National Association of Law Students With Disabilities

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DarlayBoo
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National Association of Law Students With Disabilities

Postby DarlayBoo » Sun Sep 13, 2009 9:06 pm

My name is Anna Scholin - also known as DarlayBoo - I'm a 2L at Stanford Law and the current Membership Director for the National Association of Law Students With Disabilities (NALSWD). I've found NALSWD to be a fantastic resource for career contacts, accommodations advice, and connecting with other law students facing similar challenges. I'm posting here to publicize what this group has to offer and to invite any of you who have disabilities to join!

The National Association of Law Students With Disabilities (NALSWD) is a coalition of law students dedicated to disability advocacy and the achievement of equal access, inclusion, diversity and non-discrimination in legal education and in the legal profession. NALSWD aims to support the growing number of law students with disabilities by providing mentors, studying and survival tips for law school, and career advice for the legal profession. The future success of NALSWD depends on the active participation of law students with disabilities.

We at NALSWD are currently working hard to expand our membership and welcome new members at all levels of involvement, from merely joining our monthly e-newsletter to working on advocacy initiatives to running for one of NALSWD's executive board positions. Students with all types of disabilities, both obvious and invisible, and from the full range of functional limitations are invited to join! From diabetes to carpal tunnel to spinal injuries to learning disabilities, sensory impairments, chronic illnesses, mental or emotional impairments; really any biologically based challenge that forces you to work harder to do things other people get to take for granted.

Law school is already hard enough, NALSWD exists to help those of us who have to work even harder to find the resources, opportunities, and support to help level the playing field.

If you are interested in joining or would just like to learn more about our organization, what we offer, and the many ways of becoming involved in NALSWD,

You can find further information at our website: http://www.nalswd.org/

Where you can also sign up for our mailing list and/or to become a NALSWD member (free to join): --LinkRemoved--

Or you can also connect with us through our Facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/group ... 419&ref=ts

While it may seem a long way off, I should mention that, among its many benefits, NALSWD is a great organization for advising about the lengthy and difficult process of receiving test-taking accommodations for the bar. For those of you who struggled with LSAT accommodations, you probably already realize how frustrating the process can be. NALSWD is trying to provide more for pre-law students with disabilities as well, so your knowledge of the LSAT accommodations process is something we would really value and would like to incorporate into our advocacy projects aimed at reducing the barriers to future test-takers with disabilities.

If you have questions, please feel free to contact Anna Scholin, Membership Director, at nalswd.membership@gmail.com, or Janice Ta, President of NALSWD, at nalswd.president@gmail.com!

"When people with disabilities come to the conclusion that they have the right to be in the community, to have a say in how that community treats them, they are beginning to develop a consciousness about taking control of their lives and resisting all attempts to give others that control." - Ed Roberts

We hope you will consider joining NALSWD and aiding us in making the legal profession more accessible and inclusive!

Sincerely,

Anna Scholin, Membership Director of the National Association of Law Students With Disabilities

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20160810
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Re: National Association of Law Students With Disabilities

Postby 20160810 » Mon Sep 14, 2009 12:22 am

Thank you for sharing this, I'm sure there are some posters here who could benefit from it.

Pearalegal
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Re: National Association of Law Students With Disabilities

Postby Pearalegal » Mon Sep 14, 2009 12:53 am

Very cool, thanks.

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OperaSoprano
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Re: National Association of Law Students With Disabilities

Postby OperaSoprano » Mon Sep 14, 2009 1:34 am

Yes, thank you. This sounds like a great organization.

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DarlayBoo
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Re: National Association of Law Students With Disabilities

Postby DarlayBoo » Mon Sep 14, 2009 9:48 pm

Happy to share the info, really an organization I believe in. Please pass the info along to anyone else you know who might be interested! We're a very "big-tent" organization and there is a lot of work to be done to make pursuing a legal education or the legal profession more accessible.

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A'nold
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Re: National Association of Law Students With Disabilities

Postby A'nold » Tue Sep 15, 2009 1:35 am

OperaSoprano wrote:Yes, thank you. This sounds like a great organization.



You considering it? I emailed them.......hope it's not a scam.

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OperaSoprano
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Re: National Association of Law Students With Disabilities

Postby OperaSoprano » Tue Sep 15, 2009 1:54 am

A'nold wrote:
OperaSoprano wrote:Yes, thank you. This sounds like a great organization.



You considering it? I emailed them.......hope it's not a scam.


Yes. I love the fact that they even exist, though I'm lucky enough not to be too hindered by my disability these days.

Miss you, and hope all is going well!

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DarlayBoo
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Re: National Association of Law Students With Disabilities

Postby DarlayBoo » Tue Sep 15, 2009 2:48 am

Not that my denying it is proof of anything, but no, we're not a scam :lol: . (We were actually founded by the ABA, so you can probably find some link from their website if you want to authenticate.) I am currently sort of blanketing TLS trying to reach students with disabilities - and keep losing my ability to send pm's due to their spam filter (you can only contact 25 different people in a 24 hour period apparently...) - but that's just because I only recently was elected the national membership director and I am ridiculously enthusiastic.

