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LRC Career & Practice Collection: Resources for Law Students with Disabilities

This LibGuide is an overview of a new collection at the Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law Legal Research Center.

Resources for Law Students with Disabilities

Career-Related Resources for Students with Disabilities
 

Professional Associations

National Association of Law Students with Disabilities:  http://www.nalswd.org/resources.html
NALSWD is a coalition of law students dedicated to disability advocacy and the achievement of equal access, inclusion, diversity and non-discrimination in legal education and the legal profession. NALSWD aims to support law students with disabilities by providing a safe and supportive community to connect with other students with disabilities from across the country, networking with lawyers with disabilities, information about career opportunities, and advice on succeeding in law school and the legal profession.  This site provides valuable information, including bar exam resources, disability rights organizations, fellowships and scholarships, information about the NALSWD Annual Conference (free for law students), employment resources and more.

American Bar Association Commission on Disability Rights:  http://www.americanbar.org/groups/disabilityrights.html
https://www.americanbar.org/groups/disabilityrights/resources/mentor_program_mentee_information.html
This site provides a list of valuable opportunities for law students with disabilities, including writing competitions, scholarships, internships, and fellowships.  The Commission’s National Mentor Program provides law students with disabilities, recent law school graduates with disabilities and prospective law students with disabilities insight into the legal profession from experienced attorneys with shared interests or personal experiences.

The Disability Rights Bar Association (DRBA):  http://disabilityrights-law.org/
The DRBA was started by a group of disability counsel, law professors, legal nonprofits and advocacy groups who share a commitment to effective legal representation of individuals with disabilities. This bar association is an online network of attorneys who specialize in disability civil rights law. Through the DRBA, disability rights attorneys share information and strategies, coordinate litigation and other legal representation strategies, and mentor lawyers and law students who are new to disability rights practice.

National Association of Attorneys with Disabilities:  http://naadattorneys.org/
“The National Association of Attorneys with Disabilities, or NAAD, is the national association of attorneys, judges, law professors, law students, and others representing the interests of attorneys, judges, law professors, law students, and others with disabilities in the legal profession so that persons with disabilities of all kinds can achieve success.”

Federal Government Hiring

Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) -- Federal Agency Recruitment Program:
https://wrp.gov/LoginPre.do?method=login
The Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) is a recruitment and referral program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor that connects federal sector employers nationwide with highly motivated college students and recent graduates with disabilities (including law students and recent graduates), who are seeking summer or permanent jobs with the federal government.  Student registration takes place in late summer/early fall, and interviews are conducted in October and November.  Contact the CSO for information on how to participate in this recruitment program.

Office of Personal Management (OPM) – Information on Schedule A Eligibility:
https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/disability-employment/getting-a-job/#url=Schedule-A-Hiring-Authority .  See also the EEOC’s Guide on Schedule A Hiring (which includes tips on obtaining federal jobs).

Schedule A is a special (excepted) hiring authority for individuals with disabilities.  To prove your eligibility to be appointed to a federal job under Schedule A, you must:

  • Be qualified for the job for which you are applying (i.e., have the necessary competencies and relevant experience to perform the job).
  • Provide "proof of a disability" documentation. "Proof of a disability" is a letter stating that you have an intellectual disability, severe physical disability or psychiatric disability. You can get this letter from your doctor, a licensed medical professional, a licensed vocational rehabilitation specialist, or any Federal, state, or local agency that issues disability benefits. Many doctors and most of the entities listed above know how to format a Schedule A letter.

Office of Personnel Management (OPM) – Selective Placement Program Coordinators (SPPC):   http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/disability-employment/selective-placement-program-coordinator-directory/  
Most Federal agencies have a Selective Placement Program Coordinator (SPPC) who helps management recruit, hire and accommodate people with disabilities.  Candidates can take a proactive approach in identifying job opportunities by contacting Selective Placement Program Coordinators at federal agencies of interest. 

 

 

Educational Resources, Internship Opportunities, Networking Programs, Mentoring Programs, and Job Fairs

Educational Resources

Drexel University Office of Disability Resources (ODR): http://drexel.edu/oed/disabilityResources/students/EmploymentResources/

The Job Accommodation Network:  https://askjan.org/
The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) is the leading source of free, expert, and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues. Working toward practical solutions that benefit both employer and employee, JAN helps people with disabilities enhance their employability and shows employers how to capitalize on the value and talent that people with disabilities add to the workplace. For additional information and job databases for individuals with disabilities: https://askjan.org/indiv/index.htm#job

U.S. Department of Labor, Disability Resourceshttps://www.dol.gov/general/topic/disability/ada
This site addresses topics including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), job accommodations, employee rights, employers’ responsibilities, laws and regulations governing the rights afforded to people with disabilities, and the enforcement of regulations by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Internship Opportunities

ABA Commission on Disability Rights Internship:
https://www.americanbar.org/groups/disabilityrights/resources/lawstudents/cdr_internship.html

