In January 2019, a group of like-minded individuals created the Law School Disability Advocacy Coalition to share tips on how to navigate the often-complex process of receiving accommodations while entering the legal profession. Disabled law students often face additional barriers to success in the legal profession, from shifting accommodation policies when trying to take their LSAT to uncertain to receive accommodations for the bar exam.
The support group hit on a hot-button issue. In just a year and a half, the group grew to over 650 members. Although the support group provided a way for students to share advice, active student leaders recognized a need for long-term advocacy, education, and formal support for new, local law student organizations for disability.
Thus, after much debate and a voting contest for a new name, the National Disabled Law Students Association was created and is now a 501(c)3 non-profit.
The National Disabled Law Students Association (“NDLSA”) supports disabled legal professionals before, during, and after their legal education to increase the number of attorneys with disabilities and other historically excluded identities within the profession. NDLSA facilitates peer networks across the country, coordinates advocacy alongside disabled law students, and provides resources to combat the pervasive ableism of the legal field. NDLSA follows the principles of disability justice in all its efforts.