Ira Burnim, J.D.
Ira A. Burnim is the Legal Director of the Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law in Washington, D.C. He has represented thousands of adults and children with mental disorders in class action suits around the nation. He is also active in Supreme Court cases; he spearheaded the disability community's efforts in Olmstead, represented the plaintiffs in Garrett, and played a coordinating role in Hason, Williams, Echezabal, Gorman and Frew. He is recognized nationally for his expertise in policy and legal issues related to the Americans with Disabilities Act, community mental health care, Medicaid, and children's issues. He sits on the boards of the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland and the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform, the editorial advisory board of the American Bar Association's Mental and Physical Disability Law Reporter, and the National Advisory Committee to the Research and Training Center on Parent Support and Children's Mental Health. He presents frequently at national conferences, and consults with federal agencies, state policy makers, foundations, and advocates. Working with Mental Disability Rights International, he has advised advocates and policy makers in Hungary, the Czech Republic, Albania, Romania, Ukraine, and Japan. He was formerly the Legal Director of the Children's Defense Fund and an attorney at the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Alabama. He lives with his wife and sons in Silver Spring, Maryland.