ABA – Microsoft Summer Internship: https://www.americanbar.org/groups/disabilityrights/resources/lawstudents/msaba-internship.html

ABA—Prudential Summer Internship:
https://www.americanbar.org/groups/disabilityrights/resources/lawstudents/aba_prudential_internship.html

ABA—Travelers Summer Internship:
https://www.americanbar.org/groups/disabilityrights/resources/lawstudents/travelers.html

Other Internship Opportunities through Partnerships with the ABA:
https://www.americanbar.org/groups/disabilityrights/resources/lawstudents/internships.html

Viscardi Center, Emerging Leaders Program:
https://www.viscardicenter.org/nbdc/emerging-leaders/employer-partners/
https://www.viscardicenter.org/nbdc/emerging-leaders/how-to-apply/
The Emerging Leaders Program, coordinated by the National Business & Disability Council (NBDC) at The Viscardi Center, is aimed at placing talented undergraduate and graduate students with disabilities in “fulfilling internships nationwide that provide them with meaningful leadership development and networking opportunities.”  The NBDC site includes a job database as well as a list of the corporate partners participating in the program (e.g., PriceWaterhouse Coopers, Prudential, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, FedEx, General Motors, Hilton Worldwide, JetBlue, Johnson & Johnson, KPMG, Aetna, Canon, and Bank of America). 

The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD): 
http://www.aapd.com/summer-internship-program/
This organization “places college students, graduate students, law students, and recent graduates with all types of disabilities in summer internships with Congressional offices, federal agencies, non-profits, and for-profit organizations in the Washington, DC area. Each intern is matched with a mentor who will assist them with their career goals.”

ABA Business Law Section Diversity Clerkship Program:  https://www.americanbar.org/groups/business_law/initiatives_awards/diversity.html
Focused on judicial clerkships, “[t]his summer program provides business law clerkship placements for nine qualified diverse first or second year law students. Participating clerks receive support and mentoring in the business law field…”  “Applicants must be considered diverse in one of the following ways:  law students of color, women, law students with disabilities, LGBT law students, or students who have overcome social or economic disadvantages such as a physical disability, financial constraints, or cultural impediments to becoming a law student.”

Networking and Mentoring Programs

Career Opportunities for Students with Disabilities (COSD):  http://www.cosdonline.org 
COSD Career Gateway is a nationwide online job posting and resume database specifically focused on college students and graduates with disabilities.  Students and recent graduates use Career Gateway as a tool for identifying employment opportunities and employers committed to including disability as part of their diversity efforts.  FULL ACCESS Student Summits are regional career exploration and networking events for employers and students with disabilities.  Law students are encouraged to participate, and while the FULL ACCESS Summits are not “job fairs” with interviews, these networking programs often lead to internships and full-time jobs.  Participating employers have included the Big 4 accounting firms, NBC Universal, McKesson, Microsoft, Merck, Bank of America, Disney, and Verizon.     

 

Rising Leaders Mentoring Program and Rising Leadership Academy: 
The U.S. Business Leadership Network’s Rising Leaders Mentoring Program and Rising Leadership Academy are two great opportunities for students and recent graduates with disabilities. The U.S. Business Leadership Network (USBLN) is an organization that partners with the Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP). 

  • The Mentoring Program is a six-month career mentoring opportunity for college students and recent graduates, including veterans, with disabilities. It gives students and recent graduates a network of business partners to connect with and helps them navigate what it means to be successful as a person with a disability in the workforce.”
  • “The Leadership Academy is an intensive two-day networking and career development opportunity that takes place during the USBLN Annual Conference, the nation’s premier business-to-business conference on disability inclusion. During the Rising Leadership Academy, students will experience cutting-edge educational sessions and exciting interactive programming with high-profile speakers. Students will also participate in numerous networking opportunities, including exclusive facilitated networking sessions that connect Rising Leaders to representatives from USBLN member companies/businesses.”

Job Fairs

New Jersey Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services  (DVRS) – Schedule A Job Fair:  http://jobs4jersey.com/jobs4jersey/jobseekers/disable/index.html
DVRS connects eligible individuals with disabilities with jobs under the “Schedule A” Authority.  Federal HR personnel and recruiters are invited to interview candidates at a scheduled location in New Jersey.  Job openings that are available under the “Schedule A” Authority are shared with DVRS by the recruiters, candidates are pre-screened, and live interviews are conducted at the Schedule A Hiring Event.  Participating federal agencies and contractors include the U.S. Department of Labor, SSA, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, FBI, IRS, USDA, Naval Command, VA, and the Federal Bureau of Prisons.  To be eligible for this event, individuals must be registered with either DVRS, CBVI or Veterans Administration, and jobs in the legal field have been available. 

Job Boards for Individuals with Disabilities

Getting Hired:  http://www.gettinghired.com/

Disability Jobsite:  http://www.disabilityjobsite.com/

Equal Opportunity Publications Diversity and Inclusion Career Center:  http://careercenter.eop.com/