LSAC settles LSAT Disability Lawsuit

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NYSprague

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Re: LSAC settles LSAT Disability Lawsuit

Postby NYSprague » Thu May 29, 2014 3:31 pm

NYC-WVU wrote:
haus wrote:
NYC-WVU wrote:I agree with this. I just don't agree with the concept of "severe, short time crunches don't happen when you're an actual lawyer."

Sure, as a lawyer, as in life in general, real situations of importance will occur that are extremely critical and time crunched. Yet they will seldom, if ever, involve a scantron form.

Yep, that's definitely true, and nowhere near the same as saying "taking the LSAT is nothing like practicing law."

Eh, I'll stand by that statement. I don't care if you want to parse it out. It is ludicrous to argue that the LSAT predicts job performance in any way. Not even LSAC would attempt to claim that they are measuring real job skills of practicing lawyers.

I don't even know what point you are trying to make.

But,I guess I'm arguing for the sake of arguing because LSAC has already approved this consent decree,which should be in effect for the September exam,if I read it correctly.

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Re: LSAC settles LSAT Disability Lawsuit

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu May 29, 2014 4:24 pm

NYC-WVU wrote:
haus wrote:
NYC-WVU wrote:I agree with this. I just don't agree with the concept of "severe, short time crunches don't happen when you're an actual lawyer."

Sure, as a lawyer, as in life in general, real situations of importance will occur that are extremely critical and time crunched. Yet they will seldom, if ever, involve a scantron form.

Yep, that's definitely true, and nowhere near the same as saying "taking the LSAT is nothing like practicing law."

I mean, I've taken the LSAT, and I practice law. I don't find the two to be anything alike. But YMMV. Maybe your LSAT experience was very different from mine. (I also stand by my statement that "nothing like" is not the same as "no overlapping skills," and that there are overlapping skills. So I guess I don't quite get what you're arguing. My point is that the circumstances and conditions of practice are nothing like the circumstances and conditions of taking the LSAT. Accommodations generally address circumstances/conditions of test taking.)

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Re: LSAC settles LSAT Disability Lawsuit

Postby DELG » Thu May 29, 2014 4:32 pm

My practice has NOTHING to do with the LSAT. It doesn't even involve any logical reasoning. At all. They should replace the LSAT with the MPT.

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Re: LSAC settles LSAT Disability Lawsuit

Postby NYC-WVU » Thu May 29, 2014 4:34 pm

NYSprague wrote:
NYC-WVU wrote:
haus wrote:
NYC-WVU wrote:I agree with this. I just don't agree with the concept of "severe, short time crunches don't happen when you're an actual lawyer."

Sure, as a lawyer, as in life in general, real situations of importance will occur that are extremely critical and time crunched. Yet they will seldom, if ever, involve a scantron form.

Yep, that's definitely true, and nowhere near the same as saying "taking the LSAT is nothing like practicing law."

Eh, I'll stand by that statement. I don't care if you want to parse it out. It is ludicrous to argue that the LSAT predicts job performance in any way. Not even LSAC would attempt to claim that they are measuring real job skills of practicing lawyers.

I don't even know what point you are trying to make.

But,I guess I'm arguing for the sake of arguing because LSAC has already approved this consent decree,which should be in effect for the September exam,if I read it correctly.

I feel like every discussion I get into on this forum relates to someone interpreting something I say as an absolute statement, and then responding with a counter absolute statement. I don't see how your contention that "It is ludicrous to argue that the LSAT predicts job performance in any way" is defensible. You honestly believe that LSAT testers who average a 175 don't have any performance advantage over LSAT testers who average a 135? Nothing? At least make your statement defensible, like "There are so many other characteristics that determine whether or not someone will be a good lawyer that the LSAT is not a reasonable measure of the ability of a lawyer."

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Re: LSAC settles LSAT Disability Lawsuit

Postby NYC-WVU » Thu May 29, 2014 4:45 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
NYC-WVU wrote:
haus wrote:
NYC-WVU wrote:I agree with this. I just don't agree with the concept of "severe, short time crunches don't happen when you're an actual lawyer."

Sure, as a lawyer, as in life in general, real situations of importance will occur that are extremely critical and time crunched. Yet they will seldom, if ever, involve a scantron form.

Yep, that's definitely true, and nowhere near the same as saying "taking the LSAT is nothing like practicing law."

I mean, I've taken the LSAT, and I practice law. I don't find the two to be anything alike. But YMMV. Maybe your LSAT experience was very different from mine. (I also stand by my statement that "nothing like" is not the same as "no overlapping skills," and that there are overlapping skills. So I guess I don't quite get what you're arguing. My point is that the circumstances and conditions of practice are nothing like the circumstances and conditions of taking the LSAT. Accommodations generally address circumstances/conditions of test taking.)

