Complainants v. State Bar of California

Scroll to case documents Date Filed: 05/18/2023 Status:

In May 2023, DRA and DREDF filed a group complaint with the United States Department of Justice on behalf of four law school graduates with disabilities against the State Bar of California for consistently violating the Americans with Disabilities Act by failing to provide accommodations on the California bar exam. Read the complaint.

The State Bar has created a two-tier system where disabled test takers must spend exceptional resources just to apply for testing accommodations. Once candidates apply, the State Bar routinely denies common accommodations such as extended time, a private room, speech recognition software, or permission to stand and stretch.

Often candidates have a long-documented history of receiving the requested accommodations in law school, on the LSAT, and on other exams. The State Bar often requests further expensive documentation and denies accommodations shortly before the exam, leaving test takers with little or no time to secure documentation and appeal. 

Among other things, the complaint requests the S­tate Bar diversify the consultants who review testing accommodation requests, defer to and grant accommodations previously granted on standardized tests and in law school, and give more weight to the assessments of treating and examining professionals and less to the bar’s consultants, when reviewing the test taker’s accommodation request.

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