Student Accessibility and Inclusion

Welcome

The University of Miami School of Law is committed to creating and maintaining an inclusive environment that allows each student to have an equal opportunity to make the most of their law school experience. Accessibility Services is here to ensure students with disabilities are fully supported and works collaboratively with law school staff, faculty, and students to create a learning environment that is accessible, diverse and inclusive for everyone.


Requesting An Accommodation

Accommodations can be a key component in supporting our students with disabilities and ensuring that they are set up for success in the academic environment. If you are interested in requesting an accommodation, please follow the steps below and adhere to the deadlines subsequently provided.

Step 1 - Contact Accessibility Services

To begin the process of requesting accommodations, contact Accessibility Services at (305) 284-4551 or access@law.miami.edu to schedule an intake appointment.

Step 2 - Download, Complete, and Submit the Required Documentation

First Time Applicants
If you’re a first time applicant:

  • First, click the link below to access the Intake Form and the Authorization to Release Information Form.

Access Office of Accessibility Forms

Login Instructions: To access forms on this site, you must use your CaneLink login credentials in the following format:

username: cgcent\cane ID
Password: your CaneLink ID password

Download and complete both the Intake Form and the Authorization to Release Information Form. If you are unable to access the online forms, please contact access@law.miami.edu.

Incoming 1Ls and transfer students, you may not have access to this online service until such date as you have been officially migrated into the Canelink system by main campus Office of the Registrar. If you cannot access the service after the first week of classes, please contact us at access@law.miami.edu.
 

  • Next, complete and submit both forms with the required supporting medical documentation by the deadline below.

For information on what specific documentation is required, access the University’s Documentation Guidelines:

Step 3 – Schedule a Collaborative Meeting with the Director of Accessibility Services

Once your complete request and documentation has been submitted, Accessibility Services with contact you to schedule an interactive and collaborative meeting with the Director. During the meeting the Director will review your accommodation request with you, answer any questions you may have, and discuss next steps in the process.

Returning Applicants

  • Complete the Accommodation Request Form each semester by the deadline listed below.

Login Instructions: To access forms on this site, you must use your CaneLink login credentials in the following format:

username: cgcent\cane ID
Password: your CaneLink ID password

Download and complete the Accommodation Request Form. If you are unable to access the online forms, please contact access@law.miami.edu.

Accommodation Request Deadlines*

 

Fall Semester

 

Spring Semester

 

Summer Semester

 

Notetaker Request—August 30th

 

 

Notetaker Request—January 30th

 

 

Notetaker Request—2 weeks after the first day of class

 

 

Final Exam Accommodations Request—October 15th

 

 

Final Exam Accommodations Request—March 15th

 

 

Final Exam Accommodations Request—1 week before the scheduled final exam

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Please note:

  • deadlines are subject to change each academic year;
  • all deadlines are set to give Accessibility Services the necessary time to review documentation and determine which accommodations, if any, should be granted;
  • if a completed request with the required supporting documentation is not submitted by a deadline, Miami Law cannot guarantee that a determination will be made for that semester;
  • retroactive accommodations will not be granted;
  • a student who submits their documentation after a deadline may lose the ability to appeal a determination of accommodations;
  • incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

For any questions or concerns about adhering to the documentation schedule, please contact access@law.miami.edu.

Appeals

If you believe the accommodation decision made by Student Accessibility and Inclusion was in error (or incorrect), you may make an appeal. To learn more about the Academic Accommodations Appeal Procedure, consult the Accessibility Grievance and Appeal Policy.

Grievances

If you believe you have been subjected to discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation on the basis of disability and are looking to file a complaint and obtain a prompt resolution, please consult our Accessibility Grievance and Appeal Policy. All complaints of disability discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation will be addressed in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and any other applicable state and federal laws.

Assistance Animals

Service Animals– The University of Miami follows the provisions of the ADA with regard to service dogs as an accommodation. Service animals are specially trained to perform a specific task/s to assist the individual. Additional details relevant to service animals on campus, including handler rights and responsibilities, can be found on the University website.

Although not required, it is recommended that students who intend to bring a service animal to classes register in advance with Accessibility Services. Advance registration allows for Accessibility Services to inform the professor to expect a service animal in class and make necessary classroom adjustments when required.

Emotional Support Animals– Emotional support animals are not permitted in University classrooms.


Resources

University of Miami Resources

Advocacy and Support Organizations

Mentor Programs

Career Related Resources


Frequently Asked Questions

 REGARDING BASIC PROGRAM COMPETENCIES

The School of Law is committed to ensuring equal access to education for all of our students. This includes ensuring equal access for every student regardless of disability in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and other state and federal laws governing disability and accessibility.

The School of Law provides reasonable accommodations to its law students with medically documented qualifying disabilities who have registered with Accessibility Services. Accommodations include reasonable adjustment of policies, practices, and procedures, auxiliary aids and services and academic adjustments and modifications established on an individualized basis for each requesting student which includes the review of any accommodation history, current supporting medical documentation corroborating the request and a collaborative meeting with the Director of Accessibility to discuss the student's particular needs.

