Law School Disability Support Services

Students who join the HUSL community do so with the skills, inner resources, and ambition needed to be a remarkable success. For some students with disabilities, negotiating law student life and academic environments can be more challenging without the benefit of support. The Office of Student Services’ Disability Support Services Team (OSS), in partnership with the HUSL Office of Student Affairs (OSA), serve as a central resource on disability-related information for students, procedures, and services for the Howard University School of Law (HUSL)student community. The Office of Student Services provides expertise in determining and implementing appropriate and reasonable accommodations for law students and provide those determinations to the HUSL Office of Student Affairs for implementation. HUSL students with disabilities are fundamental to the diverse and dynamic law school community, and we work to support you in accessing the educational experience at Howard Law.

All student applications for accommodation begin with the Office of Student Services which serves thousands of undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Students seeking reasonable accommodations or support services from the Office of Student Services are required to register with the office as early as possible so that you can work closely with their staff and tap into the knowledge and support available to navigate your Howard Law experience. Reasonable accommodations are defined as those that are consistent with the fundamental nature of the law school’s program of legal education, that can be provided without undue financial or administrative burden, and that can be provided while maintaining academic standards in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

Helpful Information

Requesting Law School Accommodations

The following information about the process to request accommodations & services is in part from the Office of Student Services’ website:

Law students with disabilities who intend to request accommodations must self-identify to the Office of Student Services’ Disability Support Services team (OSS) and request accommodations (this is separate from the general admissions process). You will be asked to provide documentation and to complete forms related to your accommodation requests. Students who are taking classes on the Howard University campus will be asked to meet with an OSS staff member before a final determination is made.

Once OSS has finished their assessment and met with the applicant, they will then provide the student recommendations in a determination letter. The law student is responsible for informing the HUSL Office of Student Affairs of their determination regarding reasonable and appropriate accommodations by the deadline each semester. Once we receive the letter, the law school OSA will implement the determinations to the best of our ability.

*Note students must formally request accommodations for each semester enrolled at Howard University. The accommodations and services provided are not retroactive.

Here are the following steps to request accommodations:

  • Request Services: The first step is to contact the Office of Student Services (OSS or ODSS) to submit the Student Request for Accommodations Form with Rights and Responsibilities.
    • You will need your Bison ID number and course schedule to complete this form.
    • Please note that Law Students are NOT to communicate with their faculty regarding exam accommodations at any time. Any OSS document direction to providing accommodation information to faculty is in reference to non-law students only.
    • All communication regarding accommodations is to be made directly and only to the Law School’s Office of Student Affairs via email at
  • Provide Documentation: You will be required to provide documentation when you request services from OSS. Your request for accommodations will not be reviewed until your documentation, course schedule, and Bison ID number are provided. Once your documentation is received, your request for accommodation will be reviewed. Go to OSS’s Requesting Accommodations Page for more information about guidelines for documenting disabilities.
  • Schedule Intake Appointment: OSS will invite you to schedule an intake appointment after your registration form and documentation has been received.
    • Not eligible for services at this time. If you are not eligible for services, you will be notified via email. Reasons for ineligibility include a) incomplete or inadequate documentation, b) no functional limitations, c) no qualifying disability identified.
    • No notification. If you do not receive an email within three weeks of completing your intake meeting, please follow up with the OSS staff.
  • Intake Appointment and Authorization of Services: OSS staff will inform you of the date, time, and location or method of your intake appointment. Note that intake appointments are made on a rolling bases so if you miss your appointment, you will be rescheduled for the next available appointment date. This may be after the current queue of appointments has been addressed, possibly weeks after your missed appointment was scheduled.

During the appointment, your Intake Specialist will review with you the accommodations that you have requested, supporting documentation, and any additional questions you may have. Final determinations will be communicated with you within three weeks after your meeting. Request for an approval of some accommodations does not authorize you for access to all accommodations. You will be approved for specific accommodations that meet your needs and do not fundamentally alter the Howard University School of Law course of instruction.

Disclosing Disability While Applying

The decision to self-disclose a disability during the admission process is a student’s personal choice. All students admitted to Howard University are considered for acceptance based on criteria of GPA, LSAT scores, personal statements, and other criteria. Howard University School of Law is committed to a policy against discrimination in admissions and educational programs and no student will be denied admission based upon disclosed disability. See full Policy and Procedure on Equal Opportunity in Employment and Education Programs and Activities on the Admissions page.

Howard University does not have a separate admissions process or criteria for students with disabilities. If you have been denied admission and feel that your documentation of disability could shed light on your academic record, then we encourage you to consider self-disclosure.

If prior to applying, you know that you do not meet the standard admissions criteria, and you feel that your disability documentation provides important academic information, then consider speaking directly with an admissions counselor about your disability.

Required Information for Your Request for Accommodations

Students applying for disability accommodations must provide complete testing reports, diagnostic impressions, and recommendations for reasonable accommodations from qualified licensed professional on their office letterhead.

In the case of students with learning disabilities a letter from the guidance counselor or old IEP reports are not appropriate documentation of disability. The full-scale psycho-education battery with clear diagnosis of a disability with educational recommendations are required.

Students with ADD, emotional and physical disabilities must provide a specific diagnosis based on the current impact of the disability on academic performance. A diagnostic evaluation must have been completed within the last three years. 

