No Flags on Handicapped Students’ Law Exams

In a victory for handicapped students, the non-profit group that administers law school admission tests cannot flag exam results in which the test-taker received accommodation for their handicap, a California appeals court ruled Monday.

The Third District Court of Appeal in Sacramento reinstated the injunction imposed against the Law School Admission Council, Inc., which administers the LSAT, or Law School Admissions Test.

In 2012, the state enacted a law barring the LSAT scores from being flagged to tell a law school which applicants received accommodations while taking the LSAT.  Violations carry a $750 fine.  Accommodations are generally made for individuals with a disability that impairs sensory, manual or speaking skills.

The LSAC attacked the law, filing a lawsuit, claiming the law violates LSAC’s free speech rights.  In addition, it argued that schools want complete and accurate information and schools will not know who took the exam under non-standard conditions without the flag.

The group also argued it was a violation of equal protection by targeting LSAC, but not other companies that give exams.

A host of disability rights and education groups joined the suit in support of California’s law.

The appeal panel said the state law does not violate LSAC’s right to equal protection because it is not similarly situated to other testing groups.  Nor did LSAC satisfy the court that it was likely to win a free speech claim at trial.

The court lifted its temporary stay of the injunction.  That allows the law to be enforced and prevents LSAC to flag test results of disabled students.

Case: LSAC v. California, No. C073187

Photo source: PrepMaster


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