Reasonable accommodations are intended to remove barriers to equal access to our law school program. However, accommodations resulting in undue burden or which fundamentally alter the course of study are not considered reasonable and will not be granted. In determining whether accommodations fundamentally alter the course of study, we are guided by various considerations, including the faculty approved learning outcomes as published on page 2 of the Student Handbook. Please also note that retroactive accommodations will not be permitted.

Do I work directly with my professors to schedule my accommodations?

No. Unlike most undergraduate programs, law school grading and accommodations are kept anonymous. Anonymous grading is an essential aspect of the School of Law’s system to ensure fairness; undermining anonymous grading can therefore be an Honor Code issue.

Thus, both to protect student privacy and to ensure that the anonymous grading system is respected, coordination of accommodations will happen in most cases between the student and Accessibility Services. We have a few exceptions, for example in-class accommodations which identify the student as facing an accessibility challenge. In these instances, limited details may be shared with the professor to facilitate the administration of in-class accommodations. Accessibility-related exam date or format changes are handled only through Accessibility Services.

Will I receive the same accommodations in law school that I have received in prior degree programs?

Possibly not. Receipt of prior accommodations does not guarantee receipt of current accommodations. If there has been any change in your diagnosis or current functioning you may need additional, different, or less accommodations during your study of law. If your diagnosis has not changed, and your current academic functional limitations have remained the same (not improved or diminished), evidenced by your current supporting medical documentation, the next consideration is whether the accommodation is reasonable in law school. Certain accommodations may not be considered appropriate or reasonable in law school based upon the fundamental aspects of our program and course of study. Decisions are made on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration each individual student’s particular needs.

I received accommodations on the LSAT. Will I automatically receive the same accommodations in law school?

Possibly not. In most cases, where the request is related to the same academic limitation, considered to be a reasonable accommodation and is supported by required medical documentation, deference will likely be given to the decision made by the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC). However, students should never assume that the LSAC’s determination of reasonable accommodations will automatically roll over to the law school. All students are required to adhere to the law school’s formal process to request academic accommodations which includes providing the required supporting medical documentation and participating in an interactive and collaborative process. Information on required documentation can be found on our website. Keep in mind that the Florida Bar (and many other state bars) have more stringent requirements than the LSAC for requesting accommodations on the bar exam, and thus having updated and comprehensive medical documentation will be required.

I wish to apply for accommodations for the first time in Law School. Will I be approved?

Possibly. In addition to current functional limitations, a student’s history of accommodations is also taken into consideration when reviewing accommodation requests. This does not mean that if you have never received accommodations prior to law school that you cannot have them in law school. What it does mean is that your supporting medical documentation must sufficiently establish a current need for the accommodation in this course of study at the current time. Accommodation requests are reviewed, and accommodations granted or denied on an individual, case-by-case basis, and are not based solely on a diagnosis.

I suffer from anxiety. Will I be able to opt out of being called on in class, oral Moot Court arguments or other in-class presentations?

No. Learning to think on your feet in a critical manner is an essential part of any legal education. While we understand that public speaking can be uncomfortable, our 1L academic experience is designed to help you cultivate this skill. All 1L students must participate in an oral argument as part of their Legal Communications course. Accessibility Services and our Academic Achievement Program can offer additional resources to support you in addressing this type of anxiety, and preparing to do your best in oral presentation skills.

I have always used a computer as an accommodation. Will that be a problem in law school?

Some professors at the law school have NO LAPTOP policies in their classrooms. Some professors have determined that laptops interrupt the classroom experience and particularly the Socratic dialogue. If a student has requested a waiver of the NO LAPTOP policy, provided sufficient and current supporting medical documentation, and been granted a laptop exception by Accessibility Services – then we will work with you to evaluate reasonable alternatives.

Can I expect extensions on papers, assignments, group projects or submissions to the Law Review writing competition or the Gaubatz Moot Court competition?

No. As a general matter, we provide accommodations as needed to students in the classroom as well as on examinations (including midterms and quizzes). You will find that there are a number of papers, assignments, graded projects outside the classroom or extracurricular activities including law review and moot court that will consider timeliness of submissions. Likewise, the legal profession requires us to meet timeliness obligations of clients, employers and opposing counsel. Faculty will grade on timeliness, and mark down for lateness. As such, we have not provided blanket extensions to students as this would fundamentally alter the program or course of study.

I am a pregnant law student and would like information on available resources. Whom should I contact ?

At Miami Law, the Dean of Students serves as the contact for pregnant students at deanofstudents@law.miami.edu.

Additional information is also available here: https://titleix.miami.edu/_assets/pdf/documents/pregnant-and-parenting-s...

I have recently been injured, broken a limb, require surgery or have a medical emergency and may need additional support for a short period. Whom should I contact?

The Director of Accessibility Services will be your initial contact in the event you suffer from a medical condition or temporary injury and will direct you to available resources and arrangements that may be available on a temporary basis.

 REGARDING ADMISSIONS

How can I obtain accommodations for the LSAT? 