Yep, this was my point. From what I've seen, a lot lawyers out there in the world are working on projects that are small with low budgets. (I, as a patent prosecutor, share this experience.) They have to determine facts quickly, make an assessment and produce some kind of work product in short amounts of time, such that time is of the essence. I recognize that this is not a necessity of practicing law, and therefore the LSAT should be changed to account for the people who don't work under constant time constraints. But people in this thread who have acted like "the practice of law doesn't involve reading stuff and making conclusions within an hour," are making a sweeping generalized statement that they don't have the data to make.

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Re: LSAC settles LSAT Disability Lawsuit

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri May 30, 2014 12:48 am

Are you reading passages that have nothing to do with the work you do for a living, while sitting in a room filled with other people into which you can only bring a plastic bag and ID and pencils, and under a 35-minute stopwatch to do so without any ability to talk to other people or consult additional resources, though? I mean, there are plenty of people who can't already complete the RC sections of the LSAT under timed conditions without a disability, and I'm sure some of them end up doing the kind of work you do.

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Re: LSAC settles LSAT Disability Lawsuit

Postby SecondWind » Fri May 30, 2014 12:56 am

Generally speaking, an individual who takes the same exam twice once with 35min sections and once with 45min sections (Agent J Neuralyzed him/her) will score higher when s/he was allotted 45min sections.

Giving individuals who need* extra time would frequently result in a higher score. I think the general concern is that when the extra time results in major point gains relative to what their score would be without the extra time. Ex. An individual scores a 160 with 35min sections and then on the same test with 45min sections scores a 171. I'm not trying to keep the man down, but there's got to be a way to mitigate/control (struggling for word choice right here; use this term loosely) so that doesn't happen very often. If we were given that extra 10min a section most people would be able to capitalize on more points.

*Definition TBD (Very grey issue)

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Re: LSAC settles LSAT Disability Lawsuit

Postby NYC-WVU » Fri May 30, 2014 1:08 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:Are you reading passages that have nothing to do with the work you do for a living, while sitting in a room filled with other people into which you can only bring a plastic bag and ID and pencils, and under a 35-minute stopwatch to do so without any ability to talk to other people or consult additional resources, though? I mean, there are plenty of people who can't already complete the RC sections of the LSAT under timed conditions without a disability, and I'm sure some of them end up doing the kind of work you do.

No. But has anyone in this thread had any problems with accommodations related to circumstances or conditions? I haven't seen that in any posts. The only concern I've seen being raised is extra time. And many of the people raising concerns about extra time are only concerned with the seemingly apparent potential for overdiagnosis of one particular condition that provides extra time.

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Re: LSAC settles LSAT Disability Lawsuit

Postby ScottRiqui » Fri May 30, 2014 1:14 am

SecondWind wrote:Generally speaking, an individual who takes the same exam twice once with 35min sections and once with 45min sections (Agent J Neuralyzed him/her) will score higher when s/he was allotted 45min sections.

Giving individuals who need* extra time would frequently result in a higher score. I think the general concern is that when the extra time results in major point gains relative to what their score would be without the extra time. Ex. An individual scores a 160 with 35min sections and then on the same test with 45min sections scores a 171. I'm not trying to keep the man down, but there's got to be a way to mitigate/control (struggling for word choice right here; use this term loosely) so that doesn't happen very often. If we were given that extra 10min a section most people would be able to capitalize on more points.

*Definition TBD (Very grey issue)


For someone who legitimately "needs" extra time (agreed that the definition is nebulous), you would expect a higher score with the extra time. And is it necessarily a bad thing, if the higher score is a better representation of the tester's cognitive abilities, rather than being filtered through the tester's reduced abilities in taking in the information and/or writing their responses? In other words, who's to say that an extra-time score from a dyslexic or a Parkinson's sufferer isn't more indicative of his cognitive ability, compared to a non-accommodated score?

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Re: LSAC settles LSAT Disability Lawsuit

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri May 30, 2014 1:19 am

NYC-WVU wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:Are you reading passages that have nothing to do with the work you do for a living, while sitting in a room filled with other people into which you can only bring a plastic bag and ID and pencils, and under a 35-minute stopwatch to do so without any ability to talk to other people or consult additional resources, though? I mean, there are plenty of people who can't already complete the RC sections of the LSAT under timed conditions without a disability, and I'm sure some of them end up doing the kind of work you do.

No. But has anyone in this thread had any problems with accommodations related to circumstances or conditions? I haven't seen that in any posts. The only concern I've seen being raised is extra time. And many of the people raising concerns about extra time are only concerned with the seemingly apparent potential for overdiagnosis of one particular condition that provides extra time.

But time is a circumstance/condition.

