For those students who already know they have a disability, they may have discussed this with their law school and found out that the school can make accommodations for them, both during class and during their exams. However, some students do not realize that there are resources for them in the event that they need help. Here are some things to consider:
(1) You may have a disability and not know about it yet
Are you having a difficult time concentrating while you are trying to learn the law? Many students can get easily distracted when they have a lot of boring cases to read and a ton of outlines to create. This is fairly normal. However, some students have an extremely difficult time absorbing material and staying focused. We have noticed that many students are able to get through elementary school, high school, and even college without any huge struggles. But when it comes to getting through law school, or another professional degree, they are all of a sudden struggling. A lot of students are diagnosed with a learning disability when they finally enter into law school during their mid-twenties. Yes, it can take that long to realize that the way you learn is different or takes an additional amount of time, as compared to others in your classroom. Many schools do not make an effort to reach out to students publicly at the beginning of the semester regarding this issue and it is usually up to the student to set an appointment with a doctor to see if a diagnosis should be made. Once a diagnosis is made, the student should then meet with the staff at their law school to see if there are any accommodations that can be made so that the student is able to learn the material and be tested. Sometimes schools will allow testing accommodations with fewer distractions. For example, a student may be permitted to take an exam in a quiet smaller room, instead of a large room filled with 100 students who are typing loudly on their laptops. Or it could be recommended that the student attend school part-time so that they have extra time to focus on their studies. It is always worth asking your school to see what accommodations can be made, if you are struggling during law school.
(2) You may have a disability that you know about but you are not asking for help
Yes, this actually happens! We have seen students try to take on every hardship of their own, without speaking up. A student who served in the military came back as an amputee and decided to attend law school. That student has one arm with which they can type. Imagine trying to type your law school exams with one hand. At the very least, that student would need to type twice as fast to keep up with their classmates, who are taking the same exam within the same allotted time frame. This student made an attempt to answer their final exams without any accommodations during their first semester of their 1L year. But then they finally realized that it was time to ask for an accommodation. They discussed their disability with the school and the school provided the student with more time to answer exams.
We have also seen other students who have physical disabilities receive help during class. A law student who has back issues was able to receive accommodations by having a podium placed in the back of the room so that the student could stand during class, instead of being required to sit.
If you struggle in law school, please reach out to us. LST has tutored law students with disabilities. LST – Law School Tutor assists students in achieving high grades during law school, in order to ensure that they have better academic opportunities during law school and better job opportunities after law school.
For more information, please contact LST at firstname.lastname@example.org