|Office of Disability Services
Jessie Howell, Coordinator
1311 Miller Drive
Coral Gables, FL 33146-0221
Notetaker Request: January 23, 2015
Final Exam Accommodations: March 6, 2015
Please note that all deadlines are set to allow for appropriate review of documentation and a determination of accommodations, if granted. If documentation is not submitted on a timely basis, we cannot assure that a determination will be made for that semester. Further, a student who submits documentation late may have an inability to appeal a determination of accommodations. If you have any questions or concerns about adhering to the documentation deadline schedule, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org as we are eager to work with our students through this process.
FORMS & POLICIES
First-time applicants should complete both the Disability Intake Form and Authorization to Release Information Form. These two forms should be submitted to Jessie Howell along with documentation. Once a student has been approved for accommodations, he or she can complete the Accommodation Request Form. A new form should be completed each semester.
(*Please note - Login Instructions: Before you can view the forms, you will be prompted to enter your UM username and password. Do not forget to enter your username as follows – email@example.com or your username will not be recognized. Fill out all of the requested information and click "Submit" at the bottom of the page. If you cannot access the online forms, please contact Gloria Garcia.)
Frequently Asked Questions About Law School: Disability Services
How does one obtain accommodations for the LSAT?
Contact the Law School Admissions Council for more information on requesting accommodations for the LSAT.
Law School Admission Council
Is it true one should not disclose a disability on his or her application to law school because it would hurt chances for admission?
No. The University of Miami School of Law admissions process is free of discrimination. If a prospective student feels that sharing his or her disability may help the committee to understand and interpret an academic record and/or application, please feel free to do so. This information will not be disclosed other than to the ODS, should a student be admitted.
Is it true one should disclose a disability on a law application because there is a quota for students with disabilities and it may help an applicant get preferential treatment?
No. The University of Miami School of Law admissions process is free of discrimination. Spots are not reserved for disabled applicants and no preferential treatment is given to students with disabilities.
What can an applicant do if his or her academic record does not accurately reflect his or her potential?
Applicants are encouraged to include information in their application which explains why credentials may not fully indicate potential, including changes in medications, accidents or the timing of a diagnosis and treatment plan as they relate to academic performance on the LSAT.
Is it best to disclose a disability to the Admissions Office, or should one wait and talk to the Disability Services Coordinator once classes have begun?
This will be entirely up to each student to decide. There are, however, sound reasons why one may want to consider disclosing a disability. Should a student anticipate needing special assistance during law school, advance notice to the school will allow The Office of Disability Services time to make the necessary arrangements. It is better to get this taken care of before classes have begun, so that a student can direct all of his or her attention to course work. Also, students who plan to request accommodations on a bar exam should note that demonstrating a history of past accommodations is most helpful.
How does one apply for accommodations through the Office of Disability Services?
First get in touch with The Office of Disability Services to speak with Jessie Howell, Disability Services Coordinator. Call 305-284-9907 to schedule an appointment.
Is it possible to get out of required courses due to a disability?
No. The Law School has a curriculum that does not allow for course waiver. After the first year, the Law School curriculum is flexible enough so that students may self-select into courses that most reflect their learning needs. It is important to note that written and oral advocacy are core requirements that must be demonstrated to obtain a law degree.
What if one cannot afford to get documentation for a disability? Is there any plan that would let a student purchase assistive technology to be used for law studies?
Please contact the Office of Financial Aid at 305-284-3115 if there is a need for additional funds to pay for documentation for a disability or equipment that relates to educational goals. The expense can often be built into one’s student budget.
What if a one is feeling really stressed out about upcoming exams and I needs someone to talk to, what resources are available?
The Dean of Students, Janet Stearns, or Assistant Dean for Professional Development, and William VanderWyden, are always available to students who need support. However, if a student requires more intensive services, the Counseling Center has professionals who are familiar with law students. All full-time students are eligible for counseling services. The Counseling Center is located at 5600 George Merrick Drive, Hughes House, Bldg. 21, Suite R. Please call 305-284-5511 to schedule an appointment.
Is a law student guaranteed the same accommodations that he or she received in undergraduate school?
No. Students must first comply with the requirements set forth in the documentation guidelines. Once the documentation is evaluated, the School of Law will be notified of the approved accommodations for that student. The approved accommodations may or may not reflect past accommodations.
What does one do if an accommodation request is denied because of "Insufficient Documentation"?
Review the documentation guidelines specific to each student’s disability to make sure that supporting paperwork reflects all the information that is requested. Speak to one’s treating professional so he or she can include any information that was missing.
Does one approach a professor personally and tell him or her about a disability or can the office discuss personal issues with a professor on the student’s behalf?
This is entirely each student’s decision. At the School of Law, The Office of Disability Services typically handles all arrangements with students directly and without informing the faculty member of the identity of the accommodated student. Therefore, the Office of Disability Services will not disclose any information about a disability without a student’s written authorization. The Office of Disability Services will work with students to provide in-class and final examination accommodations as needed. In a few instances (such as in-class quizzes or Summer Abroad examinations) it may be necessary to coordinate those accommodations with the faculty member, but these instances are not common.
REGARDING HEALTH SERVICES
What health benefits are available to Law School students should a student need to see a local physician or specialist?
All full-time students are charged for health insurance through the University of Miami. This insurance coverage begins on August 15th and covers students until the following year on August 14. Please visit their website to learn information about insurance coverage. Students can get your primary care at the Student Health Center. The Health Center is conveniently located on campus at 5513 Merrick Drive. They can be reached by phone 305-284-9100 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. If necessary they provide referrals for specialists.
If a handicap parking sticker is needed and a student is from another state how does he or she go about getting one?
It is possible to apply for a Disabled Parking Placard at any Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle office. The form is also available online here Application for Disabled Person Parking Permit.
Will classmates know about a student’s disability?
The Office of Disability Services will not disclose any information about a student, his or her disability or identity to classmates. Even when The Office of Disability Services request that classmates serve as note takers, they provide the office with the notes without knowing the name of the students who will be receiving them. In addition, students with accommodations take accommodated exams in a room separate from classmates, so they should not know that any individual is receiving any accommodations.
- The National Association of Law Students With Disabilities (NALSWD)
- YouTube: National Association of Law Students with Disabilities (NALSWD) Conference Videos
- Disability Independence Group (DIG)
- American Bar Association National Mentor Program for Law Students with Disabilities
- The Florida Bar YLD Law Student Division Mentoring Program
- Resources for individuals with Attention Disorders/Learning Disabilities
- Law Students with Disabilities Resource Manual
- Nursing Mother Rooms Now Available across the University
- Audio Case Files
- VARK: A Guide to Learning Styles
- Lawyers, Lead On: Lawyers with Disabilities Share Their Insights
- Application for Disabled Person Parking Permit
- Bar Accommodations by Jurisdiction
- ABA List of Pledge Signatories