September 12, 2012
It's About Time: DOJ seeks to intervene in class action lawsuit over LSAC's administation of LSAT tests to protect the rights of persons with disabilities under the ADA
Quoting from the DOJ's Sept. 6, 2012 press release:
The Justice Department announced today that it seeks to intervene in a class action lawsuit against the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) in federal court in San Francisco to remedy violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The lawsuit, The Department of Fair Employment and Housing v. LSAC, Inc., et al., charges LSAC with widespread and systemic deficiencies in the way it processes requests by people with disabilities for testing accommodations for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). As a result, the lawsuit alleges, LSAC fails to provide accommodations where needed to best ensure that those test takers can demonstrate their aptitude and achievement level rather than their disability.
The department’s proposed complaint identifies additional victims of LSAC’s discriminatory policies and details LSAC’s routine denial of accommodation requests, even in cases where applicants have submitted thorough supporting documentation from qualified professionals and demonstrated a history of testing accommodations.
The department further alleges that LSAC discriminates against prospective law students with disabilities by unnecessarily “flagging” test scores obtained with certain testing accommodations in a way that identifies the test taker as a person with a disability and discloses otherwise confidential disability-related information to law schools during the admissions process. LSAC’s practice of singling out persons with disabilities by flagging their scores – essentially announcing to law schools that examinees who exercise their civil right to the testing accommodation of extended time may not deserve the scores they received – is discrimination prohibited by the ADA. The department’s proposed complaint seeks declaratory and injunctive relief, compensatory damages and a civil penalty against LSAC.
For more, including LSAC's reaction, see Martha Neil's DOJ Intervenes In LSAT Disability Bias Class Action, Says ‘Flagging’ of Tests Violates ADA on ABAJ News. [JH]