Thoughts on Extended Time for Students with Disabilities

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AlexanderSupertramp
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Re: Thoughts on Extended Time for Students with Disabilities

Postby AlexanderSupertramp » Sat Dec 17, 2011 7:11 pm

IAFG wrote:
AreJay711 wrote:Rumor at my school is that a 1L broke her non-dominant arm and got 20 hours to take an exam.... if I can verify, I'm going to go play in traffic.

sounds like an exaggeration. someone here broke their dominant arm (not that it matters, I need both hands equally to type at any reasonable pace), got a little extra time and a typist.

Yeah. One of my good friends broke his hand when he was in law school. He had to dictate his answer to someone who typed it.

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Arbiter213
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Re: Thoughts on Extended Time for Students with Disabilities

Postby Arbiter213 » Sat Dec 17, 2011 8:10 pm

Recognizing that these are real conditions (in fact both my mom and sister have diagnosed ADD among other things), I don't see how it's equitable to anyone involved. As has been pointed out, you don't get extra time in real life. If your meds + a quiet place to work (things you will have in the real world) aren't enough to let you perform to your potential, that's not your potential. It's like saying someone who isn't as naturally strong should be given steroids and an extra half inning to make up for it. There's a strict curve. In the real world environment, without accommodations, these students will not perform as well, relative to their peers. Why should they outperform them on the strict curve? It puts them in a position they're not as qualified to be in, it is unjust to the other people, and it is unfair to employers. I agree with separate testing accommodations such as quiet rooms, but extra time and computers when everyone else is handwriting (I've seen that one, and I definitely see situations when that's fair, but really, everyone should be given a computer then) just don't make sense from an equity perspective.

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MrPapagiorgio
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Re: Thoughts on Extended Time for Students with Disabilities

Postby MrPapagiorgio » Sat Dec 17, 2011 8:18 pm

Arbiter213 wrote:Recognizing that these are real conditions (in fact both my mom and sister have diagnosed ADD among other things), I don't see how it's equitable to anyone involved. As has been pointed out, you don't get extra time in real life. If your meds + a quiet place to work (things you will have in the real world) aren't enough to let you perform to your potential, that's not your potential. It's like saying someone who isn't as naturally strong should be given steroids and an extra half inning to make up for it. There's a strict curve. In the real world environment, without accommodations, these students will not perform as well, relative to their peers. Why should they outperform them on the strict curve? It puts them in a position they're not as qualified to be in, it is unjust to the other people, and it is unfair to employers. I agree with separate testing accommodations such as quiet rooms, but extra time and computers when everyone else is handwriting (I've seen that one, and I definitely see situations when that's fair, but really, everyone should be given a computer then) just don't make sense from an equity perspective.

I agree with the real world (not the law school bubble) comparison. I've only seen the computer advantage when everyone else was handwriting in high school; handwriting in law school seems to be the exception rather than the norm. But I definitely get the sense from other 1Ls that they're not too happy about the extra time--the time crunch is at least half the battle.

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crEEp
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Re: Thoughts on Extended Time for Students with Disabilities

Postby crEEp » Sat Dec 17, 2011 8:27 pm

Arbiter213 wrote:Recognizing that these are real conditions (in fact both my mom and sister have diagnosed ADD among other things), I don't see how it's equitable to anyone involved. As has been pointed out, you don't get extra time in real life. If your meds + a quiet place to work (things you will have in the real world) aren't enough to let you perform to your potential, that's not your potential. It's like saying someone who isn't as naturally strong should be given steroids and an extra half inning to make up for it. There's a strict curve. In the real world environment, without accommodations, these students will not perform as well, relative to their peers. Why should they outperform them on the strict curve? It puts them in a position they're not as qualified to be in, it is unjust to the other people, and it is unfair to employers. I agree with separate testing accommodations such as quiet rooms, but extra time and computers when everyone else is handwriting (I've seen that one, and I definitely see situations when that's fair, but really, everyone should be given a computer then) just don't make sense from an equity perspective.


So you're comparing law school exams to the real world? Please.

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ben4847
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Re: Thoughts on Extended Time for Students with Disabilities

Postby ben4847 » Sat Dec 17, 2011 8:37 pm

crEEp wrote:
MrPapagiorgio wrote:Just wondering what TLSers think about students who get extended time for supposed disabilities such as ADD. I know quite a few students in my section who have it but don't ask for the test taking accommodations and two in my section who are. Personally I think that if you've managed to get this far (I'm at a T30), it shouldn't be an issue. But maybe I'm being ignorant. TLS thoughts?


I used to feel the exact same way as you; in fact, I resented them. I thought it was bullshit akin to Scientology and chiropractics. Then, I got chewed the fuck out by someone who, uh, to put it mildly, actually knew what they were talking about. Disabilities like ADHD are real; someone's innate skill can often mask the disorder in their earlier years, which means they're never diagnosed.

