Legality and Disability

  1. Seeking the Voices & Experiences of Disabled Lawyers & Lawyers Who Practice Disability Law

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    For the latter half of this year, I have begun my journey as an aspiring disability rights lawyer by studying for the LSAT, and selecting and applying to schools.  

    Being a lawyer was never within my vision of my life, but since beginning this advocacy focus, the calling appeared before me two years ago to take this route.  There are aspects of the legal world that appeals to me – being details-oriented; playing devil’s advocate to controversial issues; researching policies; understanding how laws and policies positively or negatively impact individuals, the broader society, and day-to-day transactions; writing; educating people about their rights and what they can do; and putting your own stamp on a profession that is misunderstood and making a difference, one case or client at a time.  

    Having the unique experience of being a lawyer and social worker will allow me to bring some warmth, personableness, and empathy to a profession that has the reputation of being exact, cold, and emotionless.  The “soft” skills I have as a social worker from my training and education – communication, listening skills, documentation writing, seeing issues from all angles – are what future employers are seeking from law school graduates.  In addition, I want my law degree to be an “add-on” to the career I am establishing and be expanded by offering an legal component to my advocacy and consulting work.  Having a clear understanding of how I want my law degree to work for me is great motivation at this stage, and when I begin law school.  

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  1. Brittany Maynard’s Assisted Suicide Decision: Choosing Quality of Life Over Quantity

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    Brittany Maynard 1

    Late Sunday evening, I was saddened to learn of Brittany Maynard’s death by assisted suicide via social media.  Like many of us, I became aware of Brittany’s story earlier in October when a video about her making the decision to end her life on her own terms went viral on social media.  Her story was significant to me because she and I are the same age, and I could not phantom making such a permanent, life-ending decision as she did.  Her strength and courage to come forward with her truth resonated with me as an advocate, and I wanted to discuss her choice, and the controversy surrounding it.

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  1. HUD Charges University with Discrimination in Failure to Allow Disabled College Student to House Support Dog

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    Image of a small dog wearing a harness with a tag called "emotional support dog."

    A new school year means that disabled college students are adjusting to their new environments, and are making accommodation requests to their school’s disability services department that will allow a smoother transition.  Accommodations can range from needing note-taking assistance, placement in a quieter environment to take tests, and/or being able to use service/support animals on campus.  Such accommodations are protected under several federal mandates, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and other pieces of legislation that outlaws discriminatory practices based on disability status(es).

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