Law School Disability Accommodation Policy

Introduction

Policy Statement

Washington and Lee University School of Law is committed to providing equal access to educational opportunities to qualified students with physical or mental disabilities, in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Applicability

This policy applies to all law students.

Policy

Requesting Accommodation

Students requesting accommodation must provide appropriate documentation of: (1) a disability, which is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; and (2) a need for accommodation, by virtue of the specific functional limitations of the disability, to have equal access to educational opportunities. The School of Law intends that these procedures will facilitate an interactive process of dialogue and timely exchange of information between the student and the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs.

It is the responsibility of a student with a physical or mental disability who may require any type of accommodation to make the accommodation request in a timely manner. In order to allow sufficient time for the eligibility and accommodation decision process and to make arrangements for appropriate accommodations, a matriculated student should contact the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs [hereinafter "Assistant Dean"], Sydney Lewis Hall, Washington and Lee University School of Law, Lexington, Virginia 24450, (540) 458-8528, and submit the documents required for consideration of disability accommodations during the first month of the academic term. Requests submitted after the first month of the academic term, or requests submitted with incomplete documentation (including insufficient testing data), could result in a delay of consideration and action on the request until the following academic term. The student will need to complete a "Request for Accommodation of Disability" form, obtain a copy of the most recent medical or cognitive testing documentation, and schedule an interview with the Assistant Dean.

Summer Consideration of Requests for First-Year and Transfer Students

Incoming students who have not yet matriculated at the Washington and Lee University School of Law (first-year students and/or transfer students) may initiate the request process for disability accommodations prior to arriving on campus by submitting the required paperwork described above. Pre-matriculation consideration of such requests is done for the convenience of incoming students. Summer requests will be addressed in a reasonable time frame. Note: Any decision made by the Assistant Dean about granted accommodations for incoming students will be provisional until matriculation. None of the deadlines contained in this Law School Disability Accommodation Policy apply to such provisional decisions and there will be no reconsiderations or appeals until the student arrives on campus and enrolls as a student. The deadlines for reconsideration and appeal will run from the first date of the academic term.

Decision and Reconsideration/Appeal Process

Upon receipt of all required information and documentation from the student and his/her diagnosing/evaluating professional, the Assistant Dean will make a determination on eligibility and accommodation, in consultation with other educational, medical, or psychological professionals, as he/she deems necessary for appropriate evaluation of disability/accommodation, on a case by case basis. As soon as possible, generally within two business weeks of receiving all required documentation on the request, the Assistant Dean will issue a written response, either outlining offered accommodations or explaining why the student was found ineligible. A student who disagrees with the decision of the Assistant Dean, or who seeks clarification of the decision, may, within three (3) business days of the decision, request an informal meeting with the Assistant Dean for clarification and discussion. If, after that meeting and within three (3) business days of that meeting, the student still disagrees with the decision, h/she may request formal reconsideration of any aspect of the decision by submitting to the Assistant Dean a detailed explanation of the reasons for disagreement with the decision. The Assistant Dean shall reconsider the matter based on the student's statement and the record of the accommodation request. Following the reconsideration, the Assistant Dean will notify the student in writing of any change in his/her decision, generally within five (5) business days of receiving the formal request for reconsideration. Thereafter, if the student still disagrees with the decision, he/she may appeal the decision, in writing, to the Provost of the University or designee within five (5) business days of the written reconsideration notification from the Assistant Dean, stating in detail the basis for the appeal and furnishing all documentation in support of the appeal. The Provost or designee will then review the appeal, the decision of the Assistant Dean, and all supporting documentation, may meet with the student and the Assistant Dean, and may obtain any additional information he/she deems relevant. The Provost or designee will render a written decision to the student as soon as possible, generally within two (2) business weeks of receiving the appeal. The decision of the Provost or designee is final.

Revision History

Revised July 2013 -- Changed time frame for requests to be within first month of fall and winter terms; provided a process for pre-matriculation consideration of requests for new students.

Revised July 2012 to replace references to "Associate Dean for Academic Affairs" with references to "Assistant Dean for Student Affairs."

Revised July 2011 to replace references to "Associate Dean for Law Student Services" with references to "Associate Dean for Academic Affairs."