Laura Rothstein

Professor of Law and Distinguished University Scholar

Laura Rothstein's picture
Laura Rothstein joined the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville as Professor of Law and Dean in 2000 (serving as dean until 2005).  During her 36 years in legal education, she has written fifteen books and dozens of book chapters, articles, and other works on disability discrimination, covering a broad range of issues, with an emphasis on disability discrimination in higher education. In addition to her work in disability law, she has worked to promote racial and gender diversity within legal education and the legal profession.  She has served in numerous leadership roles within legal education.

Professor Rothstein’s work to promote diversity and raise awareness on issues of disability, gender, and race has been recognized in recent awards.  These include the 2012 University of Louisville Award for Outstanding Scholarship, Research & Creative Activity; the 2011 William A. Kaplin Award for Excellence in Higher Education Law and Policy Scholarship, from the Center for Excellence in Higher Education Law and Policy, Stetson Law School; and the 2011 Women’s Law Association of Jefferson County Excellence in Achievement Award which honors significant contributions to the legal profession through involvement and dedication to the Women Lawyers Association and/or the Louisville Bar Association or promoting integrity and professionalism in the legal profession by example).  In 2010, she was elected to membership in the American Law Institute.  In 2008, she received the Brandeis School of Law Dean’s Service Award, recognizing her work in the law school’s partnership with Central High School.

She uses her scholarship as an “advocate through education” with the goal of influencing policy and practice by increasing awareness and understanding of disability rights and other diversity issues.

Courses Taught

Disability Law

Property Law




DISABILITY LAW:  CASES & MATERIALS (5th edition) (LEXIS Publishing Company 2010) Summer 2011 & Summer 2012 Supplement (with Ann C. McGinley) and TEACHER’S MANUAL

DISABILITIES AND THE LAW (Thomson/West Spring 2012) with Julia Irzyk (and cumulative editions)

DISABILITIES AND THE LAW (4th edition) (Thomson/West 2009) with Julia Rothstein * Biannual Cumulative Supplements

SPECIAL EDUCATION LAW (4th edition) (Sage Publications 2009) (with Scott F. Johnson) and web-based INSTRUCTOR RESOURCES (2009) (2013 edition in progress)

Book Chapters

Disability Rights, Encyclopedia of Diversity in Education (Sage Publications) (invited entry) (2011)

Southeastern Community College v. Davis, chapter in Education Stories, Michael Olivas & Ronna Schneider eds. (Foundation Press 2007)


“Reflections from an Era of Breaking Glass—1984-1998,” 80 UMKC Law Review 747-769 (2012) as part of symposium issue written by past chairs of the AALS Section of Women in Legal Education

“Shaping the Tributary – Why, What and How of Pipeline Programs to Increase Diversity in the Legal Profession,” 40 Journal of Law and Education 551-608 (October 2011)

“Disability Policy in Education Settings:  The Eisenhower Highway System as a Roadmap,” Conference Proceedings, Emerging Scholars Conference, 15th Anniversary of Chapman University, sponsored by Chapman University School of Law and School of Education, September 23, 2011

“Telescopes, Microscopes, and Crystal Balls:  Disability Discrimination Law and Policy in Higher Education:  How Those in Higher Education Can and Should Influence Policy,” paper presented at the National Conference on Law and Higher Education, the Center, Stetson University College of Law upon receiving the William A. Kaplin Award for Excellence in Higher Education Law and Policy Scholarship, February 7, 2011

“Higher Education and Students with Disabilities:  A Fifty Year Retrospective,” (symposium issue on the 50th Anniversary of NACUA), 36 Journal of College & University Law 846 (2010)

“Suffering in Silence:  The Tension Between Self-Disclosure and a Law School’s Obligation to Report,” Conference Panel on Assisting Law Students with Disabilities in the 21st Century, 18 American University Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law 121 (2009) (panel remarks)

“Disability Law Issues for High Risk Students:  Addressing Violence and Disruption,” 35 Journal of College & University Law 101 (2009)

“Strategic Advocacy in Fulfilling the Goals of Disability Policy:  Is the Only Question How Full the Glass Is?” 13 Texas Journal of Civil Liberties and Civil Rights 403-412 (2008)

“Law Students and Lawyers with Mental Health and Substance Abuse Problems:  Protecting the Public and the Individual,” 69, University of Pittsburgh Law Review 531-566 (2008)

“Millennials and Disability Law:  Revisiting Southeastern Community College v. Davis:  Emerging Issues for Students with Disabilities,” 34 Journal of College & University Law 167-199 (2007)

“Licensing and Physician Mental Health:  Problems & Possibilities,” (with Henkin, 93 Journal of Medical Licensure & Discipline No. 2 (2007)


