Advocating for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities
The Disability and Civil Rights Clinic focuses on protecting and advancing the civil rights of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It is one of the only law school clinics in the country specializing in this area.
The Disability and Civil Rights Clinic functions as a pro bono law firm representing low-income New Yorkers, and their families in a variety of civil legal matters, including housing, public benefits, access to health care, special education, parental rights, alternatives to guardianship, prisoners’ rights and discrimination in access to programs and services.
The mission of the Disability and Civil Rights Clinic is to promote the self-determination and independence of low-income adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities by providing direct legal services that protect individual rights and enhance access to services.
Through direct legal services, public policy reform and community education and coalition building, the Disability and Civil Rights Clinic engages in various forms of advocacy to make the greatest impact on the community. The Clinic is committed to providing legal services to underserved communities, conducting outreach and education efforts to achieve this end. The Clinic’s targeted outreach includes immigrant communities, communities of color and the LGBTQ community.
As legal interns with the Disability and Civil Rights Clinic, students – under the supervision of attorney faculty members – have the opportunity to take the lead on all aspects of client representation from intake, to counseling, to drafting and trial or oral argument. The Disability and Civil Rights Clinic exposes students to the vast intersections of disability law, including housing, public benefits, due process challenges and ethical issues.
Housing Discrimination FAQ
Services from NY Office for People With Developmental Disabilities
Disability and Civil Rights Clinic Legal Services (English)
Servicio Jurídico Gratuito para los Adultos con Incapacidades Intelectuales y de Desarrollo (Spanish)