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Monday, June 16, 2014
Testing Accommodations for Law School Candidates
Last month, the Law School Admission Council (LSAC), the organization responsible for administering the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), settled a disability claim lawsuit to the tune of $7.73 million.
A class action suit was filed in 2012 on behalf of LSAT test takers, alleging that the LSAC routinely denied student requests for testing accommodations. Many students with chronicled medical histories of physical and other learning disabilities were among the plaintiffs. The suit argued that even candidates who had applied for and received testing accommodations in the past were turned down by the LSAC.
The LSAC's failure to offer things like extra time to students in the administration of the LSAT was deemed a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which prevents discrimination against persons with disabilities.
Another key provision of the settlement is the agreement by the LSAC that they will no longer "flag" scores of test-takers who do receive accommodations. Doing so was deemed a sort of asterisk on a student's LSAT score, alerting the law school that the applicant had a disability.
With more than 6,000 plaintiffs in the lawsuit, the multimillion dollar settlement will ultimately be spread thin. For their part, the LSAC is not offering any admission of guilt-just stating that settlement is the best way to put this all behind them.
The settlement is also good news for future test takers with a variety of disabilities. Though some argue that the LSAT is not an accurate indicator of law school success, it is still given a tremendous amount of weight in the admissions process. A few points can make a huge difference.
Which means that extra minutes for a student that needs it, could make all the difference in the world.
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