Episode 43: Applying for LSAT Disability Accommodations

Mika talks about applying for LSAT accommodations for persons with disabilities, and what the LSAC decided in her case. She discusses the process of submitting more than 100 pages of documentation, and her request to take four LSAT sections, additional time to answer the sections, the use of noise-cancelling headphones, and an isolated testing environment.

We answer questions from Benny who is pursuing his MBA and wants to attend law school. He asks whether a graduate degree will help his chances of admission to a law school such as Georgetown. He also asks if law schools will consider his graduate GPA more or less than the undergraduate GPA.

We clarify an answer Ann Levine recently gave about how the LSAC computes your GPA when you retake a college course and receive a higher grade. Ann refers to the LSAC’s policies related to transcript summarization webpage for further clarification.

We also tackle Logical Reasoning question 9 (Section 2) from the June 2007 LSAT.

Take a listen and let us know what you think.

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5 Comments


  1. Wait a minute – if Mika submitted her package of accommodations materials with enough time to allow for LSAC to respond within 14 days AND enough time for her to appeal (like it says to do on their website) – she wouldn’t have had the issue of not being able to appeal. It sounds like she didn’t plan correctly and then strong-armed LSAC into bending the rules for her through threatening letters from law firms. Pretty disappointed in her approach to this.

    Reply

    1. Thanks for sharing. Can you link to where that policy is stated on LSAC.org? I didn’t see it. Thanks!

      Reply

      1. Sure. LSAC has information on its accommodations website warning people to submit their documents well before the deadline for each testing administration. As someone who applied for accommodations for the October 2015 test, I saw this language in multiple places.

        One place this is mentioned is on the ‘LSAC Policy on Accommodations’ form, which you can find by going their main accommodations page: http://www.lsac.org/jd/lsat/accommodated-testing/

        Go to the small blue box to the right titled “Accommodations Request Packet” and click on “Information/Instructions” – it is the third document down.

        “Barring unforeseen circumstances, LSAC will respond to each request for testing accommodations within 14 business days of its receipt. Therefore, if a request is received within two weeks of the deadline, you may not have the opportunity to supplement your file if, after review of your request, we determine that additional information is needed to make a decision. Additionally, you may not be able to request reconsideration of our decision. LSAC encourages you to register and submit all required documentation well in advance of registration deadlines so that you can receive timely notification of our decision. This will facilitate your planning and preparation for the test.”

        This was a great podcast, and hearing this story stirred up a lot of emotions for me, some of them not so good. I think a lot of people have negative connotations about those who seek accommodations, in part because of stories of people doing what Mika did. She demands (through threats of lawsuits) to hold an organization up to procedures she argues are the standard, yet she is unwilling to hold herself to standard procedures that are clearly displayed on the documents she used to apply.

        Reply


  2. It troubles me there isn’t a formal appeals process. I am surprised it took so long for the practice of flagging scores to end. While not everyone likes the extended time accommodation, there are many other accommodations that people with disabilities may seek for a standardized test. This can range from being allowed to have snacks/water/medication on your desk (ie.: diabetics, epileptics, etc. may require this for safety); earplugs, breaks between sections, having a reader or scribe, left-handed desks, wheelchair accessible rooms, physical prompts (those with a hearing impairment often ask for this), mangifiers, alternate formats (ie.: braille, larger font) and many other things. Before the DOJ settlement for the California lawsuit, LSAC flagged all score reports of students who took the test with any accommodations. This was banned because it is a blatant violation of the ADA, because it opens up the possibility for discrimination (disabilities, particularly ADHD and autism spectrum, among others, are highly stigmatized; if someone has that asterik, it can influence a biased admissions counselor to deny admission)

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