Beginning on February 10th, Visiting Professor Susan Stefan, one of the country’s most highly regarded experts in mental health disability law, will teach a course on Disability Rights Law at Miami Law. She is an attorney at the forefront of the legal movement to assert the rights of the disabled and is the recipient of many awards for her advocacy and litigation. Recently, she answered a few questions about the short course and herself.
1.Why did you choose to teach at Miami Law?
“I am teaching here because I used to be a professor here.”
2. What are you most looking forward about teaching at Miami Law?
“When I was here, I taught Disability Rights courses and represented Miami Law students in federal court cases, one of which (Ellen S. v. Florida Board of Bar Examiners) will be discussed in my short course. I like the students here and have good friends on the faculty.”
3. What can a Miami Law student hope to get out of your class?
“What I have always loved best about teaching is connecting with students, especially those who are interested in careers in civil rights and social justice. I want to discuss difficult legal and social issues in my class: how far can the Board of Bar Examiners go in asking about a student's treatment history? What can an employer do when an employee attempts suicide? When (if ever) should people with disabilities be excluded from organ transplant programs?”
4. What is your most memorable teaching experience?
“My most memorable teaching experience in the classroom would take too long to write here. But my happiest teaching experiences are when I help students get jobs in the disability rights field and then read the cases that they bring and win on behalf of people who have been mistreated.”
5. Where is the coolest place you've gotten to travel? Either as a result of teaching or personal travel.
“The coolest place I have been is the South Island of New Zealand. It's got every eco-system in the world in one small place. You can watch whales on the ocean, hike in the jungle, climb an amazing glacier, and see some of the oldest trees in the world. The people are very nice and it was interesting to visit a place where no one seemed to be concerned about liability. (Our glacier guide took off ahead of us and left a bunch of out-of-shape tourists to stumble through slippery terrain filled with crevices and not a warning sign or liability waiver in sight--it was really great).”
6. Please give us 1 fun fact about yourself
“A "fun fact" about me is that I was the only harpist on my university's varsity rifle team.”