In our work as class action lawyers, we stay informed about developments in this area of the law across the country. Recently, we learned that the United States Department of Justice is seeking to support a class action involving Americans with disabilities.
Specifically, the DOJ wants to intervene in a lawsuit brought in the United States District Court in San Francisco. The case is before Judge Edward M. Chen and was filed earlier this year by one of California’s watchdog agencies, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing. The action alleges that the entity that administers the law school admissions test is not doing what they should under the law to accommodate those exam takers with disabilities.
The Law School Admission Council or LSAC as it is known, is responsible for providing the admissions test to those interested in attending law school. In the litigation, it has been alleged that even when prospective test takers supply the necessary back-up on their history of test-taking, they are denied accommodation. A history of accommodation can be a requirement for test takers to demonstrate a current need, unless the disability is a recent development in the individual’s life. But under the law known as the Americans with Disabilities Act, test administrators, schools and employers, must provide accommodations if it is shown they are warranted under the law.
Among the allegations in this case are that the the LSAC not only denied accommodation to individuals whose history and disability warranted it, but also turned information over to law schools about which individuals taking the test have disabilities. The accommodations are intended to level the playing field, rather than allow admissions officers to view law school applicants differently in the admissions process.