August 28, 2018

Bar Information for Applicants with Disabilities

student in chair at deskWith this Directory, the Commission has created a tremendously needed public service. At a time when bar applicants with disabilities need the most clarity and time, the extensive and often complicated procedures for gaining access to state bar exams can be extremely confusing and time consuming. This Directory will aid them in finding the necessary information more quickly and hopefully, lead to their taking the bar exam in a truly accessible manner.

- Jo Anne Simon, Esq., higher education disability law practitioner and expert, New York, NY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In an effort to assist bar applicants with disabilities, the Commission's directory of bar information for applicants with disabilities (BIAD) provides information from state, territorial, and federal jurisdictions that grant licenses to practice law.

This directory contains information regarding:

  1. The process for seeking bar examination accommodations for each state, including links to forms, deadlines, and additional information about the bar application process, and sample cases; and
  2. Information about each state’s character and fitness inquiry, including links to forms, rules, and sample cases.  

For the state bars, click on the state listed on the map where you will be taking the bar, or on its abbreviation listed below the map. Territories are in the listing below the map.

Relevant information for applying to a federal bar is listed at the bottom of this page.
 

For general information about the application of the Americans with Disabilities Act to testing and licensing agencies, click here.

Please note that this directory is for informational purposes only and is a reference point. To confirm final rules, procedures, or regulations, please contact the appropriate entity.

Applicable Federal Laws

In addition to information on particular state laws, BIAD also provides information on federal laws relating to these issues:

ABA Policy

Bar Accommodations Timeline

The National Association of Law Students with Disabilities has created a guide that details the timing of the steps in the accommodations process.

National Conference of Bar Examiners

The NCBE administers the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam, and has a separate set of accommodation instructions and requirements.

Legal Education Section Guide

The ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar offers a FREE comprehensive guide that sets out the rules and practices of all U.S. jurisdictions for bar admission. Includes a chart of mental health questions.

LSAC Bar Accommodations Overview

Read a general overiew outlining the accomodations process for the Bar Exam.

US Department of Justice and the Louisiana Supreme Court

In March 2011, the United States Department of Justice began an investigation of Louisiana’s attorney licensure system and its compliance with Title II of the ADA.  Below is a copy of the Department’s findings of this investigation, as well as the settlement agreement between the Department and the Louisiana Supreme Court

AL | AK | AZ | AR | CA | CO | CT | DE | DC | FL | GA | HI | ID | IL | IN | IA | KS | KY | LA | ME | MD | MA | MI | MN | MS | MO | MT | NE | NV | NH | NJ | NM | NY | NC | ND | OH | OK | OR | PARI | SC | SD | TN | TX | UT | VT | VA | WA | WV | WI | WY

Puerto Rico | Guam | Northern Mariana Islands

Only a handful of federal courts have applicable information, as most of these jurisdictions do not require an entrance exam or ask about character and fitness as it relates to a disability.

  • Eastern District of Arkansas
    • Asks applicants: "Are you in sound physical and mental condition?"
  • Western District of Arkansas
    • Asks applicants: "Are you in sound physical and mental condition?"
  • Southern District of Florida
    • Requests for accommodations should be made before scheduling the exam or immediately after scheduling the exam. 
      Accommodations are provided on a case-by-case basis, in conjunction with the applicant's request, and must be requested in writing in advance of their scheduled exam date. If unable to accommodate a specific request, they will work with the applicant to see if there is an alternative that is suitable for them. 
      Applicant must provide a copy of the paperwork submitted to the Florida Bar to demonstrate disability.