One of the ABA’s principle goals is to end bias and discrimination in the legal profession. The ABA’s Commission on Disability Rights aims to reach that goal through a variety of initiatives that support disability law practitioners, lawyers, and law students with disabilities. Disability law practitioners can participate on the Commission’s 3D (Disability Discussion Docket) listserv, subscribe to its tweets, and explore the many resources available on the Commission’s website ranging from legal resources to employment opportunities. Lawyers in all practice areas, with and without disabilities, are invited to serve as mentors to law students and young lawyers with disabilities in the Commission’s National Mentor Program. Aspiring and current law students can obtain information about obtaining accommodations for the LSAT, bar exam, and in their studies thanks to the many resources on the Commission’s website and the expertise of its staff. It is the Commission that led the ABA’s efforts to urge law school admissions testing organizations to provide access to accommodations through its Resolution 111. These are just some examples of the difference the Commission is making to create a more inclusive bar.
The Commission has a special interest in ensuring students with disabilities are able to enter the profession. One example of its student-focused activities is its collaboration with the Law Student Division to raise awareness about the mental health needs of law students. Mental Health Day events are now held at law schools across the country, helping law students with balancing their busy academic lives while managing ongoing mental health needs. The Commission is also working with the National Association of Law Students with Disabilities and the Association for Higher Education and Disability on a guide for prospective law students regarding accommodations and other guidance on how to successfully navigate towards a legal career as an individual with a disability.
For student members, it does not cost anything to be involved with the Commission on Disability Rights. Visit their website to find out more about its projects, join the 3D listserv, follow its tweets, or visit its Facebook page.