Profile

  • Arlene S. Kanter
  • Laura J. and L.Douglas Meredith Professor of Teaching Excellence
  • Professor of Law
  • Director, College of Law Disability Law and Policy Program
  • Faculty Director of International Programs
  • Professor of Disability Studies, School of Education (by courtesy appointment)

  • (315) 443-9551
  • kantera@law.syr.edu

  • Education
  • Georgetown University Law Center
    LL.M. 1983
  • New York University
    J.D., with honors 1981
  • Trinity College
    B.A., with honors 1976


  • Publications[PDF]

  • In the News

Arlene S.   Kanter

Professor Kanter is the founder and Director of the College of Law’s Disability Law and Policy Program (DLPP).The DLPP houses the nation’s first joint degree program in Law and Disability Studies as well as a joint degree in Law and Inclusive Education and Disability Rights, a Curricular Program in Disability Law and Policy, and a LLM Program for international lawyers. In 2018-19, Professor Kanter was named the new Faculty Director of International Programs. In her new role, she will work with the Office of International Program in overseeing the LLM Program and the proposed SJD Program.

Professor Kanter publishes and lectures extensively on domestic and international human rights and disability law and policy. Her recent book, THE DEVELOPMENT OF DISABILITY RIGHTS UNDER INTERNATIONAL LAW: FROM CHARITY TO HUMAN RIGHTS (Routledge, 2015, 2017) traces the development of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CPRD). From 2001-06, Professor Kanter worked with the UN committee on drafting this treaty. Since then, she has consulted with governments and disability organizations on implementing the CRPD in more than a dozen countries, including Argentina, Egypt, Ghana, India, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Mexico, Palestine, Peru, Turkey, Jordan, South Africa and Vietnam. She has been invited to speak at the UN General Assembly, the Committee of the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women and the Committee on the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities.

Professor Kanter is also co-author of RIGHTING EDUCATIONAL WRONGS: DISABILITY STUDIES IN LAW AND EDUCATION (with Beth Ferri) (2014), the first book to bring together scholars from the fields of law, education and disability studies.She also co-authored the first law casebook on international and comparative disability law, and has published over 100 articles and book chapters on topics related to international human rights, comparative disability law, inclusive education, and mental health law.

In Fall 2017, Professor Kanter was a visiting scholar at Harvard Law School, and in Spring 2018, she was honored with the prestigious Lady Davis Fellowship at Hebrew University Faculty of Law. Previously, she was named the 2010-11 Distinguished Switzer Fellow by the US Department of Education’s National Disability Rehabilitation Research Institute, and a 2010-11 Fulbright Scholar at Tel Aviv University. She is also the 2012 Bond, Schoeneck and King Distinguished Professor of Law at the College of Law. In addition to her other awards, Professor Kanter has been honored for her work in disability rights by the New York State Bar Association, the International Center of Syracuse, ARISE, and the Israel Center for Human Rights.

Professor Kanter is co-editor of the Critical Disability Series at SU Press, founder and editor of the SSRN Journal on Disability Law, co-founder of the Disability Law Section of the American Association of Law Schools, and co-founder of the Disability Collaborative Research Group of the Law and Society Association. She is a former Commissioner of the American Bar Association’s Commission on Mental and Physical Disability Law.

At Syracuse University, Professor Kanter is the 2005 recipient of Syracuse University’s most prestigious teaching award, the Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Award for Excellence in Teaching. She is former chair of the Chancellor’s Task Force on Disability and has served on other university committees. At the College of Law, Professor Kanter has served as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Director of Clinical Legal Education, and founder and Director of the Externship Program. She teaches disability law, international human rights and comparative disability law, public interest lawyering, and other courses. Professor Kanter holds a courtesy appointment in the School of Education.

Prior to joining the faculty in 1988, Professor Kanter taught at Georgetown University Law Center and practiced public interest law at a national disability rights organization in Washington, D.C., now known as the Bazelon Center on Mental Health Law, where she represented clients before the United States Supreme Court and Congress.