The National Conference of Bar Examiners, which administers portions of the California Bar Exam, filed an emergency motion on February 10 in the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. The NCBE wants the court to suspend a federal judge’s ruling that the company must make the specific accommodations requested by blind law school graduate Stephanie Enyart. The NCBE says that “urgent” action must be taken so that Enyart cannot take the exam in a way they deem unacceptable and “not legal”.
The NCBE said that since Enyart is working as a law clerk for Disability Rights Advocates in Berkeley she would not “suffer a hardship” by missing the upcoming exam and waiting a few months for the court to review the case. Enyart, a graduate of Stanford and UCLA Law, has used software that magnifies text on her computer screen and a program which reads questions into her ears throughout her academic career with no issues.
The NCBE believes the security of their exam will be compromised by allowing the use of the programs. On January 29 U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer ruled that the company could provide Enyart with her own computer to address security risks. The NCBE insists that Enyart is only entitled to “reasonable accommodation” under the Americans With Disabilities Act and that she needs to take the pencil and paper test with questions displayed on a large screen, a human reader, and twice the usual three day testing period.