Is the LSAT Discriminatory?

As reported in the Wall Street Journal Law Blog, the American Bar Association was sued for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act because the LSAT discriminates against the blind and visually impaired.  bigstock_Close-up_of_John_Harvard_statu_17337434[1].JPG

The suit alleges that the ABA pressures law schools to use LSAT scores to evaluate applicants, threatening those schools that waive the LSAT with a loss of its ABA-approved status.  About one-fourth of the LSAT consists of "analytical rezoning" questions -- those horrific logic games -- that require diagramming to answer correctly.  According to the complaint, blind or visually impaired applicants are "unable to concieve of spatial relationships or diagram answers in the same manner as their sighted peers".  This puts the blind or visually impaired applicant at a marked disadvantage vis-a-vis sighted or unimpaired candidates.

Two thoughts (because you know I cannot keep quiet):

1)  The ABA law-school standards do not require the LSAT.  They require schools to take a "valid and reliable admission test."  An alternate test can be used and, I suspect, has been used by many law schools to evaluate qualified blind or visually impaired applicants.

2)  The plaintiff bases his claim on his having been rejected from three law schools in the Eastern District of Michigan.  You read that right -- three.  Most lawyers I know were rejected from at least three law schools. The complaint does not mention his college GPA, while mentioning his having completed high school in 3 years, so I suspect his GPA was not the greatest.  

I'm sympathetic to the plaintiff -- sighted applicants of similar ability have an unfair advantage over him.  But if his college grades are weak, he has to cast the net wider than three schools.

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