November 20, 2012

California LSAT Equity Legislation

California LSAT Equity Bill Signed by Governor Brown

The American Bar Association (ABA) recognizes the pressing need for equity in the administration and scoring of the Law Schools Admissions Test (LSAT) for test takers with disabilities.  In 2012, the ABA, led by its Commission on Disability Rights (ABA-CDR), passed Resolution 111, urging entities that administer law school admissions tests to provide accommodations that best ensure that the skills of the test-takers are measured, and not their disabilities.

It further urges that the process for determining whether to grant an accommodation be made public; a decision on approving an accommodation be conveyed to the applicant within a reasonable amount of time; and that there be a fair appeals process for a denied accommodation. The resolution also urges testing entities to not flag scores that have received a disability-based accommodation.

Now, California is the first state in the nation to create legislation guaranteeing the rights of test takers with disabilities through Assembly Bill 2122 (Lara).  In collaboration with the ABA-CDR, Assembly Member Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) was able to present the need for this legislation with testimony from ABA-CDR Commissioner Paula Pearlman, high stakes testing expert JoAnne Simon, and Nora Devine, the Vice President of the National Association of Law Students with Disabilities (NALSWD).