Online Mental Disability Law Program
Offering the degree of M.A. and Certificate in Mental Disability Law Studies on a full- and part-time basis, and individual courses as a nonmatriculant. Applications are accepted for fall, spring and summer semesters.
New York Law School has created the nation’s first distance learning mental disability law program, and the only program of its kind presented by an American Bar Association-approved law school, offering a Master of Arts in mental disability law studies, a certificate in advanced mental disability law studies, and individual courses. The Online Mental Disability Law Program provides professionals who represent or work with persons with mental disabilities valuable information about this complex and increasingly important area of the law. It offers them the tools needed to effectively represent their clients, and significantly contributes to an environment in which competent representation becomes the norm, not an aberration.
The Online Mental Disability Law Program is the most diverse program offered at any law school or university. It offers the broadest array of courses focused on Mental Disability Law of any U.S. law school. It serves multiple audiences—both domestically and internationally—attorneys, forensic psychologists, psychiatrists, other mental health professionals, human rights workers, advocates, activists, criminologists, criminal justice specialists, and others.
The rich professional make-up of students studying Mental Disability Law is also reflected in the faculty. Teachers include law professors, practicing lawyers, forensic psychologists, practicing psychologists and psychiatrists, academic psychologists, and individuals with degrees in law and psychology, law and social work, and law and psychiatry.
The Changing World of Mental Disability Law
Mental Disability Law is one of the most rapidly growing, and least understood, areas of the law. Interpretations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Patients’ Bill of Rights, and terms such as “dangerousness,” “risk assessment,” and “the least restrictive alternative” are confounding mental health and legal professionals. Issues regarding the civil rights of homeless persons, sexually violent predators, persons committed to institutions, and persons committed on an outpatient basis are hotly debated in courts and communities alike. The relationships between mental disability law and such areas of the law as custody evaluations, juvenile law, and the significance of problem-solving courts (mental health courts, veterans courts, and others) are undergoing new examination. Advocates and mental health professionals are considering the relationship among mental disability law policy, issues of race and gender, and the importance of trauma. All aspects of the criminal law as it applies to persons with mental disabilities and other issues related to forensic mental health are continuously being reinterpreted. Attorneys representing persons with mental disabilities as well as expert witnesses and advocates must master complex skills. And the relationship between mental disability law and human rights law—both in the United States and around the world—-is now being subjected to intense scrutiny.
Developed by internationally renowned expert Professor Michael L. Perlin, based on his extensive research, teaching, and advocacy in the area of mental disability law, the courses in New York Law School’s Online Mental Disability Law Program provide the most up-to-date information and interpretation of the civil, criminal, and constitutional law regarding the rights of persons with mental disabilities, delivered directly to students through the convenience of online learning.
A Program Designed for Your Learning Style
New York Law School’s dynamic evening program has served the “after-work” learner for over a century. Experienced in providing legal education for busy professionals, the School utilizes cutting-edge online learning technologies to enable students to conveniently obtain the knowledge and skills critical to career advancement.
Take Control of Your Future
Unique in its depth and scope, Mental Disability Law will help to enhance your professional status and legal literacy. This program will be an indispensable part of your career if you are a:
- Psychologist, psychiatrist, or other mental health professional, especially those studying for forensic boards and diplomat examinations, and those already serving as expert witnesses.
- Mental health professional in an institutional setting.
- Mental health professional or lawyer working in the field of custody evaluations or juvenile and family law.
- Professional working in a community facility, group home, or advocacy group.
- Lawyer who prosecutes or defends persons with mental disabilities in criminal cases.
- Lawyer who represents persons with mental disabilities in civil cases.
- Lawyer who represents hospitals, governmental entities, or private parties in such cases.
- Court officer or administrator.
- Lawyer or advocate who works in the area of international human rights.
- Advocate working on behalf of persons with mental disabilities.
- Criminologist or criminal justice specialist.
Practical Knowledge That Earns
Expand your practice, or enhance your value to your organization. Mental health and legal professionals need to understand the complexities of mental disability law and the necessity of staying up-to-date with the latest interpretations of constitutional and statutory rights of persons with mental disabilities. Upon completion of this in-depth program, you will be able to:
- Prevent disputes from rising to the level of litigation.
- Provide more accurate and focused forensic and evaluative reports.
- Evaluate whether institutional, hospital, and clinical policies and practices are constitutionally and statutorily sound.
- Protect your patients, clients, practice, or institution from litigation.
Better represent your clients with mental disabilities in courts, in institutions, and in community settings.
Students with Disabilities
New York Law School complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 as amended and with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended. The Law School’s Office of Student Life and Office of Academic Affairs formulate general policy on disability issues and make decisions on individual accommodation requests.