Thursday, September 20

UCLA law students to publish first disability law journal in the nation


UCLA law students started the Disability Law Journal, which will be the only disability law journal in the country after it publishes its first issue in spring 2019. (Daily Bruin file photo)

UCLA law students started the Disability Law Journal, which will be the only disability law journal in the country after it publishes its first issue in spring 2019. (Daily Bruin file photo)


UCLA law students are starting a new journal that showcases scholarship on disability law.

The Disability Law Journal at UCLA will be the only disability law journal in the country after it publishes its first issue in spring 2019. Law students who created the journal said they hope to inform more people about disability law in the United States and issues that disproportionately affect people with disabilities, such as employment discrimination, police violence and sexual abuse.

The journal is one of several specialized law journals at UCLA, including the Criminal Justice Law Review and Entertainment Law Review.

Sunney Poyner, the editor-in-chief of the journal and a UCLA law student, said the lack of legal and academic publications about disability law inspired her to start the journal.

“This came about when I was in my disability law class, and it came to my attention that there was no disability law journal. That was very surprising, especially as it is such a vast area of law,” she said. “I started talking about (the journal) with people at the law school, and everyone was very supportive.”

David Koller, business manager for the journal and a UCLA law student, said he thinks the journal will help give credit to scholars and academics who are dedicated to working on disability law.

“This experience represents a really great opportunity to give legal scholarship the recognition it deserves when they focus on these important issues,” he said. “It comes down to, ‘Do you want to make the world a better place?’ Part of that, in our mind, is giving people (who) are disabled the proper rights and benefits as people (who) are not.”

The journal will be split between featuring academic articles that have already been published and publishing UCLA student work on disability law. Poyner said the journal will publish for three years, after which the UCLA School of Law will conduct a review to see if it would like the journal to continue to publish.

Poyner said her team hopes to create a good foundation for the journal so that it can continue to thrive in years to come by ensuring that future scholars of disability law see that their work is important and valued.

“There are many people in the UCLA community that are interested, and I want to make sure that there is a place for these brilliant people to have their voices heard,” Poyner said.

James Darling, the journal’s senior manager and a UCLA law student, said his own experiences with cognitive and learning disabilities led to his desire to share the importance of disability legislation.

“I thought it would be nice to play a role in the community not only just as a member but also helping people who have it worse than myself,” he said.

Koller added the students hope their publication can also help make sure laws aimed at helping individuals with disabilities are properly enforced.

“There are naturally a lot of laws already in place that protect and provide and give the disabled a chance at living a normal life in society, but that doesn’t mean the job is done,” he said. “This is a long-term project, covering issues like this and encouraging legal scholars to continue to advocate for these issues.”

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  • Lisa Kroening

    It would be nice if they included MEDICATION RIGHTS

  • Nancy Becker Kennedy

    The Olmstead Supreme Court decision was the Brown versus the Board of Education for people with disabilities. . It gave us the right to live outside of institutions and in the community. There are those of us trying to sue the state of California for violating those rights by paying our IHSS providers months late causing many people with disabilities to lose In home care provider after another who understandably cannot work without pay for months at a time!

    Also the California legislatures contribution to SSI called SSP has been eroded for 17 years by taking away the cost of living allowances for people with disabilities and making their SSI living allowances of “go to” place for budget cuts.

    There are only a handful of counties in California where one can live on SSI. Our brothers and sisters are being institutionalized because of it. I wish the UCLA disability Law Center could look into this.

    Most Sincerely,

    Nancy Becker Kennedy
    member of ADAPT
    Californians for Disability Rights
    CALIF ILC Communities Actively Living Independent and Free Independent Living Center
    former board member since its inception of the Los Angeles County Personal Assistance Services Council that oversees the in-home care program for over 200,000 people with disabilities and seniors

  • Jamie Peguero

    Wow, so needed. Especially if it can include medication rights. I am disabled and live with chronic intractable pain. Unable to work, bed and home ridden most of the time. I was denied disability and now I am having my meds reduced because of CDC guidelines that the DEA is treating like law. So much for the CA intractable pain bill or rights and the disabled rights.

    And it’s so difficult to fight for rights when you are simply fighting daily just to survive and get by.

  • PatDad

    Is there a name for this and How to Subscribe to this new journal?

  • Robin Orlowski

    I am a paralegal student in Texas and would love to subscribe. Or even help out.

  • Lynda

    This is indeed wonderful a very much needed publication, one which I am adamant will surpass its three year, shall we say “probation period”.
    I would personally very much like to share what I believe to be a most high profile case involving the illegal conservatorship and isolation for over eight years now of my much loved Son with HFA.
    My Son was Conserved by my former spouse . Notice of hearing send two days after the temporary conservatorship was granted.
    Although a limited Conservatorship of the person only the Judge signed most of my Sons rights over to his Father save his right to vote. I have now been court ordered to pay for at great expense,Supervised Therapuetic Visitation , a type of Visitation which is not legal in California.
    I have been unable to find an attorney in my Santa Barbara area wanting to take on my case and therefore point out huge flaws in their on Jurisdiction.
    Therefore any Law student interested in this high profile case, the impetus for SB1191 could please contact me through the CEDAR website. http://www.coalition4rights.com
    Many thanks
    Lynda Ente

  • Jenia Silver

    Any way I can contact the school or the professors to ask a legal question?