Contact the Law School Admissions Council for more information.

Law School Admission Council
Phone: 215-968-1001
Fax: 215-968-1119
Website: www.lsac.org

Will disclosing a disability on a law school application hurt my chances for admission?

No. The University of Miami School of Law admissions process is free of discrimination. If a prospective student believes sharing a disability may help the committee to understand and interpret their academic record and/or application, the applicant should feel free to include this information. Once an applicant is admitted, this information will only be shared with Accessibility Services with student consent.

Should I disclose a disability on my law application because there is a quota for students with disabilities and it may help me get preferential treatment?

No, disclosing a disability will not help you get preferential treatment in the admissions process. Spots are not reserved and there are no quotas for applicants with disabilities. All aspects of an application are carefully reviewed and considered individually before an admissions decision is made.

What can I do if my academic record does not accurately reflect my potential?

Applicants are encouraged to include information in their application explaining why their credentials may not fully indicate potential. This information may include changes in medications, accidents, or the timing of a diagnosis and treatment plan as they relate to academic performance in school and/or on the LSAT.

Is it best to disclose a disability to the Admissions Office, or should I wait and talk to Student Accessibility and Inclusion after classes have commenced?

This decision is entirely up to you to decide. There are some important things to consider while you decide: if you anticipate needing an accommodation during law school, advance notice during the admissions process will allow time to make the necessary arrangements. If in class accommodations will be needed, it is critical to request accommodations in advance whether notifying Admissions, or contacting Accessibility Services directly. In any case it is better to secure accommodations before classes have begun, so you can focus your attention on your coursework. Also, if you plan to request accommodations on a bar exam, demonstrating a history of past accommodations is important.

 REGARDING COURSES

How do I apply for accommodations through the Office of Student Accessibility and Inclusion?

Take a look at our step-by-step process here. If you have any questions, feel free to contact the office at 305-284-4551 or access@law.miami.edu.

Is it possible to be excused from required courses due to a disability?

No. The Law School has a curriculum that does not allow for a course waiver. After your first year, you may self-select into courses that most reflect your interests and learning needs. Remember that written and oral advocacy are core competencies that must be demonstrated to obtain a law degree.

What if I 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 Student Financial Assistance and Employment at 305-284-6000 or gradprof.finaid@miami.edu if you need additional funds to pay for documentation for a disability or equipment that relates to educational goals. The expense can often be built into your student budget.

What if I am feeling really stressed out about upcoming exams and I need someone to talk to, what resources are available?

The Dean of Students, Janet Stearns, and Amy Perez, Director of Student Life, are always available to students who need support. However, if you require more intensive services, the Counseling Center has professionals who are prepared to help law students in crisis. All full-time students are eligible for counseling services. For more information on making an appointment at the Counseling Center, click here.

As a law student, am I guaranteed the same accommodations that I received at my undergraduate school?

No. You must first comply with the requirements stated in our documentation guidelines. Once a completed request has been made, and an interactive and collaborative meeting held with the Director, the file will be reviewed. A decision will be made to approve or deny each individual requested accommodations based upon the student’s current functional limitations they relate to the study of law, and in conjunction with faculty approved and profession driven core competencies. The approved accommodations may or may not reflect past accommodations.

What can I do if my accommodation request is denied because of "Insufficient Documentation"?

Review the documentation guidelines specific to your disability to make sure that supporting paperwork reflects all the information that is being requested. Speak to one’s treating professional so he or she can include any information that was missing.

Should I approach my professor on my own and tell them about my disability or can this office discuss accommodating my disability with the professor on my behalf?

Students at the law school are advised not to disclose disability related information to professors so as to not risk jeopardizing the anonymous grading policies of the law school. At the School of Law, the Accessibility Services handles all accommodations arrangements with students directly and without informing the faculty member of the identity of the student receiving an accommodation, wherever possible. Accessibility Services will not disclose any information about a student and/or their disability without a student’s written authorization. Certain exceptions may be necessary in order to provide in-class accommodations where needed.

 REGARDING HEALTH SERVICES

What health benefits are available to Law School students who 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. For more information on the Student Health Center and making appointment, click here.

If I need a handicap parking sticker and I am a student from another state how do I go about getting one?

You can 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. To park on campus, even in a disabled parking spot, you must also have a campus university parking pass.

Will my classmates know about my disability?

Accessibility Services will not disclose any information about a student and/or that student’s disability to classmates. Registering with Accessibility Services is confidential. Even when recruiting class mates as peer note takers, the name of the student needing the accommodation is not disclosed. In addition, students with accommodations take accommodated exams in a room separate from their classmates, so classmates should not know that any specific individual is receiving accommodations.


Contact Us

Ms. Jessie Howell, J.D.
Director, Accessibility Services
Private Fax: (305) 284-7317
E-mail: jhowell@law.miami.edu

 

Accessibility Services
University of Miami School of Law
1311 Miller Drive, Suite A212
Coral Gables, FL 33146-0221
Phone: 305-284-4551
E-mail: access@law.miami.edu