The legal profession must ensure equal justice and equal access by representing people with disabilities.
We must ensure that people with disabilities are represented in law schools, law firms and the court system.
Attorneys must fulfill their pro bono obligations and law school clinics can assist students in learning about disabilities.
The Honorable Wilhelmina M. Wright, US District Judge, District of Minnesota, discusses access to representation for people with disabilities in Minnesota.
How can law students and practicing attorneys looking for pro bono work get involved?
1) CLEs and law school classes should cover disability topics
CLEs and training can help lawyers feel prepared and educated to help clients with disabilities.
2) Including a person with a developmental disability on a CLE panel
An inclusive CLE panel has helped to break down stereotypes for students, lawyers, and more.
Judge Donovan Frank: An Inclusive Training Program
Judge Donovan Frank: An Inspirational Blind Juror Story
Judge Donovan Frank: Disability Discrimination in Sexual Abuse Cases
Judge Donovan Frank: Diversity is Strength
Judge Donovan Frank: Adding Disabilities to Diversity Laws
Judge Donovan Frank: The Disproportionate Impact of the Pandemic on People with Disabilities
From Boston College Law Review, 2015
Accidentally on Purpose: Intent in Disability Law
Mark Weber, DePaul University College of Law, discusses how courts have required an element of intent in discrimination lawsuits, despite disability discrimination laws having few intent requirements. He states that requiring claimants show intent imposes a substantial burden that cannot be found in statutes or regulations. Weber argues that intent requirements should not be imposed on section 504 ADA cases. The article shows that there is not an intent requirement for ADA employment cases and suggests the same should apply to state and local government provisions and section 504. (Added 5-12-16)
References and Resources
Unequal rights — books for sale