c Boalt Disability Law Society
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About Us

     Since the Disability Rights Movement began here in
the early 70s, Berkeley has been known as a center for
disability rights advocacy.  BDLS seeks to maintain 
that tradition at Boalt by providing a forum for
discussion of new and pressing issues in disability law,
opportunities for students to engage in disability rights
advocacy, and support for law students with and
without disabilities.   BDLS is a diverse group of
students with and without disabilities, unified by a 
desire to improve access and awareness in the broader
community.

     Originally called the Coalition for Access and Disability Rights Everywhere (CADRE), the group changed its name in 1999 to reflect its commitment to scholarship and community involvement as well as advocacy.

Programs

     The following are some of the programs offered by
BDLS and Boalt Hall that you may find of particular
interest: 

Speaker Series: Each semester, BDLS invites local
experts to discuss important issues in disability law.  In
the past, speakers have addressed a variety of issues,
including AIDS and the ADA, constitutional challenges
to the ADA, international disability rights, working as
an attorney with a disability, and special education. 
All Boalt students are welcome to attend these
events. 

Mentor Project: BDLS is currently developing a
database of attorneys with disabilities who live in the
Bay Area and who are willing to offer advice and
support to Boalt students.  During the year, we 
sponsor dinners and receptions where students can 
ask questions and get to know the attorneys.

Outreach and Assistance: BDLS works with other
student groups to ensure that Boalt recruits and admits
a diverse student body, including students with
disabilities.  We meet regularly with the Admissions
Office, encourage our members to apply for
membership on the Admissions Committee, and offer
advice and support to new admits.  For new admits,
BDLS members are happy to offer advice about 
access in Berkeley and at Boalt to help you find the
resources you need to move here, get settled, and
succeed in law school. 

Disability Law Curriculum: In addition to the
projects that BDLS sponsors, Boalt Hall offers a
number of courses in disability law, health care law,
employment law, and human rights law.  These courses
are taught by faculty who are experts in these areas 
and by local practitioners who have practical
experience in these areas of law.  Boalt students may
also petition to receive law school credit for taking
other courses through UC Berkeley’s Disability Studies
program, which offers a variety of interdisciplinary
courses. 
     Boalt also offers students opportunities to be
involved with a number of journals and organizations
that are particularly relevant to disability law, including
the Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law,
the Center for Social Justice, the Youth and Education
Law Society, the Health Care Law Society, and the
Berkeley Journal of International Law. 

Support Services: Boalt’s Student Services Office
works in conjunction with the Disabled Students
Program to provide Boalt students with the advice and
services they need to succeed in law school.  The
campus Disabled Students Program provides funding
for note-takers, secretarial help, and research
assistance for qualified individuals.  The Student
Services staff is friendly and easy to work with, and
they are committed to providing the appropriate
accommodations for students with disabilities.  For
more information, contact Holly Parrish
(hparrish@law.berkeley.edu) at (510) 642-3263.

Clinicals and Community Organizations: The Bay
Area is home to many nationally-recognized
organizations that provide support services and
advocate for the rights of the disabled.  These groups
include the Center for Independent Living, which was
the first of its kind in the nation; the World Institute on
Disability, which focuses on public policy issues; and
Disability Rights Advocates, which provides legal
representation to people with disabilities.  Students may
receive academic credit for working in disability rights
advocacy through a clinical sponsored by the Disability
Rights Education and Defense Fund.  Students may
also apply for grants through the Berkeley Law
Foundation to support a summer spent doing disability
rights advocacy or other public interest work. 
 
 

Contact Information

Boalt Disability Law Society
282 Simon
University of California at Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall)
Berkeley, CA 94720
(510) 643-2697

BDLS@law.berkeley.edu