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Fall 2019

Professors Prianka Nair and Sarah Lorr Lead Disability and Civil Rights Clinic

ASSISTANT PROFESSORS OF CLINICAL LAW Prianka Nair and Sarah Lorr joined the Disability and Civil Rights Clinic this year as director and deputy director, respectively. As one of the few law school clinics in the country specializing in this area, it focuses on protecting and advancing the civil rights of adults with intellectual disabilities.

“We do important work to address the legal needs of persons with disabilities, and we provide students with critical advocacy skills and practical experience,” said Nair.

Nair previously worked as a public interest attorney at Disability Rights New York, which advocates for the civil and legal rights of New Yorkers with disabilities.

The clinic functions as a pro bono law firm, with students representing low-income New Yorkers and their families in a variety of civil legal matters, including housing, public benefits, access to healthcare, special education, parental rights, alternatives to guardianship, asylum, and discrimination concerning access to programs and services.

The clinic currently represents a pregnant woman with a mild intellectual disability. Her mother, who is her guardian, will likely seek custody of the infant, so the students are seeking to terminate the mother’s guardianship and allow the client to live as an independent adult. Students also are working on an amicus brief in the D.C. Circuit Court to find support for incarcerated adults with intellectual disabilities.

“Representing parents with disabilities is one of my passions and a driving force for me as a lawyer,” said Lorr.

Lorr was a supervising attorney at Brooklyn Defender Services–Family Defense Practice, which provides free representation to parents at risk of losing their children to foster care.

“We welcome our two newest clinicians under whose stewardship the clinic will expand enrollment and the types of matters handled, carrying out the vision of our partner and donor, the Taft Foundation,” said Professor Stacy Caplow, associate dean of experiential education. The Taft Foundation is led by Howard Rothman ’71, partner at Kramer Levin, who serves as its president and chairman of the board of directors.