July 24, 2014

Jessica Bigby


Soon-to-be law Student Prepared by Practical Legal Experience

Jessica Bigby’s pursuit of a career in law has been an arduous one. Beginning in first grade, she struggled with tests. Because Jessica earned good grades, her teachers attributed her low test scores to anxiety. It wasn’t until age 30, after graduating from college and earning an MBA from The George Washington University, that she was officially diagnosed with a learning disability.

Due to the absence of a history of academic accommodations and her good grades, the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) denied Jessica’s request for extra time on the LSAT (the law school entrance exam). She took the test and scored low. All of the schools she applied to rejected her.

Seeking a level playing field—not an advantage—Jessica sued LSAC. Two days before the test, she settled and took the test with most of the accommodations she had requested. Jessica credits her strength to keep fighting for accommodations and pursing a legal career to one of her mentors, who is a judge. “She believed in me when nobody else did and that kept me going.”

Jessica, who also has cerebral palsy, doesn’t focus on her disabilities. That is not to say that her disabilities do not shape who she is and how she sees the world. In fact, Jessica believes that her disabilities will make her a better law student and ultimately lawyer. Why? Because she is able to come up with alternative ways of approaching issues. 

In addition to her new interest in disability rights law as a result of her law suit, Jessica’s interest in government procurement law is the main impetus for her going to law school. For the past eight years, Jessica has worked for the Department of Defense. Now she is ready to pursue her passion for the law. Whatever field Jessica ultimately chooses, she “wants to be a strong advocate and a lawyer that others admire and respect for my abilities."