Resources for Texas Lawyers and Law Students with Disabilities

Published on June 24, 2024 Lawyer Life

An Introduction to the Disability Issues Committee of the State Bar of Texas

Created in 1992, the Disability Issues Committee of the State Bar of Texas focuses on increasing awareness regarding legal issues faced by clients with mental and physical disabilities. The committee also addresses the concerns of lawyers with disabilities.

To further educate and promote legal concerns surrounding disabilities, the committee sponsors CLEs and webcasts, publishes articles, produces videos, and undertakes grant-related and committee projects. In this article, we'll highlight some of the committee's current offerings, objectives, and initiatives.

If you have any questions regarding the Disability Issues Committee, please reach out to Committee Chair Daphne Silverman at (512) 975-5880 or Staff Contact Ben Walter at (512) 427-1517.

The Committee's Purpose

The Disability Issues Committee's purpose is to "study the concerns of Texas lawyers and legal professionals with disabilities, as well as clients and members of the public." They also make recommendations to the State Bar Board of Directors regarding ways in which the role of people with disabilities can be enhanced, including improving State Bar-sponsored programs. The committee also takes initiative in the development and promotion of these programs.

The committee's projects and objectives for 2023-2024 included the following:

  • Facilitating the creation of a coalition of lawyers to assist other lawyers who need reasonable accommodations in the courtroom.
  • Educating lawyers and legal professionals on mental health and self-care.
  • Informing current Texas law and paralegal/legal assistant students on reasonable accommodations in the classroom and for examinations.
  • Work with other State Bar of Texas committees to address and prevent multiple forms of bias and discrimination in the profession and general society.

A group of lawyers and legal assistants working together on a project.Online Resources for Lawyers and Law Students with Disabilities in Texas

The purpose of the Disability Issues Committee is to provide support and resources for Texas attorneys, law students, and members of the public with disabilities as well as those who are interested in helping improve the lives of individuals with disabilities. As such, the committee has compiled a collection of online resources relating to disability rights and disability-related programs.

We've gathered a few of these online resources, ranging from ways to file a complaint to resources relating to education and employment.

Filing a Complaint           

Disability Law and Policy Research



U.S. Department of Education

PACER Center

The PACER Center features information regarding law, policy, and education practices that affect children and young adults with disabilities and their families. Click here to visit the PACER Center website.

Social Security Benefits for People with Disabilities

Mentorship Opportunities

An attorney mentoring a law student

Whether you're interested in volunteering to be a mentor, or you'd like to be mentored by a seasoned lawyer with a disability, the Disability Issues Committee can help. Their mentorship program provides law students and recent graduates with disabilities (as well as established lawyers with newly acquired disabilities) with the invaluable information, guidance, and support that experienced lawyers with disabilities can provide.

The mentorship program was established to provide law students with disabilities with a "one-on-one resource to answer questions, provide guidance, and offer support, regarding the practice of law, barriers they might encounter, and recommendations on overcoming those barriers." The committee also heard from various attorneys with disabilities who sought to share their experiences, training, and insight toward the pursuit of a successful legal career. As a result, the mentorship program came to fruition!

To enroll as a mentor or mentee, complete this online form from the Disability Issues Committee.

If you have any questions about the Disability Issues Committee's mentorship program, please email the committee at

Take a Deeper Dive into What the Disability Issues Committee Has to Offer

This article only focuses on a small sampling of what the Disability Issues Committee provides. Other services and information from the committee include accommodation for law students and paralegals when taking the LSATs, courtroom accessibility guides, and much more.

We implore you to visit the committee's page on the State Bar of Texas website to learn more about what the committee has to offer law students and lawyers in Texas.

Texas Bar Practice

Texas Bar Practice

Texas Bar Practice works with the most experienced and knowledgeable judges and attorneys to prepare and edit books, practice manuals, and legal forms to help lawyers and judges better serve the public with professional, accurate, and timely information.

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