See the Guidelines for Documenting Disability section of OSS’ Requesting Accommodations page to see information necessary to ensure your support documents contain the required information.  Insufficient documentation may delay the processing of your request.  Please note information regarding your academic history (transcripts, IEP, 504 plan from previous learning environment, etc.) may be submitted as supporting evidence, but may not be sufficient documentation to support your request.

What to do with Your Approved Accommodation Letters

Once OSS approves your accommodations, the OSS staff will send your approval letter directly to you. It is the student’s responsibility to give a copy of this plan to the HUSL Office of Student Affairs (OSA) only. The letter should be provided via email to Once your letter is received you will be given a link to provide your exam schedule for midterms (if applicable) and final exams. Please be sure to respond to that form request as soon as possible and no later than the deadline provided in the email.

  • Your accommodation approval letter or other information should not be provided to your faculty in accordance with the Law School’s anonymity policy.
  • Once you have provided your approval letter to the HUSL OSA, the law school will implement your approved accommodations from that date forward, or until your accommodations are modified or expire at the end of each semester. Please remember that you must recertify for accommodations in future semesters, even for ongoing or permanent disabilities.

Deadlines for Requesting and Receiving Accommodations

There is no fixed deadline to make an initial request to OSS for accommodations, but accommodation approval letters must be provided to HUSL OSA at least 14 days prior to the first day of any exam period (for both midterm and final exam periods). Please see the current year’s Academic Calendar for applicable exam accommodation deadlines each semester. We recommend you submit your initial application to OSS 6-8 week prior to any exam period to allow enough time to meet the deadline to inform OSA Staff.

This deadline should be seen as an absolute last date by which you should apply as it is in your best interest to request accommodations with OSS as early as possible to ensure that there is enough time for OSS to process your request and for you to provide the law school (via OSA) with an approval letter by the deadline. This is necessary to allow OSA staff time to implement your approved accommodations. 

Follow the process discussed under “Requesting Law School Accommodations” above to submit a request for accommodations with OSS. Please provide all the necessary documentation to OSS, as any missing information or documents will slow down the intake process.

Anonymity and Accommodation Confidentiality

HUSL strives to ensure that all accommodations are provided on an anonymous basis whenever possible. In class accommodations are provided to professors only when absolutely necessary and maintain a student’s anonymity unless otherwise impossible. Accommodated students are given the opportunity to direct the determination about what and how much in class accommodation information is shared with a faculty member.

When examination accommodations are provided, there are no flags, identifying markers or notations on the academic record, and faculty members do not know which students have been accommodated or which exams have been taken under accommodated circumstances. Further, documentation and disability services records are maintained separately from other academic records. Students should not communicate with their professors about requests for accommodations and should make all in-class accommodation requests or concerns directly to the HUSL OSA staff only.

Updating or Modifying Your Accommodations

You must recertify for accommodations every semester. Once the Office of Student Affairs has received your approved accommodation letter, those accommodations will be implemented for that semester only but will be implemented until the end of the semester, unless there is a modification or an expiration date for your accommodations prior to the end of the semester.

If your accommodations are temporary or provisional, they will not be implemented past the expiration date that was noted on your approval letter from OSS.

If you are provided with a “provisional” accommodation approval and hope to get a full approval, you will need to submit whatever missing information OSS indicated was needed for a full approval.

Each semester, contact the OSS staff as soon as possible to discuss recertifying your accommodations.

How to Modify an Existing Accommodation Approval

If you have an approved accommodation and would like to make a change or modification, you should first email OSS with details about your request. The OSS staff will let you know what documentation is needed to support the request, if more is needed, or if you need to schedule an appointment.

If you have a provisional accommodation approval or your accommodations have an expiration date, you should first reach out to OSS staff. You can provide updated documentation at any time.

It is in your best interest to contact the OSS staff to request modifications to your accommodations as soon as possible to ensure there is enough time for OSS to process your request and for the law school to implement your approved accommodations.


Hearing Back About Your Accommodations Before an Exam

If you are approved for exam accommodations, they will be implemented for all your upcoming exams for that approval term, including some take-home exams. The HUSL OSA staff typically emails accommodated students with information about logistics (room and time, etc.) about 1-3 business days before an exam. Please check your email every day starting the week before your exam and read all emails from or any member of the HUSL OSA staff.

If you any questions about your accommodations, please email the Office of Student Services at If you have questions about exam logistics, email

Who to Contact with Questions About Your Accommodations

For questions about the implementation of approved accommodations at the law school, contact the HUSL Office of Student Affairs at

Additional Resources

American Bar Association Commission on Disability Rights 

Bar Information for Applicants with Disabilities

AskJan - Job Accommodation Network

The Coehlo Center – Provides a listing of internships and fellowships.

The National Disabled Law Students Association

The Law School Disability Advocacy Coalition - A students-only Facebook group for discussion and community

The Legal Professionals Disability Advocacy Coalition - Facebook group, open to both students and professionals


Office of Student Affairs

Tracy L. Simmons
Associate Dean of Admissions and Student Affairs

Adrienne Packard
Director of Student Affairs

Room 200, Houston Hall

Contact Us
(202) 806-8006