Assistant Dean Paula Kaldis
Phone: 978.681.0800 X117

Any students who need disability accommodations should let us know if there is anything we can do to help you succeed at MSLAW.

Application for Accommodations

To receive accommodations for a disability, students must complete the Disabilities Questionnaire concerning their disability and submit the required information. This information helps form the basis for receiving appropriate, reasonable accommodations in the classroom. To receive accommodations in a timely way, students must present documentation of their disability before the semester begins or soon thereafter.

For students who have received permission from the Disabilities Office to take exams on a computer, contact Dan Harayda if you need further assistance.

Academic Accommodations in Law School 

MSL complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and provides appropriate services to students with disabilities. United States Code, Title 42 § 12189 mandates that professional examinations be accessible to persons with disabilities, and Code of Federal Regulations chapter 28, section 36.309(b)(1)(i) mandates that the exam be administered so as to best ensure that the exam results accurately reflect the persons’ aptitude or achievement level, rather than the person’s ability to overcome their disability. The “best ensure” standard is the controlling weight for professional examinations.

In Law School, students with disabilities areexpected to learn and show mastery of the information.  Students with disabilities can utilize accommodations to support their learning of all the required material. Accommodations might include audio recordings of class discussions which the student records and additional time to finish a test or quiz.

Students should contact Dean Paula Kaldis as soon as possible after being accepted to the Massachusetts School of Law to ensure adequate time to meet and set up a plan. Accommodations cannot be made retroactively and should be requested at least 10 days prior to the start of the semester. If a student has a new request during the semester MSL will try to process it timely, however, these mid semester requests may be delayed due to scheduling and resources. Some accommodations are more common in high school, such as approved absences and extensions on assignments. However, such accommodations are often not considered to be appropriate in a graduate school setting. Reasonable accommodations provide equal access to education but must not interfere with academic/technical standards or essential course requirements (defined as core curriculum that students must master, and if altered would affect the integrity of the course). Essentially, accommodations must be directly linked to a student’s functional limitations.

Some examples of potential accommodations include:

  • Testing accommodations.
  • Additional time on tests and assessments. 
  • Audio recording.

Eligibility and Documentation

To be eligible for services, students must have a disability as defined by the Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008.  In the context of the ADA, “disability” is a legal term rather than a medical one. Therefore, the ADA’s definition of disability is different from how disability may be defined under some other laws.  The ADA defines a person with a disability as a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. This also includes people who have a record of such an impairment, even if they do not currently have a disability.

The general guidelines for documentation:  

  • Documentation should be signed and dated from a licensed and/or credentialed professional and on letterhead.
  • Documentation must be current (testing is suggested to be within the past three years and psychological documentation within the past one year).
  • Documentation is typically in the form of an assessment (either neuropsychological testing or academic achievement testing). The assessment should include the following:
  • A clear diagnostic statement identifying the disability and a clinical summary of strengths and functional limitations.   
  • The examiner’s impressions, and a list of current services and recommendations for graduate program setting accommodations.

If a student’s disability is not best supported by neuropsychological testing:

  • Documentation should be signed and dated from a licensed and/or credentialed professional and on letterhead. This must be a multi-paragraph letter to our office including the following information:
    • How long and in what capacity they know you.
    • Your diagnosis.
    • Your symptoms.
    • How it impacts academics.
    • Clear recommendations for accommodations in a Graduate Higher Educational program setting.
    • Any other relevant information.

We also ask you to make a written request regarding any specific type of exam accommodation or other academic accommodation which you believe to be appropriate. In this regard, please tell us the accommodations which you have been granted in college graduate school, and on standardized tests including the LSAT and the SAT.

If you wish to request an accommodation on bar examinations, you must direct your request to the state or states to which you are applying for admission. Each state has its own procedures for bar admission.

MSL has an enduring commitment to support equality of education and employment opportunity by affirming the value of diversity and by promoting an environment free from discrimination. MSL is committed to a policy of affirming equality of opportunity: No person shall be denied admission to any educational program or activity or be denied employment based on any legally prohibited discrimination involving, but not limited to, such factors as race, color, creed, religion, national or ethnic origin, marital status, citizenship, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, or protected veteran status.