I only developed my disability in January of my 1L year - severe very sudden onset rheumatoid arthritis (autoimmune disorder that attacks the joints) - so I've had a pretty recent very intense experience of how vital having a support network of other law students with disabilities can be. In my case, I missed so much class - because I was in excruciating pain and couldn't move from bed - that the school almost forced me to take a leave of absence (a very common occurrence at many schools). This was only averted because other students with disabilities found out about my situation, reached out to me, and explained the disability certification process and protections available. That got the school to behave reasonably and gave me enough time for the physical therapy and medications to kick in, and I was able to catch back up on my work and even to take my exams on time with surprisingly good blind-graded results. Most people - hopefully - won't need a group like NALSWD as badly as I did, but even so, there remain a ridiculous number of unfair barriers to the success of law students with disabilities in legal education. NALSWD is trying to help correct that, the first step being organizing and informing students about the barriers they face and how other people have successfully overcome them.

In any case, I realize that contacting people through a semi-anonymous site like TLS - especially by searching through ancient posts to find people who have identified - can seem a little sketchy. However the "official" method of recruiting members has not worked very well for us. Because of confidentiality concerns we, rightly, can't get contact information for students with disabilities direct from their schools in order to contact them like other affinity groups do. And sending our information to law school deans, and even disability coordinators, for them to forward on to appropriate students has been pretty ineffective too, as administrators tend to grossly underestimate the number of students with disabilities on their campuses (and, less charitably, possibly aren't all that keen to help students organize to demand more reasonable accommodations from these same administrators). We also run into the problem that a TON of students with disabilities don't think they "count," that they aren't impaired enough or that their condition isn't the "right" sort to be able to join NALSWD. So I'm trying something new here. A lot of students with disabilities seem comfortable identifying in a semi-anonymous forum like TLS, and thus far people have been very responsive, especially to personal PM's I've been sending. It allows me to address individual concerns and for students to discuss their situation in a setting that doesn't expose them. So I'm putting in a lot of hours to see if this can be a better way of recruiting and I would love to hear your feedback on that.

In any case, I really encourage any law students with disabilities to join - even just sign up for the email list (it's only like a once a month newsletter) or check out our (continuing to update) website. We have a lot to offer already and are a young, growing organization that is very open to new leaders who want to step up and use NALSWD as a vehicle to organize action on disability-related causes. We have projects big and small that we need help on. Above all, please - if you believe we're not a scam - let other students with disabilities who you might know, know about this resource.

Sorry, this got really long, but yeah, the ridiculously enthusiastic thing again, and please feel free to contact me if you have any questions!
Best,
~Anna
Last edited by DarlayBoo on Mon Feb 22, 2010 1:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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DarlayBoo
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Re: National Association of Law Students With Disabilities

Postby DarlayBoo » Sun Dec 27, 2009 5:29 pm

Just a bump to mention that NALSWD just launched a brand new FAQ for law school applicants with disabilities! --LinkRemoved--

The guide covers how to decide if you should disclose your disability, how best to do so, things to look for in law schools, etc. It's our first official effort to tackle the topic, so we welcome comments and suggestions for other topics the guide should cover. We just felt that there was a lack of reliable straightforward information out there for applicants with disabilities and wanted to do what we could to share our insights.

On this same page, there is also a state by state guide on the same page for "mental character and fitness" guidelines state-by-state. If you have been diagnosed with any sort of mental, psychiatric, or emotional problem, you should check this our ASAP so you can make an informed decision about where practicing law will be feasible for you.

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DarlayBoo
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Re: National Association of Law Students With Disabilities

Postby DarlayBoo » Sun Dec 27, 2009 5:37 pm

Sorry - the last post was my generic bump, but I wanted to mention specifically to current law students - who don't really need a guide to applying to law school themselves - that we would love your input on this guide's recommendations. This is only our beta version so to speak, so if you have insight you'd like to contribute, we'd really appreciate it.

Also, now that 1Ls are done with their first semester, we'd like to invite you again to join NALSWD. Law school is hard, and having a supportive network of people with similar experiences can be really helpful. Working with NALSWD you not only get access to a great network of alumni and supporters for mentoring and employment, but can make a real contribution to efforts to make the profession more inclusive. NALSWD is holding national elections for officers in February and there are a lot of current board members graduating. If you think you might be interested in at least working with us a little and finding out what being part of NALSWD is all about, we'd love to have you and would be happy to answer any questions you might have. If you want to jump into disability rights work, NALSWD puts you on the fast-track.

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Marmot
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Re: National Association of Law Students With Disabilities

Postby Marmot » Wed Dec 30, 2009 9:01 pm

I used to work for the ABA entity that sponsors a good deal of their programming. On a completely non-official, personal level I can tell you that NALSWD puts together an excellent annual conference and career fair of which I'd certainly want to be a part if I had a disability. The folks in charge have put in a lot of work to build the organization in the years following its founding, and it would definitely be a great group to get involved with if you're interested.

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DarlayBoo
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Re: National Association of Law Students With Disabilities

Postby DarlayBoo » Mon Feb 22, 2010 2:00 am

Just trolling again for any current law students (at any school) with disabilities (of any sort - physical, mental, learning, invisible, etc.) who might be interested in running for a position on NALSWD's executive board or heading a committee. Great opportunity to take a leadership role, we're really open and hungry for new talent, and you get a chance to work on substantive independent projects that look fantastic on a resume. Don't have to have been involved at all before this; once elected, people get two months of mentoring from the current board to help them figure out the ropes; and it's only a time commitment of like 20 hours a semester generally (including weekly teleconference meetings). (very brief) Candidate statements are due at the end of the week, so if you're at all interested, PM me and I'd be more than happy to pitch you on the possibilities.




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