1) NOTIFICATION AND APPLICATION A student who believes that he or she has a disability or other condition warranting accommodation for academic programs or exams at the Law School should notify the assistant dean for student affairs. This notification is separate from any communication with the Admissions Office or during the admissions process. Requests may be submitted at any time, but should be made as early as possible to ensure access to classroom work and exams. Requests specifically seeking accommodation for exams should be submitted at least 60 days before the beginning of the exam period. It may not be feasible to evaluate the disability and implement appropriate accommodations in fewer than 60 days, and hence any accommodation offered might be useful only for the following semester’s exams.
All requests for accommodation and related information will be confidential, except to the extent necessary to evaluate the student’s condition, and determine and implement an accommodation. Students seeking accommodations for disabilities may submit an application in writing to the assistant dean for student affairs. This request should be accompanied by any documentation the student has, such as copies of previously compiled medical or psychological tests, evaluations or diagnoses. The request should also contain a statement of how the disability affects classroom work, sitting for exams or other Law School activity. The names and addresses of any individual the student believes could assist the Law School in determining an appropriate accommodation should be submitted, along with any letters from faculty members or others advising the student of a possible disability or suggesting that the student explore the matter. For conditions of which the student has previously been aware, any accommodations offered by other institutions, such as schools and undergraduate colleges, should be described and documented.
2) TESTING AND EVALUATION The assistant dean for student affairs or the faculty Disability Accommodation Committee may determine that additional documentation and testing are required. In such cases guidelines will be provided for acceptable tests and evaluations, specific tests may be required, and the results of all such tests and evaluations must be reported in their entirety to the student and to the Law School. The assistant dean for student affairs will carefully review the information submitted by the student and the results of any referrals made for testing, diagnosis or outside study of any kind. The assistant dean may seek the assistance of consultants, such as experts or evaluators.
3) IMPLEMENTATION AND REVIEW If the assistant dean for student affairs determines that an accommodation is appropriate, she will promptly prepare a written plan of accommodation. Reasonable accommodations in academic programs that do not impose undue burdens will be implemented, with the costs borne by the Law School or the University.
The student will be advised of the action of the assistant dean for student affairs, the reasons for it and any plan of accommodation. The goal will be to structure a plan acceptable to the student. If, however, the action taken does not address the student’s disability in a manner reasonably meeting the needs of the student, the student may request reconsideration of the decision or modification of the planned accommodation by appeal to the Disability Accommodation Committee, and may offer new information or explanation in support of the request. The committee may seek the assistance of consultants, such as experts or evaluators, and may require additional testing and/or evaluation as provided above. The student may request to meet with the committee prior to its final deliberations (from which the student and others not on the committee will be excused). A student may seek review of a decision of the committee by the full faculty, which will hear the matter if the assistant dean or at least one member of the faculty committee dissented from the committee’s action.
If the student accepts a plan of accommodation, the assistant dean for student affairs will inform the student’s instructors of the accommodation and the reasons for it only to the extent necessary to assure effective implementation of the accommodation. A student who is tested or evaluated during law school and found to need an accommodation for one or more non-temporary conditions will remain eligible for academic accommodation throughout his or her remaining years at the Law School, and will not be required to furnish updated test results in ensuing semesters unless the student seeks re-evaluation of the condition or a change in the accommodations provided.
The assistant dean for student affairs and the Disability Accommodation Committee shall have authority to modify any Law School rule or course requirement to provide an accommodation. The complete waiver of any Law School rule or course requirement must be presented to the full faculty for its approval.
Contact: Assistant Dean for Student Affairs Martha Ballenger