2011 Conference FAQ


Q: How do I register for the conference?

A: To register, please complete the Registration Form.

Completing the registration form will allow us to arrange appropriate accommodations, food, and space for the conference, so please sign up ASAP! If you have any problems with the form, please email .

Q: Who is the conference for?

A: Law students with disabilities and recent alumnae from across the country. The conference is intended as an open, safe space for students to interact with each other, thus for the NALSWD meeting events on Sunday, attendance is limited to current law students with disabilities. However recent graduates and lawyers with disabilities can offer some of the best information and advice, thus we welcome their attendance at the Saturday afternoon panels and the keynote reception and speech. If you are not a law student or lawyer with a disability, but you would like to participate in the conference, please contact to discuss.

Q: How can lawyers with disabilities get involved in the conference?

A: Lawyers with disabilities, including those who have recently graduated from law school, can offer invaluable insight about school and careers, as well as serving as both positive role models and networking contacts. Thus we highly encourage their participation in a number of the events during our conference, including the keynote reception and speech on Saturday, and the Saturday afternoon panels. In addition, if you would like to volunteer to be part of one of the small group dinners on Saturday night, to help publicize the conference to students or lawyers with disabilities you have contact with, or to make a greatly appreciated donation of any size, please contact .

Q: Are law school deans and directors of offices for students with disabilities allowed to attend the conference?

A: No, the conference is intended for students (and to some extent, lawyers) with disabilities. However, we strongly encourage you to send students to the conference and we will also make as many of the materials and presentations available on our website after the conference as possible. Please contact  nalswd.confdirector@gmail.com for more information.

Q: I would like to help NALSWD and have a few hours to volunteer. What can I do?

A: Particularly close to the event, we will have a lot of small tasks that we would love help on, particularly if you are in the San Francisco area (such as researching the accessibility of restaurant options, checking up on catering orders, answering emails from attendees with questions, and setting up for the conference). Email for more information.

Q: What if I can’t make it to the conference but want to know what NALSWD is doing and how I can be involved?

A: We are planning on recording all of the panels at the conference and hope to post those videos to our blog soon afterwards so that valuable information can be available to as many students as possible. In addition, minutes of the student meetings Sunday the 23rd will be sent out in the post-conference newsletter and while elections for the NALSWD Executive Board will be discussed at that meeting, actual elections and campaigning will be done over the internet in mid-February and candidacy does not require conference attendance. It may also be possible to phone or video conference into the Sunday student meetings. If you are interested in this option, please email to discuss possibilities.


Q: How much does the conference Cost?

A: Conference registration is free for students due to funding from private law firms. Room rate quotes are included in the Lodging Recommendations section. Travel from San Francisco International Airport by BART will cost around $4 each way, and shuttle van rides are around $30. We will provide breakfast both Saturday and Sunday and lunch and light appetizers on Saturday, but attendees will need to pay for their own dinners out in the city Saturday night.

Your vocational rehabilitation office may be willing to fund some of your costs. We may be able to help you advocate for this. If you would like the letter we’ve composed to vocational rehabilitation counselors, email nalswd.cfo@gmail.com.

In addition, many law schools will provide at least partial funding for transportation and hotel costs. Asking early is often key to securing funding and we may also be able to help you with any documentation your school requires, email nalswd.cfo@gmail.com.

Q: Does NALSWD offer any travel stipends?

A: Due to the generosity of our donors, we are pleased to be able to offer a limited amount of funds to make it possible for students who cannot otherwise secure funding to attend the conference. Funding is limited to $300 per student maximum, possibly further limited by demand. For full details, read our page on Applying for Travel Funding. If you have further questions, please email .

Q: Who should I contact if I’d like to keep my travel costs down and share a room with another conference registrant?

A: Email nalswd.confdirector@gmail.com and we will attempt to put students interested in this option in touch. In addition, there are several local youth hostels that provide comfortable accommodations for even those with very limited budgets. For details, please see our Lodging Recommendations list.

Q: Who should I contact if I know of a law school, law firm or private donor interested in helping fund the conference?

A: Please email nalswd.cfo@gmail.com. Any amount is appreciated.

Q: Are there restaurants, bars and coffee shops in the area of the conference?

A: Yes. There are sandwich shops and sit-down restaurants within easy walking distance, as well as a movie theater and accessible public transit that can take you anywhere in the city.


Q: Are there other airports I could fly into or is San Francisco International airport the only one?

A: We strongly recommend flying into San Francisco International (SFO). It is a relatively simple BART ride from there into the city that takes about 1 hour, but requires no transfers. Both Oakland and San Jose airports are farther away, transit is more complicated, and taking a cab from either would be extremely expensive.

Q: When I’m booking my airline tickets, how long should I allow traveling from SFO airport to the conference and vice versa?

A: 30 minutes by taxi or van and about an hour on BART, depending on the time of day. The conference finishes at noon on Sunday, which allows plenty of time to reach the airport for mid-afternoon flights.

Q: Is the San Francisco BART (subway system) close to the conference? If so, is it wheelchair accessible and which stop is closest? Where can I find a BART map?

A: The Montgomery stop is very close to the conference (about two blocks away). BART is wheelchair accessible, with elevators to every platform. More information and maps are available at http://www.bart.gov/.

Q: During which hours is BART not running?

On the weekend, BART runs from 6-8 A.M. until Midnight.


Q: Will there be American Sign Language Interpreters during the conference?

A: Currently, there will be ASL interpreters at the Keynote speech only, because we have received no requests for this accommodation. If you are planning to attend and need ASL services, please contact as soon as possible so we can try to arrange that.

Q: Will there be CART services available during the conference?

A: Yes. Please indicate your need for these services on the Registration Form.

Q: Will there be designated places for service animal relief?

A: Yes. Further details will be available if you indicate your need for these services on the Registration Form.


Q: What should I wear to the conference?

A: The dress code on Saturday is business casual for the presentations and speakers. The Friday happy-hour and the student meetings on Sunday are casual dress.

Q: What will the weather be like in San Francisco during the conference?

A: Likely reasonably warm for January. Light to medium jackets are advisable, but heavy winter gear should be unnecessary.

Q: What is the difference between staying at a hostel and at a hotel?

A: Staying at a hostel is a very different experience than staying at a hotel. If you sign up for the shared room option, you will be staying in a bunk bed, potentially with strangers (of the same gender usually) in the same room and shared bathroom space. They are not as private and are very “no frills.” Their redeeming features are that they are very cheap ($30/night for a shared room, $72/night for a private room), and – known from experience – the ones in downtown San Francisco are very clean, safe, and populated largely with friendly european backpackers and other hippie types. Not for everyone, but if you are traveling on a budget, an option worth checking out. You can read more about the hostel system here: http://www.sfhostels.com/.