Sam Paneno

Beverly Hills, CA

University of California, Davis

J.D. Law, Spring 2005

Sam was a star running back for the UC Davis football team when his knee was severely dislocated in the second game of the 1999 season. Circulation problems forced doctors to amputate. Since his injury, he has completed his undergraduate degree and is studying law at UC Davis. Sam was the first recipient to attend a university other than USC. Sam received the NCAA Inspirational Award in 2002 for his determination and dedication. Sam is is a special education attorney who has experience working with both sides of special education law. Sam spent one year at a private firm in Santa Monica representing various school districts in the area of special education law. Currently, he works at The Alliance for Children’s rights advocating for special needs children in the foster care system. Sam brings a unique perspective to special education law because he knows the common pitfalls that occur within the school districts’ special education programs and he has taught many caregivers how to spot these mistakes and advocate for change in their child’s special education program. Sam has a Bachelors of Science in Psychology from UC Davis and he earned his Juris Doctor from UC Davis School of Law in 2005.