University of Baltimore School of Law
Contact/ Disability Resource Center
Law School Office of Academic Dean
Director of Student Support
Students represent patients in involuntary civil commitment hearings at the Sheppard Pratt psychiatric hospital. Students engage in client interview and counseling sessions, review medical records, and engage in case preparation and development by interviewing a psychiatrist and, often, family members. Representation culminates with an administrative hearing. Professional responsibility issues come alive in the ongoing representation of a mentally ill client seeking release from involuntary hospital confinement.
University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law
Contact/ Disability Resource Center
Susan L. Krinsky
Assistant Dean for Students and Student Services
Fax (410) 706-2103
Assistant Dean for Student Affairs
The Civil Rights of Persons with Disabilities Clinic examines the explosive changes in the law and policy affecting the rights of children and adults with disabilities. Student attorneys will have the opportunity to represent clients with disabilities in a variety of settings and work with organizations involved in broad impact litigation. The subject matter will likely include special education under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act; access to public entities and public accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act; post-secondary education and employment matters; as well as issues of consent and self-determination, statutory entitlements, and related public policy issues as individuals with disabilities seek inclusion and greater participation in society. In litigation and/or administrative advocacy matters, students enrolled in the Clinic handle cases at all stages of legal proceedings, including initial client interviews, witness interviews, drafting pleadings, counseling, negotiation, discovery, motion practice, and trial.
Student attorneys will also analyze and seek to implement broader policy and law reforms to accomplish these aims. The Clinic will also stress the roles of lawyers, advocacy organizations such as the Maryland Disability Law Center, the National Association of the Deaf Law Center, nonprofit organizations representing individuals with disabilities, courts, legislatures, and executive-branch agencies in promoting the rights of individuals with disabilities.
There will be a weekly class and a supervisory tutorial to discuss the ethical, practical, and theoretical aspects of representing individuals with disabilities. The classroom component will include discussion of the history of exclusion and unequal treatment of individuals with disabilities; the federal civil rights laws as a means of remedying discrimination in employment, public accommodations, government services and other spheres of life; the rights of children and young persons with disabilities to a free and appropriate public education; and other federal public policies on disability, including the prevention of homelessness for poor people with disabilitiesr, rights in support of community-based living; protection from physical abuse and other harms; nondiscrimination in housing; access to advocates to enforce civil rights; and other personal rights that raise unique disability related issues. Student presentations and guest speakers will be a regular part of the classroom component.
Maryland also offers courses in disability law. These include Civil Rights of Persons with Disabilities Seminar, Maryland Disability and Criminal Law, Mental Disability Law. Externships are available with the Maryland Disability Law Center, the Legal Aid Bureau and the Office of the Attorney General for the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.