure environments.

Her interests outside of work include playing roller derby, hiking or going to dog parks with her dog Flynn, and exploring Vermont.