Law School ACCESS Workshop 2021


Building the Pipeline:

Recruitment, Law School Success, and Career Services

Fridays, September 10th, 17th, 24th, 2021

9:00 – 1:00 am PT (12:00 – 4:00 pm ET)

Invite Only



Our purpose is to convene the top law schools in the nation working on disability inclusiveness, accessibility, and campus climate to share ideas and resources, identify existing challenges and barriers, and build the ACCESS Working Group whose mission is to promote a more disability inclusive future in legal education. 


Workshop Goals: 

  • Bring together representatives from 60+ law schools across the U.S.
  • Foster discussion on how to increase accessibility in law schools
  • Create networking opportunities for participants
  • Collect and share resources between law schools
  • Collect data from workshop break out room discussions
  • Create and disseminate best practices information




Day 1: Recruitment

The pipeline begins with our efforts to recruit students to reflect the world in which we live.  One in four adults have a disability, according to the CDC (2018).  Nonetheless, recruiting disabled students is often not prioritized.  Some law schools have developed reputations for being inclusive or exclusive to disabled students. On Day 1 of our workshop, we will discuss recruitment barriers and propose solutions to creating a law school culture of belonging.  This workshop will discuss topics including laying foundations with the law school’s main institution, pipeline programs such as the Coelho Law Fellowship, devoting resources to various stages of the recruitment process including tours, advertising, and disability visibility, and the LSAT.


Day 2: Law School Success

How do we define law school success?  How do we operationalize access and equity?  Success means different things for different individuals.  Institutional barriers still make it difficult for some students to disclose, and to ask for and receive accommodations.  For some disabled students, success could mean achieving effective support from their institution.   Ideally, disabled students would define success not only in getting the bare minimum required to access their classes.  How do we move beyond surviving to thriving?  What would a law school environment in which disabled students are striving look like?  In Day 2 of the workshop, we will discuss confronting the stigma that disabled students do not belong.  We will discuss how disability theory can be included in curriculum not as separate course matter but rather incorporated into the 1L curriculum.  We will talk about accommodation systems that work, and how to teach self-advocacy skills for students requesting accommodations in the workplace.


Day 3: Career Services

We don’t have sufficient data on how many lawyers with disabilities there are, but what we do know looks dismal.  According to NALP only .13% of lawyers surveyed reported having a disability.  We do know that there are great disparities in the main population -- disabled people tend to be un- and under- employed at disproportionately lower rates than the non-disabled population.  The reasons are vast, and apply to the legal field including discriminatory hiring practices and lack of support and accommodations in the workplace.  How do we as law schools engage with employers and law firms to ensure that our students with disabilities are set up for success in the world of work?  Day three of our workshop, we will discuss statistics on employment for law students with disabilities, creating networks for employment, how schools can engage with employers during OCI to talk about their students with disabilities and what they have to contribute, how utilize existing tools to educate employers, and to educate career service staff to engage more meaningfully with disabled law students. 

Event Co-Hosted By: 

Burton Blatt Institute (BBI)

Law School Admission Council (LSAC)

National Disabled Law Student Association (NDLSA)

Disability Law and Policy Program - Syracuse University College of Law 

The Coelho Center for Disability Law, Policy and Innovation - Loyola Law School


Image Description: Logos of the five co-hosting organizations.