Best Practices for the LSAC

February 11th, 2015 / By

Back in 2012, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing sued LSAC, claiming that the organization imposed unreasonable requirements on test-takers seeking disability accommodations. The Department of Justice intervened, siding with the plaintiffs. In May 2014, the parties agreed to a consent decree. LSAC agreed to (a) end the practice of flagging scores from individuals who received extended time as an accommodation; (b) pay $7.73 million in civil penalties and compensation to affected individuals; (c) streamline its evaluation of accommodation requests; and (d) implement additional best practices recommended by a panel of experts. For a quick summary of the decree, see this press release.

The expert panel issued their report last month. Four of the panel members have also provided an easy-to-digest (but unofficial) executive summary of the report. The recommendations offer measured, thoughtful approaches that will allow all potential law students to request accommodations in a fair manner. Too often as a society, we purport to accommodate people with differences, but then subject them to cumbersome, demeaning processes to prove their worth. The best practices endorsed by the consent-decree panel will put an end to that for LSAT takers.

The parties to the original lawsuit have until February 26 to notify the other parties if they plan to challenge any portion of the expert report. So far, no one has issued such a notice. Let’s hope that continues and that LSAC swiftly implements these best practices. This is both an effective way to end a lawsuit and a fair way to treat potential colleagues in the legal profession.

If you would like to offer comments to LSAC, including encouragement for them to accept the recommendations and put this lawsuit behind them, feel free to email LSAC’s Excecutive Director Daniel Bernstine at

I’m proud to say that my colleague, Ruth Colker, was a member of this expert panel. She was chosen by the other four panelists (two apiece from each side of the litigation) from a list of three top-notch experts drawn up by the Department of Justice. In her day job, Ruth serves as a Distinguished University Professor of The Ohio State University and Heck Faust Memorial Chair in Constitutional Law at our College of Law.

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