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binggou

Law school while disabled

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(Sorry, wasn't sure about whether this should go under "law students" or "law school applicants"! I'm not yet a student, but this is a question about studies and not about the application process.)

So obviously every university has its own office for accommodations/students with disabilities, but would anybody be willing to share their own (or "a friend"'s) experience navigating law school as a disabled student beyond that? How do professors tend to receive students who need accommodations? Is it possible to take a reduced courseload in law school without being a part-time student? Is there anything else to watch out for that wouldn't have been a problem or consideration during undergrad?

Thanks!

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I think you'd have to be at least a little more specific than you have been. I mean, I went to law school with a dude who was blind. But I'm pretty sure that's not what you mean.

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My bad! I have neurodevelopmental disabilities (autism and ADHD). What I'm wondering about generally has less to do with my specific conditions, though, and more to do with attitudes towards students who disclose or ask for support around disability.

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While I can't speak to attending law school with a disability, I imagine the accommodations would vary largely depending on the nature of the disability and the supporting documents. That said, as far as I know all marking across law schools is "blind". That is, your papers and exams will have a number rather than your name, and your prof will not know whose is whose when marking. I also imagine that in most cases your professor would not be aware that you were receiving accommodations (unless you were to discuss it with them). In my experience law schools do all they can to accommodate where appropriate and avoid any potential discrimination/bias.

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There was a decent thread on attending law school with ASD a few years ago: 

My understanding of academic accommodations, at Osgoode at least, is that you don’t usually contact the individual professors but rather go through the administration. In many cases, the accommodations aren’t disclosed to the professor at all, and so there’s really no opportunity for stigma. For example, if you require extra time on an exam, they’ll just give you a separate room to write in and extra time, then slide your exams in with the rest of them. 

It would obviously be different if your accommodation required the professor to know, for whatever reason. With that said, I think most law school professors are pretty aware of and sensitive to disability and accessibility related issues, so I don’t think they would be very judgmental of legitimate accessibility issues.

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