Pregnant and Parenting Students
The Office of the Dean of Students works closely with UDC’s Title IX Coordinator and the Accessibility Resource Center (ARC) to facilitate any necessary accommodations under Title IX for our moms-to-be in order to ensure they are happy, healthy and able to maintain their law school studies throughout their pregnancy.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (“Title IX”), 20 U.S.C. §1681 et seq., is a Federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex – including pregnancy and parental status – in educational programs and activities.
All public and private schools, school districts, colleges and universities receiving any Federal funds (“schools”) must comply with Title IX.
Learn more about the rights of pregnant or parenting students (.pdf).
If you are planning to become pregnant or learn that you are pregnant during your law school studies, we recommend that you consider some of these issues:
Am I required to tell UDC Law officials about my pregnancy or parenting status?
We understand that whether and/or when to disclose that you are expecting a child is a very personal decision. Please note that you are not required to notify UDC Law officials of your pregnancy. Should you decide to notify UDC Law officials, there is no mandated timeframe for the disclosure.
While you are not required to notify UDC Law officials about your pregnancy or parenting status, notifying someone allows UDC Law to assist you in planning ahead to best balance pregnancy and school obligations. Early disclosure can be particularly helpful in informing academic planning that ensures you continue to make progress towards graduation through your pregnancy, delivery and beyond.
If I decide to notify UDC Law officials of my pregnancy or parenting status, whom should I notify?
Should you decide to notify UDC Law officials of your pregnancy or parenting status, you should notify the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, the Associate Dean of Students and UDC’s Title IX Coordinator and/or ARC.
How do I request accommodations?
Accommodation requests for pregnant or parenting students should be directed to UDC’s Title IX Coordinator. The Title IX Coordinator will discuss the pregnant or parenting student’s needs and may ask for documentation that supports the requested accommodations.
A student who has a chronic medical condition as a result of a pregnancy should request accommodations from ARC.
Please note that accommodations are not retroactive. In addition, students must renew their accommodations each semester.
Once reasonable accommodations have been determined, students should work with the Associate Dean of Students to ensure their accommodations are implemented.
What types of accommodations may I request?
Specific accommodations will vary from student to student. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:
- a larger desk
- elevator access
- allowing frequent trips to the restroom when necessary, because of pregnancy
- rescheduling tests or exams
- excusing absences due to pregnancy or related conditions
What resources are available to me as a pregnant and/or parenting student?
Some UDC resources include:
- UDC Law Lactation Room (see next section)
- Student Health Insurance Plan
- Law School Academic Regulations (leave of absence and other policies)
- Financial Aid
- DC Department of Health Care Finance – Pregnancy Resources
- 10 Empowering Mom Support Groups in the DC Area
- Educare DC
- Pregnancy Help DC – The Northwest Center
If you have any questions regarding your rights as a pregnant or parenting student, please contact UDC’s Title IX Coordinator.
In 2021, a student initiative led to the creation of a Lactation Room to accommodate lactating and pregnant law students. The space was created to provide a safe, healthy and clean environment for lactating students to privately pump and store breastmilk for their babies. Childbirth and breastfeeding while in law school present unique challenges. The space also helps students in supporting one another by sharing resources and speaking openly about their experiences.
The lactation room has a common area where students can study or leave messages of support for one another, lockers for the storage of supplies and emergency materials (extra t-shirts, extra breastmilk bags, cleaning wipes, etc.), a communal seating/study area and a refrigerator to freeze and store milk while on campus.
There are two private spaces within the room where a lactating person can comfortably express milk which are equipped with blackout curtains, comfortable chairs with built-in charging ports and desks so the students can continue to study while pumping if they choose.
Running water is within a few steps of the room as well if a mother needs to clean her supplies. The room is accessible only to mothers who request permission to access it. To request access to the Lactation Room, please reach out to the Associate Dean of Students Erica Smith (she, her, hers) at email@example.com and Michael Harris (he, him, his) at firstname.lastname@example.org.