As soon as their innate skill is unable to compensate, the disorder takes over, leaving the person feeling completely clueless as to what's occurring. Depression, anxiety, etc. can take over, leaving the person feeling absolutely miserable and oblivious as to what's occurring. It's not about them taking the "easy way out" -- it's about treatment of an underlying condition to prevent it from spiraling out of control into something like depression and anxiety--both of which are entirely real diseases.

Of course, MANY people abuse the compensation they're offered. Some will take it a step further and try to get any doctor to write them a prescription for adderall or whatever. These practices are deplorable, but my personal belief is that type 1 errors (treating people who don't have the disease) are better than type 2 errors (withholding treatment from the people who do). The liars/cheaters can't play that game forever.


This is very nice, but hardly on point. The question presented was about extra time- not about whether the problem is real, how it should be treated medically, or whether we are ignorant about it.

I don't think there should be extra time. I don't think it is fair to the other students. We're on a curve. And I will not be intimidated by your rants.

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ben4847
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Re: Thoughts on Extended Time for Students with Disabilities

Postby ben4847 » Sat Dec 17, 2011 8:40 pm

crEEp wrote:
So you're comparing law school exams to the real world? Please.


That isn't really the point. Employers want people who do well on law school exams. That's just how it is. Employers and students are entitled to honest grades.

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IAFG
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Re: Thoughts on Extended Time for Students with Disabilities

Postby IAFG » Sat Dec 17, 2011 8:47 pm

crEEp wrote:
Arbiter213 wrote:Recognizing that these are real conditions (in fact both my mom and sister have diagnosed ADD among other things), I don't see how it's equitable to anyone involved. As has been pointed out, you don't get extra time in real life. If your meds + a quiet place to work (things you will have in the real world) aren't enough to let you perform to your potential, that's not your potential. It's like saying someone who isn't as naturally strong should be given steroids and an extra half inning to make up for it. There's a strict curve. In the real world environment, without accommodations, these students will not perform as well, relative to their peers. Why should they outperform them on the strict curve? It puts them in a position they're not as qualified to be in, it is unjust to the other people, and it is unfair to employers. I agree with separate testing accommodations such as quiet rooms, but extra time and computers when everyone else is handwriting (I've seen that one, and I definitely see situations when that's fair, but really, everyone should be given a computer then) just don't make sense from an equity perspective.


So you're comparing law school exams to the real world? Please.

This. The "a juge won't give you time and a half herpderp" argument is dumb. 3 hour issue spotters are nothing like real life. The only reason anyone cares is because they're worried it's giving some 1Ls an advantage over others, which, if true, would lead to an advantage for jobs. I know some schools don't count the person with an accommodation as part of the curve (so if the Prof is giving out X% of As and the accommodated student gets an A, there are still as many As for the rest of the section). But, like I said before, I am not an administrator and I don't know what they know. I have to imagine they check to see if, among accommodated students, a curve still forms or if they really do skew better, and adjust their policy accordingly.

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IAFG
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Re: Thoughts on Extended Time for Students with Disabilities

Postby IAFG » Sat Dec 17, 2011 8:53 pm

ben4847 wrote:
crEEp wrote:
So you're comparing law school exams to the real world? Please.


That isn't really the point. Employers want people who do well on law school exams. That's just how it is. Employers and students are entitled to honest grades.

Your definition isn't the end-all be-all definition of "honest."

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crEEp
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Re: Thoughts on Extended Time for Students with Disabilities

Postby crEEp » Sat Dec 17, 2011 8:57 pm

IAFG wrote:This. The "a juge won't give you time and a half herpderp" argument is dumb. 3 hour issue spotters are nothing like real life. The only reason anyone cares is because they're worried it's giving some 1Ls an advantage over others, which, if true, would lead to an advantage for jobs. I know some schools don't count the person with an accommodation as part of the curve (so if the Prof is giving out X% of As and the accommodated student gets an A, there are still as many As for the rest of the section). But, like I said before, I am not an administrator and I don't know what they know. I have to imagine they check to see if, among accommodated students, a curve still forms or if they really do skew better, and adjust their policy accordingly.


People on here really seem to underestimate the amount of due diligence the administration uses in evaluating such requests for accommodations. It's not as easy as getting a doctor to make the diagnosis... that's one thing, and sure, that's probably enough for medication. For testing accommodations, they want intelligence tests, psychological evaluations, treatment history, grades going back to elementary school, parental statements, etc. If you're given the opportunity for extra time, then you have a bona fide entitlement to it.

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ben4847
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Re: Thoughts on Extended Time for Students with Disabilities

Postby ben4847 » Sat Dec 17, 2011 9:02 pm

I think I'd be ok with it, if it wasn't part of the curve, and their transcript included a reference to it. (Am I making things up, or is that how LSAC does the LSAT?)


