The Disability Law and Policy Curricular Program


Program Director: Professor Arlene Kanter

1.         Program Description

The Disability Law and Policy Curricular Program recognizes law students who have taken a concentration of courses related to the field of disability law and policy. The program is designed to promote the study of how laws and policies affect the rights of people with disabilities.  Our goal is to prepare students for a career in the growing field of disability law and related fields such as education, special education, children’s rights, civil rights, labor, employment and comparative and international human rights law.

2.         Admission Requirements

See ACADEMIC HANDBOOKStudents must submit an application to the Program Director at the beginning of the Fall Semester of the applicant’s second year. Later applications may be considered at the discretion of the Program Director. In order to complete the Program, an official transcript and a copy of the Capstone Project should be submitted to the Director no later than March 1 for spring and summer graduation and November 1 for fall graduation. Students should also refer to the SUCOL Academic Handbook for a full statement of the general requirements governing all curricular programs. There is no limit on the number of students who may complete the DLPP Curricular Program.  The Director will recommend all students who have met the requirements and who are in good academic standing at the College of Law.

3. Program Requirements

In order to complete the DLPP Curricular Program, students must satisfactorily complete a 15 credit hour course of study including 3 required courses and 2 elective courses (listed below). Students must maintain a 3.0 or better GPA in all courses that will be counted towards completion of the Program’s course requirements. No courses counted toward the Program may be taken Pass/Fail.

Since Disability Law and Policy is a multidisciplinary field, students must take at least one course offered at or cross-listed with another graduate program at Syracuse University in order to satisfy the cross-campus requirement for the Program. Students participating in this program typically enroll in at least one Disability Studies course (offered in the School of Education).  All cross-campus graduate courses must be approved by the Director prior to registration.

A.             Required Courses (9 credits)

1.   Disability Law (3 credits); and

2.   Advanced Disability Law (3 credits) or International and Comparative Disability Law (3 credits); and

3.   At least one (non-law) graduate level disability-related course (3 credits) or the Disability Disability Rights Clinic, or a disability-related externship, or the Advanced Disability Law or International and Comparative Disability Law course, if  not already counted as one of the  required courses.  

B.        Elective Courses (6 credits)

In addition to the three required courses, students must take at least two elective law courses from the following list of COL courses. The substitution of other courses in place of the listed elective courses requires prior approval by the Director. Students are free to take one of the required courses as an elective course but the course will count either as a required course or an elective course.  Not all of these courses are offered each year. Students may contact the Director for permission to substitute another course. 

Administrative Law (LAW 702)
Advanced Disability Law (LAW 809)
Bioethics/ Genetics and the Law (LAW 724)
Children and the Law (LAW 787)
Civil Rights Law (LAW 758)
Disability Law (LAW 763)
Disability Rights Clinic (LAW 923)
Education Law (LAW 896)
Elder Law ( LAW 777)
Estate Planning (LAW 717)
 Employment Discrimination Law (LAW 784)
 Evidence (LAW 718)
 Externship (disability-related (LAW 920/921/901/902)
Family Law (LAW 720)
Health Law (LAW 707)
Int’l Human Rts &Comp Dis Law (LAW 889)
 Labor and Employment Law (LAW 730)
Law and Psychology (LAW 719)
 Leg and Policy: Special Ed (Law 610-4)
Public Health Law (LAW 862)
Poverty Law (LAW 709)
Race and the Law (LAW 880)
Regulatory Law (LAW 794)
Social Deviance and the Law (LAW 834)
Sexual Orientation and the Law (LAW 710)
 Wills and Trusts (LAW 715)

C.         Capstone Project

Each student is required to propose and complete a Capstone Project to be supervised by the Director. The capstone project is typically completed in either the Advanced Disability Law or International Human Rights and Comparative Disability Law course or in another course or independent study, with permission of the Director.

D.        The Written Work Product Requirement

The research paper written for either the Advanced Disability Law or International Human Rights and Comparative Disability Law course will count as the significant written work product requirement. This paper will satisfy the COL upper class writing requirement. Students must earn at least a B on this research paper.

E.         The Experiential Learning Course Requirement

Program students must satisfy an experiential learning requirement by taking one of the following courses. The same courses may be taken to meet the requirements of paragraphs 3(A)- D) above:

Advanced Disability Law (LAW 809)
Disability Rights Clinic (LAW 923)
 International Human Rights and Comparative Disability Law (LAW 889)
D.C. Externship (disability-related) (LAW 901/902)
Externship (disability-related) (LAW 920/921)

4.         Academic and Co-Curricular Programs

In addition to working towards completion of the Certificate in Disability Law and Policy Curricular Program, students are encouraged to participate in other disability-related academic programs and co-curricular activities, including the Joint Degree Program in Law and Education/Disability Studies. Students enrolled in any COL Joint Degree Program or in another Curricular Program are eligible to participate in the Disability Law and Policy Curricular Program. Students may not complete more than two COL Curricular Programs.

 Suggested Disability Studies Courses (School of Education):

Disability in Higher Education (DSP 700) 
Seminar in Disability Studies (DSP 731) 
Race and Disability (CFE 700)

For more information, please contact the Director of the Disability Law and Policy Program, Professor Arlene Kanter at