Denise Gackenheimer Verzella has spent a large part of her career working in a variety of areas of higher education at Cardozo Law School, Seton Hall School of Law, and the Silberman College of Business at Fairleigh Dickinson University. Prior to working in higher education, she represented employees in actions against their employers.
Denise lives in Essex County with her husband, two children, and their rescue dog.
It was while advocating for the needs of her own children, that she recognized the need for an attorney who specialized in special education law due to the complexity of the laws and processes pertaining to special education. As such, she hired Manes & Weinberg, LLC. To become a better advocate herself, she pursued opportunities for education and training in this area. She quickly began to assist friends and relatives in advocating for their own children with special needs. She explained the IEP and 504 processes, and helped parents understand the structure and substance of their evaluations, IEPs and 504 Plans. When she decided to return to the practice of law, it was this desire to assist other families navigate the special education process that drove her decision. Although she spent a short time representing school districts, she quickly realized her passion was representing families.