IAFG wrote:Your definition isn't the end-all be-all definition of "honest."


I don't have a liberal arts degree. I don't believe in that sort of claptrap. Honest is honest.

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IAFG
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Re: Thoughts on Extended Time for Students with Disabilities

Postby IAFG » Sat Dec 17, 2011 9:06 pm

ben4847 wrote:
IAFG wrote:Your definition isn't the end-all be-all definition of "honest."


I don't have a liberal arts degree. I don't believe in that sort of claptrap. Honest is honest.

lol you're gonna love law.

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ben4847
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Re: Thoughts on Extended Time for Students with Disabilities

Postby ben4847 » Sat Dec 17, 2011 9:07 pm

IAFG wrote:
ben4847 wrote:
IAFG wrote:Your definition isn't the end-all be-all definition of "honest."


I don't have a liberal arts degree. I don't believe in that sort of claptrap. Honest is honest.

lol you're gonna love law.


I do. Halfway done. As of this coming Monday!

WSJ_Law
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Re: Thoughts on Extended Time for Students with Disabilities

Postby WSJ_Law » Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:53 am

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Last edited by WSJ_Law on Thu May 10, 2012 1:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

09042014
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Re: Thoughts on Extended Time for Students with Disabilities

Postby 09042014 » Sun Dec 18, 2011 9:43 pm

I think the real question should be why is speed such an important factor in law exams? What good is that? And before someone calls me mad as fuck, I think I benefited from it. Plenty of people who had a much better grasp on the material did worse than me because they can't spit it out fast enough.

I think it's because 1) law isn't really hard and 2) they need to make a curve out of people who are roughly about as smart as each other while being tested on easy material.

I took electrical engineer tests dozens of times during undergrad. They got a good distribution without having to resort to turning it into a race.

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thesealocust
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Re: Thoughts on Extended Time for Students with Disabilities

Postby thesealocust » Sun Dec 18, 2011 9:58 pm

Most exams aren't all THAT racey, and plenty of profs give lengthy take home exams. I think the issue is less that "speed is important" and more that "because most law exams are open book, without an element of time pressure there would be a point at which nearly everyone could reach the same performance."

I took skads of math and chem exams in undergrad, and if they were completely open note / open book time would have been a much bigger factors than with them either closed book or mostly closed book (one sheet of notes or being given a formula sheet). And time was definitely still a factor as it stood, I'm sure I could've pulled a few more standard deviations on my orgo exams with more time to puzzle over the reactions I eventually gave up on and wrote 'a wizard did it' next to.

(read: longest ever 'tag' post in history, because this thread is a comedy gold mine)

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Re: Thoughts on Extended Time for Students with Disabilities

Postby 09042014 » Sun Dec 18, 2011 10:04 pm

thesealocust wrote:Most exams aren't all THAT racey, and plenty of profs give lengthy take home exams. I think the issue is less that "speed is important" and more that "because most law exams are open book, without an element of time pressure there would be a point at which nearly everyone could reach the same performance."

I took skads of math and chem exams in undergrad, and if they were completely open note / open book time would have been a much bigger factors than with them either closed book or mostly closed book (one sheet of notes or being given a formula sheet). And time was definitely still a factor as it stood, I'm sure I could've pulled a few more standard deviations on my orgo exams with more time to puzzle over the reactions I eventually gave up on and wrote 'a wizard did it' next to.

(read: longest ever 'tag' post in history, because this thread is a comedy gold mine)


Most of my EE exams let you have a cheat sheet with all the equations needed for the course. It was still hard as fuck. I think 6 out of 8 of my 1L exams were fairly racy or extremely racy. And 1 was an elective that 2/3Ls could take.

I think your point about everyone coming up with the same answer is correct, but that's my point. Why draw mostly arbitrary distinctions only on time. You are just penalizing people who think at a slightly slower speed.

I'm not saying there shouldn't be any time limit, but 8 hour exams with a tight word limit seem a lot more fair to me. Even though I'd likely do a worse in them.

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thesealocust
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Re: Thoughts on Extended Time for Students with Disabilities

Postby thesealocust » Sun Dec 18, 2011 10:09 pm

Only if your definition of fair involves everyone reaching the same result? Most professors are pretty upfront about the fact that they're trying to test for intelligence, which for better or for worse society attributes more readily to being quick on the draw than to being meticulous (though obviously meticulous preparation enhances ones ability to be quick on the draw).

I mean at the heart I don't think a law school exam tests anything except somebody's ability to take a law school exam. Really, the whole exercise strikes me as utterly silly and pointless. But the current system does create meaningful differences between exams that I am skeptical would exist with 8 hour strictly word limited exams. The current system is borked, but I don't see how that one would be better.

