Leonard A. Sandler

Clinical Professor of Law

 Len Sandler is a Clinical Professor of Law who joined the College of Law faculty in 1990. 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. As 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.

Len represents and advocates on behalf of individuals and groups who are marginalized and historically disempowered. He also advises lawmakers, local governments, businesses, and community organizations on a host of legal and policy matters. He supervises the Estate Planning and Law and Policy in Action Clinics, which he created after spending nearly a decade running the AIDS Representation Project, which was one of the first law school clinics in the country to serve people with HIV, their families, and allies. Sandler developed a cutting-edge model that furnished multidisciplinary, holistic representation and advocacy by having the client regularly meet with teams of faculty, students, and staff from law, virology, family practice, internal medicine, and social work.

Professor Sandler and the law students he supervises focus on disability, civil rights, healthcare, transgender rights, housing, transportation, and other matters. Universal design, ADA accessibility, and the built environment are central to many of his clinic projects. Len 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 research, education, advocacy and litigation.

Len lectures extensively and to national audiences on topics ranging from assistance animals to universal design in housing. He 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 has written or co-authored articles, legislation, codes, ordinances, amicus briefs to the U.S. and Iowa Supreme Courts, and policies guides and manuals.

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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