Students explore the proposition that all aspects of the legal system (and all roles played by judicial actors) have some therapeutic impact on mentally disabled individuals who are litigants or are the subject of litigation. The course focuses on the empirical issues and social assumptions underlying the major mental disability legal doctrines developed in the past three decades in such areas as involuntary civil commitment law, rights of persons institutionalized because of disability, correctional law, the criminal trial process, legal education, and international human rights law.
This is a predominately on-line course, requiring students to participate in a weekly chat room, discussion board, and two, day-long weekend live seminars at New York Law School. The grade is based on chat room, discussion board and live seminar participation, a midterm paper, and a take-home final. For master’s degree and certificate students, Survey of Mental Disability Law is a pre-requisite or co-requisite.