Disability Rights Law Clinic

The DRLC is a two-semester clinic in which law students represent clients and their families in a variety of matters related to disability law and people with disabilities (both mental and physical). A significant focus of the DRLC is on examining circumstances in which clients with disabilities are wrongly assumed to lack physical or mental capacity to participate in society to the same extent as people without disabilities. The Disability Rights Law Clinic (DRLC) began operation in Fall 2005. Professor Robert Dinerstein founded the clinic and directs it.

 

Our Areas of Focus

As in the other WCL clinics, the DRLC emphasizes the importance of the student functioning in role as an attorney for the client(s). Students have primary responsibility for handling all aspects of the client’s case, from initial interview through meetings (such as IEP meetings in special education cases) and any contested hearing or trial (and, if necessary, appeal). Students also have the opportunity to interact with clients with a range of disabilities, and with their family members, and to explore the nature of the lawyer-client relationship with such clients. In addition, we will focus on the various ways in which society in general, and the legal system in particular, deals with people with disabilities. In both casework and in the seminar, students learn pre-litigation skills (interviewing, counseling, negotiation, development of case theory), litigation skills (direct examination, cross-examination, openings and closings), dealing with expert witnesses, and mediation skills. Inevitably, as well, students confront ethical issues that arise in the practice of law, as clinics, including the DRLC, provide excellent sites for learning about, and reflecting upon, ethical issues that can be straightforward or complex.

Meet our Faculty and Staff

 

Robert Dinerstein

Professor of Law Associate Dean for Experiential Education Director, Disability Rights Law Clinic

 

Robert Dinerstein is professor of law, director of the clinical program (1988-96 and 2008-present), associate dean for experiential education (2012-present) and director of the Disability Rights Law Clinic (2005-present) at AU's Washington College of Law, where he has taught since 1983. He was the law school's associate dean for academic affairs from 1997-2004. He specializes in the fields of clinical education and disability law, especially mental disabilities law (including issues of consent/choice, capacity and guardianship), the Americans with Disabilities Act, the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, legal representation of clients with mental disabilities, and disability and international human rights.

 

Adrian Alvarez

Practitioner-in-Residence

 

Hilary Kelly

Sr. Administrative Assistant

 

Hilary Kelly is the senior administrative assistant for the Disability Rights Law Clinic.

 

