University of Pittsburgh
May 24, 2006

Pitt School of Law Offers New Certificate in Disability Legal Studies

The Certificate in Disability Legal Studies provides the opportunity for professionals whose work involves issues concerning individuals with disabilities to better understand the relevant laws
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—The law exerts a powerful and direct impact on the lives of persons with disabilities. It is estimated that close to 20 percent of the U.S. population, nearly 54 million people, have a disability. The University of Pittsburgh School of Law has developed a Certificate in Disability Legal Studies Program to address the needs of these individuals and those who work with them.

"Disability law pervades so many areas of life that it is essential to provide legal training to all of those professionals who are affected by it so that they may incorporate it into their professional practice," said Alan Meisel, professor of law and psychiatry, Dickie, McCamey and Chilcote Professor of Bioethics, and director of the new certificate program.

The 15-credit program is geared for a wide variety of professionals, including administrators, educators, health practitioners, advocates, social workers, architects, city planners, attorneys, business leaders, human resource directors, and students in those fields.

Students are required to take four courses: Introduction to Law and Legal Reasoning, Health Law and Policy, The Law of Disability Discrimination, and an introductory law course tailored to the needs of the individual student. The remaining credits can be fulfilled through such courses as Bioethics and Law, Elderly and the Law, Educational Policy and the Law, Employment Discrimination, Employment Law: A Problems Approach, Mental Health Law, Nonprofit Tax Exemption Organizations, Worker's Compensation, and other electives.

For more information on the Certificate in Disability Legal Studies Program, contact Meisel at 412-648-1384 or e-mail questions to