Leonard A. Sandler

Clinical Professor of Law

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. 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, transgender rights, housing, transportation, and other matters. Noteworthy recent projects include the 2016 Special Report -- Where Do I Fit In? A Snapshot of Transgender Discrimination in Iowa; Proposed Amendments to the Davenport Civil Rights Ordinance and development of Commission Administrative Rules; Domestic Violence and Housing Roundtable to identify and fill gaps in laws, systems and supports for victims and survivors, and publish a handbook to help stakeholders in Waterloo and Black Hawk County navigate systems; amendments to Iowa's Human Trafficking Act; and the Iowa Guide to Changing Legal Identity Documents: A Handbook and Roadmap for Transgender Individuals Interested in Changing Their Legal Name and Gender on Government and Personal Records and Accounts. 

ADA accessibility and universal design in housing have been the centerpiece of many project activities. Project teams completed the Washington Court Housing Survey: A Report on Accessibility and Universal Design in Affordable Housing, which was published in the Journal of Affordable Housing and Community Development. They also 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.

Sandler and clinic students also represent and provide transactional services for individuals on estate planning, guardianship, disability, and other legal issues.

Len Sandler has received many awards for his work on disability and civil rights and has served on several task forces, commissions and special government projects. He lectures extensively and has written or co-authored articles, legislation, codes and ordinances, a US Supreme Court brief, best practice materials and policies.

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Practice and Teaching: 

  • Estate Planning
  • Guardianship 
  • Disability
  • Civil Rights


  • US Civil Rights Commission’s Iowa Advisory Committee
  • Global Universal Design Committee’s Commercial Building Consensus Committee
Leonard Sandler (3)
BS, Northeastern University, 1978
JD, University of Maryland, 1981