This class deals with federal laws prohibiting discrimination against people with disabilities, with particular emphasis on the American Disabilities Act of 1990. The goal of this course is to provide a legal, conceptual, and practical understanding of people with disabilities, forms of discrimination that occur on the basis of disability, and the protections against such discrimination that currently exist.
Advanced Disability Law & Policy
This is an applied research course. Students select a topic of interest to them and prepare a class presentation and paper on the topic. The topic may pertain to domestic, international, or comparative disability law and policy. The course is open to all students, including those whom have not taken Disability Law. However, some background in disability studies or a related field (e.g. education, social policy) is suggested. This course is open to law students and graduate students, with permission of the instructor. This course meets the COL writing requirement.
Education Law Seminar
This seminar will introduce students to legal and policy issues that arise in the provision of public and private elementary, secondary, and higher education. The seminar seeks to provide students with an understanding of the role of education in society, and the role of law in the provision of education. The course will cover such topics as gender equality, affirmative action and diversity, special education and inclusion, public school desegregation, federal and state roles in public education, the use of public funds for private/parochial education, public school choice and school vouchers, the right and responsibilities of students, and the rights and responsibilities of teachers and administrators. Guest speakers from the field of education will join the class and some students will have the opportunity to work on administrative hearings for clients as part of a class assignment. This course is open to law students and graduate students, with permission of the instructor. This course meets the COL writing requirement.
International Human Rights and Comparative Disability Law
In this course, students will explore recent developments in international human rights and comparative disability law, including recent efforts by the United Nations to draft a treaty on the rights of people with disabilities. Students will explore the role of people with disabilities within different legal systems, who are often vulnerable to human rights violations, and will learn about the United Nations' current and ongoing efforts to draft a treaty on the rights of people with disabilities. Professor Kanter and some of her former students have been involved in working with the UN on this treaty for the past five years. If enacted, this treaty will be the first binding international instrument designed specifically to protect the rights of people with disabilities to equal opportunities in all aspects of life.
Special Education Law
Special Education Law seeks to provide students with an understanding of the federal legislative process by examining laws that protect the rights of children with disabilities in school, specifically the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA). In this course, we will examine the rules of statutory construction, and how they apply to the language, scope, and coverage of the IDEA, as well as the IDEA's legislative history, and the role of courts in interpreting the IDEA.
Disability Rights Clinic
The Disability Rights Advocacy Law Clinic is dedicated to providing representation to individuals and groups in our community who are unable to secure representation elsewhere. One reason DRC clients are unable to find other lawyers to represent them, is because of their lack of financial resources. In our community, as elsewhere, the vast majority of lawyers provide legal assistance only to those who can afford to pay for their services. Furthermore, in recent years federal funding, the major source of funding for legal services for people with low or no income, has been reduced dramatically. A second reason DRC clients are unable to find lawyers elsewhere relates to the types of cases they may have which may involve controversial issues or conflicts of interest for other lawyers. DRC student attorneys practice in federal and state courts, and before administrative agencies in a broad range of civil rights matters, including race, gender, age and disability discrimination, sexual harassment, prisoners rights, immigration, accessibility under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and employment matters.
Public Interest Externship (Disability Related)
The Public Interest Externship Program provides law students the opportunity to assist public interest lawyers in our local offices of Legal Services of Central New York, Hiscock Legal Aid, and the Legal Aid Society of Rochester, and, most recently, the Office of the Public Defender. The Public Interest Externship is unique in offering students the opportunity to work with experienced public interest lawyers on a range of civil and criminal cases while also providing much-needed legal assistance to members of our local low-income community.