After stints as a U.S. Navy submariner and a newspaper reporter, he received his law degree from the University of Maryland School Of Law. A Reginald Heber Smith Community Lawyer Fellow, he represented migrant farm workers, abused and neglected children, persons with disabilities, and low-income families before turning to clinical teaching. He has practiced law and taught at law schools in Maryland, Vermont and Iowa.
The award-winning Law and Policy In Action community-based projects he designs and supervises focus on disability, civil rights, healthcare, housing, transportation, and other matters. Sandler and clinic students also represent and provide transactional services for individuals on estate planning, guardianship, disability, and other legal issues. His Law and Policy in Action clinic has developed award-winning, community-based, systems reform and legislative initiatives.
Noteworthy examples include the Washington Court Housing Survey: A Report on Accessibility and Universal Design in Affordable Housing, published in the Journal of Affordable Housing and Community Development, and The Housing Project to change local and statewide funding priorities and use HUD funds for home modifications. In November 2012, the project released “Privacy & Confidentiality of Medical Information and Records, a Guide and Workshop Toolkit to Help You Understand and Decide If, When and How To Disclose Protected and Confidential Health, Mental Health and Substance Abuse Information.” The materials were prepared for the Johnson County System of Care Group and will be the basis for statewide workshops. Also in 2012, another project team released “Using or Converting Mobile Home Parks to Increase Affordable Housing Options: A Preliminary Study Report for Johnson County Livable Community.
Professor Sandler and his students have conducted facility and programmatic accessibility and compliance audits of shopping malls, houses of worship, colleges, sports arenas, parks, banks, businesses, schools, museums, and historic properties – for education, advocacy and litigation. Len Sandler has received many awards for his work on civil rights; he lectures extensively and has written or co-authored articles, legislation, codes and ordinances, a US Supreme Court brief, best practice materials and policies.
Len Sandler is a Clinical Professor of Law who joined the College of Law faculty in 1990. Professor Sandler advocates for and represents individuals and organizations and advises lawmakers, local governments, companies and community organizations.
He is a member of the US Civil Rights Commission’s Iowa Advisory Committee and Global Universal Design Committee’s Commercial Building Consensus Committee. He also has advised or served on the Rebuild Iowa Commission, the Governor’s Task Force on Dependent Adults with Mental Retardation, the Iowa Housing Policy Roundtable and many other state and local bodies.
BS, Northeastern University, 1978
JD, University of Maryland, 1981