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Disability Law & Public Policy Program

The Disability Law and Policy (DLP) Program offers students the opportunity to gain experience and expertise in the practice of disability law while still in law school. Students come to Syracuse University's College of Law with a variety of backgrounds, careers, and interests. One of the unique features of the DLP Program is the opportunity for students with interdisciplinary interests take courses and conduct research in other graduate programs of Syracuse University including the highly respected Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, the School of Education, the School of Social Work, and the College for Human Development.  The DLP Program is part of the new Syracuse University Center on Human Policy, Law, and Disability Studies (CHPLDS).

Why Choose the Disability Law and Policy Program?

Comments from Program Alumni and Current Students 


"Having run the gauntlet of the legal and educational systems as a lay person/parent of a disabled child, I knew that I wanted work within the two systems and advocate for change, where change was needed. As a dual degree student in these areas I get the training of both sides to the equation- the legal side and the educational side. I will graduate with two degrees and the knowledge of how both systems work. Not only will I enter a career in the legal field, but I'll be able to be a part of a fairly new and ground-breaking field: Disability Law. The allure of being an integral part of this history and helping to build the future is an opportunity that only exists in Syracuse."
Lesley Owens-Pelton 
J.D./M.S. Ed in Disability Studies Candidate, 2006 

"I am pursuing a joint degree in Law/CFE to deepen my understanding of the challenges people with disabilities face in law, public policy, and society. The joint degree will allow me to fight for social equality and promote progress in our communities for people with disabilities. Peaceful communities can only be achieved if equality and opportunity is available to everyone." 
Nate Kuzma 
J.D./M.S.Ed in Disability Studies Candidate, 2006 

"The law/disability studies joint degree program assists in preparing me for a career in disability rights and advocacy. The experience of taking classes with many of the experts in these fields is invaluable." 
Crystal Doody, J.D. 
J.D./M.S.Ed in Disability Studies, 2005 

"I chose Syracuse University because it is the only university in the country that offers a joint degree in law and disability studies. I believe it is fundamental to the practice of working with people with disabilities to understand the issues and ideologies surrounding the disability rights movement such as the inclusion of people with disabilities in all levels of society as well as the barriers to inclusion that people with disabilities face. My goal is that my dual degree will allow me to advocate for people with disabilities, as well as empower people with disabilities to be their own advocates, through legal, political and social means." 
Julie Morse 
J.D./M.S.Ed in Disability Studies, 2005