“A Fifty Year Retrospective of Women in the Legal Profession:  Challenges and Perspectives:  Have We Come a Long Way?” Louisville Bar Association Bar Briefs 16-17 (July 2011)



*Disability Issues in Legal Education, Faculty Forum,    UMKC Law School, September 26, 2012

*Disability Issues in Legal Education, Faculty Forum, Drexel Law School, September 20, 2012

*Disability Issues in Legal Education, Faculty Forum, University of Cincinnati College of Law, September 5,     2012

*Academically Unsuccessful Students with Disabilities:  Whose Fault Is It?, NACUA Annual Conference, Chicago, Illinois (June 29, 2012)
*Disability Issues in Legal Education, Faculty Forum, Salmon P. Chase College of Law, Northern Kentucky Law School, March 23, 2012

*Disability Issues in Legal Education, Faculty Forum, University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law, March 22, 2012

*Current Student and Faculty Disability Issues, Stetson Conference on Higher Education (February 19, 2012)

*Impaired Faculty Members, Webinar, Stetson Elder Law Institute and Stetson Higher Education Institute (November 17, 2011)

*Disability Issues in Legal Education, Faculty Forum, University of Kansas School of Law, September 30, 2011

*Disability Policy in Education Settings:  The Eisenhower High System as a Roadmap,” keynote address given at the Chapman University School of Law and School of Education conference on Exploring Difference, Disability and Diversity in Education, Law and Society (September 23, 2011)
*National Conference on Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disabilities, Panelists on ADA requirements for     arts venues, August 20, 2011 ( Louisville, Kentucky)

*West Kentucky Community and Technical College Faculty Workshop, August 8, 2011

*Kentucky AHEAD Regional Conference, May 19, 2011

*Stetson Conference on Higher Education, February 2011   

*Torts and Disability Law”AALS Annual Meeting, January 2011, San Francisco

*Disability Issues in Legal Education, Faculty Forum, University of Houston Law Center, October 2010

*A Twenty-Year Reflection on the ADA and Higher Education,” SEALS Annual Meeting, West Palm Beach, July 31, 2010

*A Dream Not Yet Fulfilled:  50 Years of Change in Discrimination Law, Disability Issues,” NACUA Annual Meeting, Washington DC (June 28, 2010)

*Law Students with Mental Health and Substance Abuse Problems:  Protecting the Public and the Individual, AALS Annual Meeting, Mental Disability Law Section, New Orleans, January 9, 2010

*You’re Not in College Anymore:  Substance Abuse and Related Issues in Law School, NKU Salmon P. Chase College of Law Professionalism Program, October 8, 2009

*The Law School’s Role with Respect to Students with Mental Health Problems, American University Washington College of Law conference on Assisting Law Students with Disabilities in the 21st Century (March 12, 2009)

*Disability Law Issues for High Risk Students, Addressing Violence and Disruption:  Prevention, Response, and Liability, AALS Annual Meeting (San Diego, January 8, 2009)

*National Association of Blind Lawyers, Louisville, July 7, 2008

*Millennials and the ADA:  Keynote Address, Education Law Association Annual Meeting Keynote Address ,Louisville  (October 22, 2009)

*Millennial Students and Disability Law:  Emerging Issues, Association of Higher Education and Disabilities National Conference Plenary Session (July 24, 2009)

*Millennials and the ADA,” DBTAC Southwest ADA Center, Webcast (October 22, 2008)

*Millennials on Campus,” University of Louisville Student Affairs Summer Academy (July 21, 2008)

*Update on ADA Law and Policy:  A Focused Session on Access to Post-Secondary Education,” Association of Visually Impaired Attorneys Annual Conference (Louisville, July 7, 2008)

*University of Cincinnati Conference on Education Stories (April 14, 2008)

*The ADA Amendments Act of 2008, State of Affairs Public radio call in talk show (February 2, 2009)

*Jefferson County Administrative Offices of the Courts, CLE Program – ADA Overview (Employment and other issues) (Louisville, October 29, 2008)

*Moderator, Kentucky Human Rights Commission, Hearings on Disability Issues, July 17, 2008

*TenBroek Conference National Federation of Blind Lawyers, Baltimore (April 11, 2008)

*Leadership Conference of Principals, (UTPB) July 2008, Odessa, Texas

University and Community Service

Service to Legal Education

Member, AALS Membership Committee (2006-2008)

Chair, Diversity Committee, ABA Section of Legal Education and Admission to the Bar (2004-2008); member (2002- present)

Member, ABA/LSAC Post Conference Pipeline Strategic Planning Group (2006)

Member, Law School Admissions Council Minority Affairs Committee (2005-2007)

Member, LSAC Disability Accommodations Workgroup (2006)

Member, ABA/LSAC Pipeline Strategic Planning Taskforce (2006)

(for a complete list, please see curriculum vitae)