Mitchell Hamline School of Law (MHSL) is committed to ensuring equal educational opportunities for all qualified students in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and does not discriminate on the basis of disability in the administration of its education-related programs and activities
Mitchell Hamline School of Law has adopted this Disability Discrimination Grievance Process Policy to provide prompt and equitable resolution of grievances alleging action prohibited by the ADA and/or Section 504.
Any student who believes that they have been subjected to discrimination on the basis of disability or have been denied access or accommodations required by law, shall have the right to a prompt and equitable consideration of their concerns through this Disability Discrimination Grievance Process Policy. This Policy addresses the following concerns:
- Disagreements or denials regarding disability designation and status.
- Denial of requested accommodations, auxiliary aids, and/or services.
- Claims of inaccessibility of any a MHSL program, activity, or facility.
- Alleged harassment or discrimination on the basis of a disability by MHSL or any of its staff and faculty.
The Disability Discrimination Grievance Process Policy is not intended to supersede other Mitchell Hamline School of Law policies and procedures which may exist for addressing alleged violations of the ADA and/or Section 504, or other issues for which separate policies and procedures exist.
For concerns of harassment or discrimination by another student, please refer to the Non-Discrimination and Non-Harassment Policy in the MHSL College Catalog.
The Policy requires a two-step process: 1) a Preliminary Grievance; and 2) if desired, a Formal Grievance.
Prior to initiating a formal grievance process, students must first attempt to resolve their grievance, academic or otherwise, through a preliminary grievance process. Under this preliminary process, the Assistant Director of Disability and Student Services can directly address a particular concern using the appropriate MHSL policies or procedures.
Students may initiate the preliminary grievance process by submitting in person, by mail, and/or by email the Preliminary Disability Discrimination Grievance Form to the Assistant Director of Disability and Student Services promptly after the alleged discriminatory action occurs (if possible). The Assistant Director of Disability and Student Services will review the grievance and provide a response in writing within 10 working days.
Please Submit Preliminary Disability Grievance Forms to:
Assistant Director of Disability and Student Services
Mitchell Hamline School of Law
875 Summit Avenue
St. Paul, Minnesota 55105
Note: If your grievance is against the Assistant Director of Disability and Student Services, please instead submit the following Form to the Dean of Students.
If the student is dissatisfied with the outcome of the preliminary grievance process, they may initiate the formal grievance process by submitting the formal grievance via a written report within sixty (60) days of the alleged incident or thirty (30) days after the end of the preliminary process, whichever is later.
The student must submit in person, by mail, and/or by email a written report of relevant information and any related materials to the Assistant Director of Disability and Student Services, who will promptly review the information and related materials and forward them to the Dean of Students or designee for a prompt and equitable review:
Dean of Students
Mitchell-Hamline School of Law
875 Summit Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55105
Fax: Fax: 651-290-7538
The student’s formal grievance written report must clearly state:
- The name, address, and phone number of the student.
- The name(s) of the individual(s) (if any) alleged to have engaged in the discriminatory conduct and any potential witnesses.
- The dates of and location(s) at which the alleged discriminatory conduct occurred.
- The basis and rationale for the grievance.
- The specific facts and/or policies supporting the student’s position.
- The remedy and resolution desired by the student.
The Dean of Students or designee will:
- Undertake a prompt and equitable investigation.
- Interview all parties and obtain potentially relevant documents, information and names of witnesses.
- Interview witnesses as deemed necessary and secure any relevant documentation (such as notes, emails, pictures, grades, etc.) and information.
- Respect privacy to the extent possible. Students must understand that the MHSL cannot guarantee absolute confidentiality because it cannot conduct an effective investigation without revealing certain information to witnesses or respondents.
- Retain the right to utilize and inform persons who may have a need to know the information obtained during the investigation for legitimate institutional purposes.
- Abide by Federal/State laws and MHSL policies when reviewing the grievance.
- Act as an impartial fact finder in the matter.
- Absent unusual circumstances, render a written decision no later than thirty (30) days after receiving the student’s grievance, determining by a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not) whether the student’s grievance is supported by the evidence provided.
Students who are dissatisfied with the decision issued by the Dean of Students or designee after the formal grievance process can request an appeal of the decision. The request for an appeal must be made in a written report that includes or attaches all relevant information.
An appeal may only be pursued on the following grounds: 1) the appealing student has material new evidence that was not previously available that would alter the underlying decision; 2) the appealing student has objective evidence of bias on the part of the prior decision maker; or 3) the appealing student has material evidence indicating that the prior decision was arbitrary and capricious.
Any appeal must be submitted within five (5) business days of issuance of the decision being appealed and must be submitted in person, by mail, and/or by email to the Vice Dean, Academic and Faculty Affairs:
Vice Dean, Academic and Faculty Affairs
Mitchell Hamline School of Law
875 Summit Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55105
Absent unusual circumstances, a written decision will be issued within twenty (20) business days after receipt of the request for an appeal. The decision of the Vice Dean, Academic and Faculty Affairs is final. The decision could be any of the following: 1) upholding the prior decision, with a brief rationale; 2) reversing the prior decision, with a brief rationale; or 3) sending the matter back to the underlying decision maker for further investigation, with a brief rationale.
A student only gets one appeal for a particular grievance.
Please note that filing a grievance under this Policy does not preclude or negate an individual’s right to file an ADA or Section 504 complaint with the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights.
OCR Office for Minnesota is located at:
Office of Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Education
John C. Kluczynski Federal Building
230 S. Dearborn Street, 37th Floor
Chicago, IL 60604
Mitchell Hamline School of Law strictly prohibits retaliation against any individual who files or otherwise participates in the investigation of a disability-related grievance. A student who believes that they have been retaliated against for filing or otherwise participating in the investigation of a grievance shall submit in person, by mail, and/or by email a written report of relevant information and related materials to the Assistant Director of Disability and Student Services.
If the individual’s non-retaliation grievance pertains to the Assistant Director of Disability and Student Services, the individual shall submit in person, by mail, and/or by email a written report of relevant information and any related materials to the Dean of Students.
 Unless the grievance specifically relates to conduct by the Assistant Director of Disability and Student Services, in which case the information will be provided directly to the Dean of Students, who shall in turn review the grievance.