When I first arrived at law school, I knew that one of my top priorities was to talk to the disability office and request accommodations. At least my school had the decency to send out an email letting students know who to contact if they required accommodations, which eased the stress of figuring out how to apply for accommodations. I had a phone interview with the disability counselor, and he helped tell me what documents I needed to submit in support of my need for accommodations.
However, helpfulness does not equal transparency. While I submitted the necessary paperwork, I never actually said what the accommodations I was requesting were, and I was never asked what accommodations I was seeking. And while the testing accommodation I received was helpful, it was not comparable to past accommodations. The lack of transparency showed that I didn’t know I could specifically ask for individual accommodations, I didn’t know what type of accommodations to ask for, and I didn’t know that I could appeal the accommodation if I wasn’t happy with it.
Knowing these things could have made a world of difference in my first semester 1L grades, and I don’t want anyone else to suffer from a lack of transparency the way I did.
As an aside, while ALL law schools should be accommodating, attending a law school with an excellent reputation for providing accommodations for students with disabilities may save a lot of stress during the accommodation process. The following are some Dos and Don’ts when applying for law school and applying for accommodations.