Check out our exciting Upcoming Clinic Events

September 25 12:00PM-1:00PM Washington College of Law Mindfulness Mondays September 26 12:00PM-1:00PM Washington College of Law Free Yoga with the Washington Yoga Center! September 26 12:00PM-1:00PM Warren Building - N102 Orange is the New Black: Race, Class, Sexuality, Identity, and the Criminal Justice System in Popular Culture September 26 12:00PM-1:30PM Warren Building - NT03 Human Rights Reading Group September 27 12:00PM-1:00PM NT07 BARBRI Bar Talk September 27 4:00PM-5:00PM Washington College of Law Yoga Class September 27 5:30PM-7:30PM Viacom,1515 Broadway, New York, NY 10036 Fall New York Alumni Reception September 28 5:00PM-7:00PM Yuma Building - YT01 On the Docket: Looking Ahead at the New Supreme Court Term September 28 5:30PM-8:00PM Microsoft Innovation & Policy Center,901 K St NW Alumni and Students Intellectual Property Networking Reception September 29 12:00PM-2:00PM Capital Building - C217 Language Volunteer Training October 02 12:00PM-1:00PM Washington College of Law Mindfulness Mondays October 03 9:00AM-2:00PM Yuma Building - YT01-01 Red Cross Blood Drive October 03 12:00PM-1:30PM Washington College of Law Legalized Families in the Era of Bordered Globalization October 03 6:00PM-9:00PM Rio de Janeiro, Brazil EducationUSA LLM Fair Rio de Janeiro October 04 4:00PM-5:00PM Washington College of Law Yoga Class October 04 6:00PM-9:00PM Brasilia, Brazil Education USA LLM Fair - Brasilia October 05 5:30PM-7:30PM 601 Massachusetts Ave, N, Washington, DC Twelfth Annual International Commercial Arbitration Lecture October 06 6:00PM-9:00PM WCL Alumni Reception for Professor Robert Vaughn October 07 10:00AM-1:00PM Sao Paulo, Brazil EducationUSA LLM Fair - Sao Paulo October 09 12:00PM-1:00PM Washington College of Law Mindfulness Mondays October 09 6:00PM-9:00PM Buenos Aires, Argentina EducationUSA LLM Fair - Buenos Aires October 11 11:30AM-1:30PM Washington College of Law International Law Abroad Table Talks October 11 4:00PM-5:00PM Washington College of Law Yoga Class October 11 5:00PM-6:00PM Warren Building - NT02 Information Session: Veteran's Pro Bono Legal Clinic October 11 6:00PM-9:00PM Santiago, Chile EducationUSA LLM Fair - Santiago October 12 12:00PM-1:00PM Warren Building - N104 Pro- Bono Information Session: Washington Lawyers' Committee Workers’ Rights Clinic October 12 12:00PM-1:30PM Yuma Building - Y401 Transatlantic Consumer Protection: The Case of Medical Devices October 12 5:00PM-7:00PM Washington College of Law Gender and Family Law Resume Review Session October 12 6:00PM-9:00PM Lima, Peru EducationUSA LLM Fair - Lima October 16 12:00PM-1:00PM Yuma Building - YT16 Equal Justice Works Career Fair Prep Session October 16 12:00PM-1:00PM Washington College of Law Mindfulness Mondays October 16 6:00PM-9:00PM Education USA LLM Fair - Bogota October 17 8:30AM-5:00PM Yuma Building - YT01 XIII Symposium on International Trade October 18 4:00PM-5:00PM Washington College of Law Yoga Class October 20 7:45AM-5:00PM Washington College of Law Burton D. Wechsler First Amendment Moot Court Competition October 20 9:00AM-5:00PM Yuma Building - YT01 Fall Sports Law Symposium October 21 7:45AM-5:00PM Washington College of Law Burton D. Wechsler First Amendment Moot Court Competition October 23 12:00PM-1:00PM Washington College of Law Mindfulness Mondays October 25 4:00PM-5:00PM Washington College of Law Yoga Class October 26 12:30PM-5:00PM Yuma Building - YT01-01 Next Steps in Health Reform 2017 October 26 6:15PM-7:30PM Warren Building - NT01 Sixth Annual Peter A. Jaszi Distinguished Lecture on Intellectual Property with Professor Rebecca Tushnet October 26 6:15PM-8:15PM Yuma Building - Y112 Preserving Perspectives: International Arbitrators in Their Own Words October 26 6:15PM-8:30PM Yuma Building - Y112 Preserving Perspectives: International Arbitrators in Their Own Words October 27 8:00AM-5:00PM Yuma Building - YT01-01 Next Steps in Health Reform October 27 8:45AM-3:30PM Warren Building - NT08 Unlocking the Promise of Antitrust Enforcement October 30 12:00PM-1:00PM Washington College of Law Mindfulness Mondays October 31 12:00PM-1:30PM Yuma Building - YT01 A Conversation with David Rubenstein November 01 12:00PM-1:30PM Capital Building - Commons Gender and Law Course Advising November 01 4:00PM-5:00PM Washington College of Law Yoga Class November 03 8:00AM-5:00PM Washington College of Law 2017 National SJD Roundtable November 06 12:00PM-1:00PM Washington College of Law Mindfulness Mondays November 07 12:00PM-12:50PM Washington College of Law Gender and Law Lunch and Learn: Forced Labor Trafficking Panel November 08 4:00PM-5:00PM Washington College of Law Yoga Class November 10 9:00AM-5:00PM Yuma Building - YT01 Anatomy of Justice: An Honest Conversation on the Criminal Justice System in 2017 November 13 12:00PM-1:00PM Washington College of Law Mindfulness Mondays November 15 4:00PM-5:00PM Washington College of Law Yoga Class November 20 12:00PM-1:00PM Washington College of Law Mindfulness Mondays November 20 12:00PM-1:00PM Yuma Building - Y116 Semester Abroad and International Dual Degree Information Session November 22 4:00PM-5:00PM Washington College of Law Yoga Class
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