Advocating on behalf of People with Developmental Disabilities: Contemporary Issues, Challenges, and Legal Advocacy Opportunities (FIELDWORK PRACTICUM)
J.D. Practicum 1073
| 3 credit hours
In fieldwork practicum courses, students participate in weekly seminars and conduct related fieldwork at outside organizations. This practicum course will give a detailed overview of the complex laws that govern the rights and restrictions of people living with intellectual and developmental disabilities, with a focus on the laws of the District of Columbia. Students will participate in a two hour/week seminar and also undertake 5, 10, or 15 hours/week of fieldwork at organizations such as Quality Trust for Individuals with Disabilities.
SEMINAR: According to the World Health Organization, up to three percent or almost 200 million people of the world’s population have intellectual disabilities, making it the largest disability category in the world. The course materials will cover substantive law, theory, and real world advocacy methods beyond those practiced in the courtroom.
FIELDWORK: In the fieldwork portion of this course, students will develop practical legal and advocacy skills while working directly with and for people with developmental disabilities in the District through field placements at organizations like the Quality Trust for Individuals with Disabilities.
Prerequisites: J.D. students must complete the required first-year program prior to enrolling in this course (part-time and interdivisional transfer students may enroll prior to completing Criminal Justice, Property, or their first-year elective.)
Students may not concurrently enroll in this practicum and an externship or a clinic or another practicum course.
This practicum course is open to LL.M. students, space permitting. Interested LL.M. students should email Louis Fine (firstname.lastname@example.org) to request admission.
This course is suitable for evening students who can commit to attending class and working 10 hours/week (during business hours) on site at their field placement.
To allow all students maximum flexibility, the field placement work can be taken for one credit (requires 5 hours of fieldwork), two credits (requires 10 hours of fieldwork), or three credits (requires 15 hours of fieldwork). Thus, the total credits awarded for the course will be three, four, or five credits. Students will have the ability to choose the credit option that best fits their schedules. All students will initially be registered for a total of three credits, which is the two-credit seminar plus the one-credit field placement section. Once the preregistration results are released, contact Assistant Director Bernice Ines at email@example.com to confirm the number of credits you wish to receive for the fieldwork and she will inform the Office of the Registrar of any changes that need to be made. If you enroll after the preregistration period and wish to enroll for additional fieldwork credits, contact Bernice Ines at firstname.lastname@example.org. All requests for additional field placement credits beyond the one credit that is automatically assigned must be received by 5:00 p.m. on September 7, 2015. The seminar credits will be graded. The fieldwork credits will be graded on a pass/fail basis.
Students who enroll in this course will be automatically enrolled in both the seminar and fieldwork components and may not take either component separately. After Add/Drop, a student who wishes to withdraw from a practicum course must obtain permission from the faculty member and the Assistant Dean for Experiential Education. The Assistant Dean will grant such withdrawal requests only when remaining enrolled in the practicum would cause significant hardship for the student. A student who is granted permission to withdraw will be withdrawn from both the seminar and fieldwork components.
Default attendance rule for all practicum courses (unless the professor indicates otherwise): Regular and punctual attendance is required at all practicum seminars and fieldwork placements. Students in project-based practicum courses are similarly required to devote the requisite number of hours to their project. If a student must miss seminar, fieldwork, or project work, he or she must speak to the professor as soon as possible to discuss the absence. Unless the professor indicates otherwise, a student with more than one unexcused absence from the practicum seminar (out of 13 total seminar sessions), or one week of unexcused absences from the fieldwork or project work (out of a total of 11 weeks of fieldwork or project work), may receive a lower grade or, at the professor’s discretion, may be withdrawn from the practicum course.
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