Andra J. Hutchins, Partner

Biography:
Andra J. Hutchins has 20 years of experience representing individuals, families, employees and health care professionals in education law, domestic relations, employment law, business litigation and professional licensure matters. Ms. Hutchins’ practice is focused on helping people in complex legal and emotionally charged situations receive fair and equitable treatment. She understands the laws and regulations and is a strong advocate for her client in both the courtroom and the negotiating table.

Ms. Hutchins, a graduate Suffolk University Law School, is licensed to practice in the state and federal courts of both Massachusetts and New Hampshire, and has successfully litigated cases in both states.

Education Law Experience:

As an attorney practicing education law, Ms. Hutchins represents students in areas of special education, school discipline, suspensions and expulsions, and child placement. She has also published articles, and lectured in the area of education law. Her experience includes:

  • Convincing a highly regarded public school district to overturn a suspension because they violated due process;
  • Obtaining a settlement from a private high school that expelled a student;
  • Successfully representing students who have been suspended or expelled from their schools or programs;
  • Preparing college and graduate students for administrative discipline hearings;
  • Helping parents navigate the world of special education, including assisting with obtaining and implementing individualized education plans or 504 plans, advocating for proper services and accommodations, and negotiating with school districts.

Domestic Relations Law Experience:

In her domestic relations practice, Ms. Hutchins represents both men and women in all areas of family law, including divorce, custody, support, alimony, visitation, Department of Children and Families cases, and kinship adoptions. Her experience includes:

  • Preparing pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements;
  • Representing individuals in divorce or modification proceedings and mediations;.
  • Representing parents in child custody, child support, modifications, paternity, and contempt cases;
  • Advocating for families presented with allegations by the Department of Children and Families (DCF), including responding to abuse and neglect reports (51As), 51B investigations, fair hearings and appeals;
  • Representing children and families in Juvenile Court and Probate and Family Court;
  • Defending and obtainig restraining orders (209As) and harassment orders (258Es) brought against clients.

Employment Law, Civil Litigation, and Professional Licensure Experience:

  • Representing both employees and management in employment related issues, including discrimination, enforcement or defense of non-competition agreements, and wrongful termination cases;
  • Representing health care and other professionals in a variety of matters, including sexual misconduct allegations, chemical dependency issues, and inadequate record keeping;
  • Representing individuals and businesses in various business litigation matters, including breach of contract.

Community Involvement:

Andra seeks to make a difference in the educational community by discussing free speech, free press and free society to elementary school students through the Boston Bar Association’s Law Day in the Schools program. She is also a co-founder of the Old Ern/Gay Family Memorial Scholarship Committee, which was established in memory of her father and his brothers. Each year she reviews applications from students at Owen-Withee High School in Owen, Wisconsin and awards a scholarship to a student for demonstrated citizenship and giving back to the community, values that were important to her family. Andra is a volunteer for the Girl Scouts of America and formerly served as Treasurer of the Westwood Public Library.

Honors & Awards:

In 2008, Ms. Hutchins was profiled in TIME Magazine’s “Salute to Women in Leadership” feature and was interviewed by Sky Radio regarding her domestic relations practice.

Publications

  • Unraveling the Requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act” and “Protecting the Rights of Children with Special Needs

    Massachusetts Special Education Law, National Business Institute, 2006

  • Student Records” and “Privacy Implications of Social Networking Sites,” Student Privacy: The Top Hot Button Legal Issues

    National Business Institute, 2011

Recent Blog Posts and News