Keeping Larry Paradis’ Legacy Marching Forward

Portrait-style photo of Larry Paradis. He is smiling in a collared shirt and tie.
Larry Paradis, 1959-2016

“We are committed to using the law as an instrument for social change to make the world a fair place for people with disabilities. We are focused on changing institutions and the entire fabric of American society so that people with disabilities have a fair shot at being full participants.”

—Larry Paradis describing his vision for DRA,
July 2016

DRA’s Co-founder and Executive Director unexpectedly died on July 28, 2016. To learn more about Larry and his incredible work, read our statement on Larry’s passing.

How You Can Keep Larry’s Legacy Alive

With the blessing of Larry’s family, DRA established the Larry Paradis Legacy Fund to support the ongoing work of DRA in Larry’s honor. We extend thanks to you who have already contributed to keep Larry’s vision alive. If you would like to honor Larry and ensure DRA continues to fight for the civil rights of people with disabilities:

  • Make a contribution online;
  • Mail a check to DRA’s home office. Please make checks payable to Disability Rights Advocates and indicate the Larry Paradis Legacy Fund on the memo line;
  • Give a gift of stocks or assets; and/or
  • Make a bequest to DRA. Your legacy can support Larry’s vision. You can name DRA as a beneficiary in your will or trust, designating your gift of choice (cash, real estate, personal property, securities, etc.)

To discuss ways to give to the Larry Paradis Legacy Fund, please contact Kate Hamilton by phone: (510) 665-8644, or email:

What Larry’s Legacy Fund Supports

Funds donated to the Legacy Fund go directly to support three types of high risk, high impact cases which will be carried out by DRA in Larry’s honor:

  1. Protecting the underserved—cases that benefit people with disabilities whose needs are not often addressed
  2. Forging new legal ground—cases that address life areas where the law has yet to be established
  3. Risking it all—cases where fee recovery may not be possible but where the impact is critical

Any case funded by the Larry Paradis Legacy Fund must be a case that has the potential to set a new, important, replicable precedent—potentially benefitting millions of people with disabilities across the nation.

How Larry’s Legacy Fund Works

DRA attorneys, always through input by the disability community DRA serves, identify potential cases that they believe meet the Larry Paradis Legacy Fund criteria. Proposed cases (including cost estimates) are approved by DRA’s Directors of Litigation and then submitted to DRA’s Litigation Committee of the Board for final approval.

If and when a case, supported through the Larry Paradis Legacy Fund, recovers costs, those costs will be donated back to the fund. If and when a case, supported through the Larry Paradis Legacy Fund, recovers attorney’s fees, DRA’s Executive Committee will determine whether a portion of those fees should be donated back to the fund.

Through these recovered fees and donations from generous donors, the Larry Paradis legacy fund will exist in perpetuity and keep Larry’s bold vision for DRA marching forward.

Paul G. Hearne Award

In 2017, Larry Paradis was posthumously awarded the American Bar Association Commission on Disability Rights’s Paul G. Hearne Award for Disability Rights. 

Celebration of Larry’s Life

We thank everyone who joined us at the Celebration of Larry Paradis’ life, held on August 31, 2016 at Ed Robert Campus in Berkeley, CA. This short video tribute (with captions) was shown at the Celebration:

Larry Paradis Memorial (Close Captioned) from Nick Aquilino on Vimeo.