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Grizz
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Re: Thoughts on Extended Time for Students with Disabilities

Postby Grizz » Sun Dec 18, 2011 10:13 pm

Guchster wrote:
MrPapagiorgio wrote:Just wondering what TLSers think about students who get extended time for supposed disabilities such as ADD. I know quite a few students in my section who have it but don't ask for the test taking accommodations and two in my section who are. Personally I think that if you've managed to get this far (I'm at a T30), it shouldn't be an issue. But maybe I'm being ignorant. TLS thoughts?



I need extra time to get smoke a cig during an exam. My body is nicotine deficient! NDD! :( :twisted:

Snus bro

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crEEp
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Re: Thoughts on Extended Time for Students with Disabilities

Postby crEEp » Mon Dec 19, 2011 9:10 am

Desert Fox wrote:Most of my EE exams let you have a cheat sheet with all the equations needed for the course. It was still hard as fuck. I think 6 out of 8 of my 1L exams were fairly racy or extremely racy. And 1 was an elective that 2/3Ls could take.

I think your point about everyone coming up with the same answer is correct, but that's my point. Why draw mostly arbitrary distinctions only on time. You are just penalizing people who think at a slightly slower speed.

I'm not saying there shouldn't be any time limit, but 8 hour exams with a tight word limit seem a lot more fair to me. Even though I'd likely do a worse in them.


Most of my EE exams were the same way; it didn't matter if the professor gave you three hours or three days to take the exam. The material, by its very nature, would split the class into easily discernible groups for grading purposes.

In law school, the ENTIRE class has an LSAT score within the same 2-3 point range, so they need to introduce extra constraints that split the class into easily discernible groups for grading purposes. These constraints, in my view, actively encourage people to read into the grades and understand them to be indicators of one's intelligence. That's simply not the case.

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robin600
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Re: Thoughts on Extended Time for Students with Disabilities

Postby robin600 » Mon Dec 19, 2011 11:38 am

Everyone should take an exam as an accommodated student with a disability (preferably the one you're currently griping about) without extra time, then take an exam as yourself who presumably is not handicapped. Then I'll take your arguments seriously...

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Unitas
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Re: Thoughts on Extended Time for Students with Disabilities

Postby Unitas » Mon Dec 19, 2011 11:44 am

robin600 wrote:Everyone should take an exam as an accommodated student with a disability (preferably the one you're currently griping about) without extra time, then take an exam as yourself who presumably is not handicapped. Then I'll take your arguments seriously...


Using this logic we should all be in the Olympics. That guy is faster than me but if he could only run with my body he would understand why I should get a head start.

BTW, I am not generally against extended time but it would change on a case by case basis. For example, if someone took the LSAT without accommodations and got a 175 then suddenly needed accommodations in LS for ADD and was top 5% then I'd probably frown on it.
Last edited by Unitas on Mon Dec 19, 2011 11:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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robin600
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Re: Thoughts on Extended Time for Students with Disabilities

Postby robin600 » Mon Dec 19, 2011 11:47 am

My point is unless you've done both you don't really know if it's justified or not.

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ben4847
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Re: Thoughts on Extended Time for Students with Disabilities

Postby ben4847 » Mon Dec 19, 2011 11:50 am

robin600 wrote:My point is unless you've done both you don't really know if it's justified or not.


Who's talking about justification? I truly believe that they do better when they have extra time, and thus "need" extra time.
Also, people who just don't think as fast "need" extra time.

And I'm perfectly fine with my law school having two tracks. A timed track and an untimed track. I'd just like employers to know who is on which track.

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Re: Thoughts on Extended Time for Students with Disabilities

Postby rogermurdoch » Mon Dec 19, 2011 11:57 am

IAFG wrote:I'm neither a doctor nor an administrator, but I trust that the administrators at my school are aware of the issues and take them into consideration when developing policy.

You are a little too trusting. School admins are not concerned with making fair policy. They are a bunch of bureaucrats trying not to get fired or sued for discrimination.

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crEEp
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Re: Thoughts on Extended Time for Students with Disabilities

Postby crEEp » Mon Dec 19, 2011 1:11 pm

robin600 wrote:Everyone should take an exam as an accommodated student with a disability (preferably the one you're currently griping about) without extra time, then take an exam as yourself who presumably is not handicapped. Then I'll take your arguments seriously...


So implicitly you agree that "time" is the crucial element presumed to discriminate between exam performance? If so, why not give everyone "real world" exams-- students in patent classes might get to choose at random from any number of typical 1st year associate assignments. These might include drafting a provisional application, writing a memo regarding claim construction, etc. A student might get one week for this and there may be strict word limits imposed. Clearly, the final product would be more demonstrative of a student's ability to practice law than a 6,000-word outline copy/paste on a final.




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