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U.S. Government Finds LSAT Is Discriminatory: DOJ Files Motion
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In a surprise move on Wednesday, lawyers for the U.S. Justice Department filed a motion in federal court in San Francisco in support of a group of prospective lawyers who are accusing those running the LSAT of discriminating against test takers with disabilities.

It is extremely rare for the DOJ to intervene in a class action matter, but the LSAT seems to have touched some nerves deeply enough to demand such an action.

The motion made by the DOJ says that the Law School Admission Council, the organizers of LSAT, discriminates against people with disabilities in two ways: by informing law schools of which examinees received disability-related accommodations, and by having vague standards regarding documentation required to receive disability-related accommodations.

  
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The Justice Department said that the practice of flagging law schools about examinees who received disability-related accommodations, indicates signaling admissions officers that such examinees “may not deserve the scores they received.”

An earlier court brief by the Law School Admission Council filed on July 11, the LSAC had called the argument a novel one and submitted, the “DOJ made no such claim when it entered into a settlement agreement with LSAC in 2002 after conducting a lengthy investigation of LSAC’s accommodation policies and practices.”

But, the times have changed quite a lot since 2002.

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The DOJ intervention in the matter came after the Law School Admission Council denied the accusations of the plaintiffs and filed a motion for dismissing the lawsuit. That motion has now been relegated to a pending status.

Following up on the DOJ’s motion in court against the LSAT organizers, on Thursday, Thomas Perez, the U.S. attorney general for civil rights, said that the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 “demands that each individual with a disability have the opportunity to fairly demonstrate their abilities so they can pursue their dreams.”



The class action was initially brought in March by California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing.

The case is Department of Fair Employment and Housing v. Law School Admission Council Inc, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, No. 3:12-cv-1830.



 

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