Applying for Testing Accommodations

Bar examiners are notoriously strict when it comes to awarding testing accommodations. They appear to primarily look at whether an applicant was awarded accommodations on other standardized tests, including the SAT, LSAT, and MPRE.

Bar examiners require a higher standard of proof than university and law school disability offices. There is no guarantee that the medical documentation you provided to your educational institutions will lead to the same accommodations on the bar as you received during school.

It is important to have comprehensive and timely evaluations from medical professionals if you are seeking testing accommodations. As law students, you should visit your school’s disability services coordinator in your second year to come up with a plan for making sure you have all of the documentation you will need when you apply to sit for he bar exam. Also make sure to thoroughly review the application requirements. They should be posted on your state bar examiner’s website.

If you plan to apply for accommodations on the bar exam, apply for accommodations during law school exams and on the MPRE, even if you don’t think you will need them. The bar examiners will look at your history of accommodation when making their determination. Failure to apply for accommodations in other settings will be seen as a reason that you do not need them on the bar exam.

Finally, don’t get discouraged if you are denied accommodations, or are not granted your full request. ALWAYS APPEAL. Appeals are often granted, in whole or in part. See if there is someone at your law school (check with the disability services office, bar support faculty, or other faculty) who can help you draft your appeal. They often have lots of experience.