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Commission Presentation to ABA Board of Governors

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Presentation given by the ABA Commission on Mental and Physical Disability Law to the ABA Board of Governors at its June 2011 meeting.

Presentation given by the ABA Commission on Mental and Physical Disability Law to the ABA Board of Governors at its June 2011 meeting.

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  • While the Commission urges a broad interpretation in order to determine what constitutes a disability, the term refers to an enduring mental, sensory, or physical impairment or medical condition that the individual self-identifies as being a disability, that is recognized by others as a disability, or for which the member has requested an accommodation or auxiliary aid or service. Examples include: visual and hearing impairments, ADD/ADHD, bipolar disorder, multiple sclerosis, mobility impairments, depression, cerebral palsy
  • The Commission’s programs and resources which address these obstructions are being expanded. The Commission seeks to collaborate with a wide range of entities within the ABA, including the Board of Governors, as it develops new programs and initiatives.

Commission Presentation to ABA Board of Governors Commission Presentation to ABA Board of Governors Presentation Transcript

    • Commission on Mental and
    • Physical Disability Law Presentation to
    • the ABA Board of Governors
  • June 11, 2011 San Diego, CA Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in the Legal Profession: Issues and Commission Response
  • CMPDL’s Mission
    • “ To promote the ABA's commitment to justice and the rule of law for persons with mental, physical, and sensory disabilities and to promote their full and equal participation in the legal profession."
  • Statistics
    • Nationwide
      • 20% of Americans with disabilities age 16 and older participate
      • in the labor force; of those, 13.6 percent are unemployed. (U.S.
      • Census Bureau, 2010)
      • About 21 million individuals (6% or 1 in 17 Americans) have a
      • serious mental illness. (Nat’l Institute of Mental Health)
  • Statistics
    • Legal Profession
      • A little over 6% of ABA members self-identified as having a disability (ABA census data, 2010)
      • Law graduates with disabilities had an employment rate 7.6 percentage points lower than the entire class of 2009. (Nat’l Ass’n of Law Placement, 2011)
      • 3.2% of individuals employed in the legal profession have a disability (Dep’t of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2010)
      • Less than 1% of law firms include an individual with a disability (Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession, 2011)
  • Diversity & Inclusion within the Legal Profession Admission to Law School Support Services in Law School Licensing & Fitness to Practice Law Entering & Remaining in the Legal Profession Obstructions in the Pipeline
  • Admission to Law School
    • 2012 Resolution on law school admissions test with Section of Individual Rights & Responsibilities, NAWLSWD and LSD.
    • Comments to Section of Legal Education and Admission to the Bar on ABAs law school approval standards regarding testing and entrance questions
    • Online resources to help law school applicants with disabilities and their advisors [DRC] with NAWLSWD (in development)
    • Collaboration with Law Student Division
    Diversity & Inclusion within the Legal Profession LSAT - Accommodations - Flagging of accommodated scores
  • Support Services in Law School
    • Comments to Section of Legal Education on law school accommodation policies, accessibility, and support services
    • National mentor program
    • State-by-state online directory of law school disability programs and courses
    • Collaboration with IR&R and National Association of Law Students with Disabilities
    • Internship programs with American Association of People with Disabilities and Prudential Financial
    - Accommodations - Need for mentoring and guidance - Lack of resources Diversity & Inclusion within the Legal Profession
  • Licensing & Fitness to Practice Law
    • 1994 ABA Resolution on State Bar Character and Fitness Reviews
    • Website database on state bar accommodations processes and character and fitness review questions (in development)
    • Collaboration with the National Conference of Bar Presidents on administration of bar exams within respective states (in development)
    Diversity & Inclusion within the Legal Profession - Bar exam accommodations - Character and fitness inquiries
  • Entering & Remaining in the Legal Profession Diversity & Inclusion within the Legal Profession - Lack of employment - Accommodations at work - Retention and promotion
    • 2012 National Employment Conference with President-Elect Bill Robinson
    • Pledge for Change [in packet]
    • Publications
      • Lawyers Lead On
      • Equal Employment of Persons with Disabilities
    Reaching Outside the ABA
    • Paul G. Hearne Award for Disability Rights at annual meeting
    • E-mail list: Disability Discussion Docket
    • Web database of state and local bar entities that include lawyers with disabilities in diversity (in development)
  • Entering & Remaining in the Legal Profession Diversity & Inclusion within the Legal Profession - Lack of employment - Accommodations - Retention and promotion
    • Annual Goal III Report. 2011 Honor Roll: Section of Business Law, Government and Public Sector Lawyers Division, IR&R, Section of Labor and Employment Law
    • ABA Diversity Plan/ABA Staff Diversity Plan
    • Collaboration with other entities that have disability diversity programs
    • Presidential appointments
    • CLEs on disability law; recruiting, hiring and retaining lawyers with disabilities
    Within the ABA
  • THANKS!
    • The Commission, its liaisons and staff thank the Board of Governors for its interest and support.
    Commission Members Katherine H. O'Neil (Chair) Portland, OR Carrie G. Basas Durham, NC Charles S. Brown Baltimore, MD Hon. Richard S. Brown Waukesha, WI Ira A. Burnim Washington, DC Eric Y. Drogin, Ph.D. Hingham, MA Joan M. Durocher Washington, DC Howard J. Fulfrost Los Angeles, CA Hon. Kristin Booth Glen New York, NY P. Faye Kuo Austin, TX Alan S. Rachlin New York, NY Mildred A. Rivera-Rau Washington, DC Angela J. Scott Windsor Mill, MD Walter T. Smith, PharmD. Gainesville, FL Janice L. Ta Washington, DC Commission Liaisons Board of Governors James F. Carr Section of Business Law Margaret (Peggy) M. Foran General Practice, Solo & Small Firm Division Scott C. LaBarre Section of International Law Edmund G. Howe, MD Section of Labor and Employment Law Gregg M. Formella Law Student Division Rina R. Shah Young Lawyers Division Alexander P. Ryan Commission on Youth at Risk Alyssa K. McCorkle Commission Staff John Parry Director Amy Allbright Managing Editor/Senior Writer Phil Gilliam Legal Research Attorney William J. Phelan, IV Special Projects and Technology Coordinator Michael J. Stratton Administration & Publication Coordinator