Updated: Nov 3, 2022
If you are starting your 1L year of law school, and you're a student with a disability who needs academic accommodations, then it’s time to begin the process of submitting your law school accommodations paperwork (if you have not done so already)!
Here's what you need to know about the process:
I. A Qualified Professional Must Conduct an Evaluation and Diagnose You
Professionals conducting assessments must be qualified to do so. Documentation from family members will not be accepted due to ethical considerations.
II. Your Testing and Diagnosis Must be Current
The provision of reasonable accommodations and services is based upon an assessment of the current impact of the student’s disabilities on their academic performance. If you relied upon evaluations that had been completed in high school in order to get LSAT accommodations, that same documentation may now be outdated for law school. Some schools require neuropsychological evaluations (for ADHD, ADD and other neurological disabilities) that are no more than three years old, and psychiatric evaluations that have been completed within the past year. Every school has different documentation standards for what they deem “current” enough.
III. Documentation of Your Disability Must Be Comprehensive
According to Harvard Law School's documentation guidelines for ADHD, an evaluation report should include the following:
a complete history of your presenting symptoms
your relevant medical and medication history
your psychosocial history and interventions, and
your educational history of accommodations.
IV. Supplemental Documentation Can Be Submitted if Your Original Request is Denied
Once submitted, applications can take up to four weeks to be approved. Sometimes, your accommodations may be approved in part and denied in part, in which case you may be asked to supplement your application with additional information or documentation.
For example, if you request 100% extra time, you could be denied that amount of time if you did not properly substantiate the request. In that case, many schools, like Brooklyn Law School, may alert you that you are only approved for 50% extra time but that you have the right to submit a request for reconsideration and supplemental evidence to substantiate the requested amount time.
Need assistance with your application? Feel free to reach out and request a consult with our legal team. We are here to help you navigate the process, prepare your application, and identify which accommodations may be best for your learning challenges.