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Re: LSAC settles LSAT Disability Lawsuit

Postby NYC-WVU » Fri May 30, 2014 1:24 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
NYC-WVU wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:Are you reading passages that have nothing to do with the work you do for a living, while sitting in a room filled with other people into which you can only bring a plastic bag and ID and pencils, and under a 35-minute stopwatch to do so without any ability to talk to other people or consult additional resources, though? I mean, there are plenty of people who can't already complete the RC sections of the LSAT under timed conditions without a disability, and I'm sure some of them end up doing the kind of work you do.

No. But has anyone in this thread had any problems with accommodations related to circumstances or conditions? I haven't seen that in any posts. The only concern I've seen being raised is extra time. And many of the people raising concerns about extra time are only concerned with the seemingly apparent potential for overdiagnosis of one particular condition that provides extra time.

But time is a circumstance/condition.

To some extent, but it's also a primary factor in the test. I know that LSAC doesn't claim that time has anything to do with what they are testing, but in my experience (and I believe the data supports that experience) time is the thing keeping people from a near perfect score.

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Re: LSAC settles LSAT Disability Lawsuit

Postby SecondWind » Fri May 30, 2014 1:36 am

ScottRiqui wrote:
SecondWind wrote:Generally speaking, an individual who takes the same exam twice once with 35min sections and once with 45min sections (Agent J Neuralyzed him/her) will score higher when s/he was allotted 45min sections.

Giving individuals who need* extra time would frequently result in a higher score. I think the general concern is that when the extra time results in major point gains relative to what their score would be without the extra time. Ex. An individual scores a 160 with 35min sections and then on the same test with 45min sections scores a 171. I'm not trying to keep the man down, but there's got to be a way to mitigate/control (struggling for word choice right here; use this term loosely) so that doesn't happen very often. If we were given that extra 10min a section most people would be able to capitalize on more points.

*Definition TBD (Very grey issue)


For someone who legitimately "needs" extra time (agreed that the definition is nebulous), you would expect a higher score with the extra time. And is it necessarily a bad thing, if the higher score is a better representation of the tester's cognitive abilities, rather than being filtered through the tester's reduced abilities in taking in the information and/or writing their responses? In other words, who's to say that an extra-time score from a dyslexic or a Parkinson's sufferer isn't more indicative of his cognitive ability, compared to a non-accommodated score?


I get what you're saying and I agree with you. However, the same could be said about me and a majority of test takers. If I had more time, I know I'd score higher and it would be more indicative of my cognitive ability. Time pressure is one of the major underlying difficulties of this is exam, which keeps a lot of people from scoring higher. I would say it's the #1 factor limiting people's score ceilings.
Last edited by SecondWind on Fri May 30, 2014 1:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: LSAC settles LSAT Disability Lawsuit

Postby ScottRiqui » Fri May 30, 2014 1:41 am

SecondWind wrote:I get what you're saying and I agree with you. However, the same could be said about me and a majority of test takers. If I had more time, I know I'd score higher and it would be more indicative of my cognitive ability. Time pressure is one of the major underlying difficulties of this is exam that keeps a lot of people from scoring higher. I would say it's the #1 factor limiting people's score ceilings.


"Cognitive" processing is separate from the time spent getting the question into your brain (where a dyslexic will be slowed down) and getting your responses onto the scantron (where a Parkinson's sufferer will be slowed down). Extra time for you means more time spent actually thinking through the problem, while extra time for someone with a sensory or motor disability might just mean that they have the same amount of time to think about the problem as a non-disabled tester taking a non-accommodated test.

I do agree that making the LSAT untimed would give the best indication of any tester's cognitive abilities. And I can't believe that LSAC couldn't come up with an untimed (or virtually so) test that would still yield a wide spread of grades. I know that I've taken plenty tests where I've gotten all the points I was ever going to get long before time was up.

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Re: LSAC settles LSAT Disability Lawsuit

Postby SecondWind » Fri May 30, 2014 1:55 am

ScottRiqui wrote:
SecondWind wrote:I get what you're saying and I agree with you. However, the same could be said about me and a majority of test takers. If I had more time, I know I'd score higher and it would be more indicative of my cognitive ability. Time pressure is one of the major underlying difficulties of this is exam that keeps a lot of people from scoring higher. I would say it's the #1 factor limiting people's score ceilings.


I doubt the bolded is true. "cognitive" processing is separate from the time spent getting the question into your brain (where a dyslexic will be slowed down) and getting your responses onto the scantron (where a Parkinson's sufferer will be slowed down). Extra time for you means more time spent actually thinking through the problem, while extra time for someone with a sensory or motor disability might just mean that they have the same amount of time to think about the problem as a non-disabled tester taking a non-accommodated test.


I think that's a pretty valid point, but there's still a lot of grey to it. On a side note, when I read what you wrote, I imagined a Parkinson's sufferer trying to draw a logic game diagram. I know it's horrible, but at the same time...

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Re: LSAC settles LSAT Disability Lawsuit

Postby ScottRiqui » Fri May 30, 2014 2:04 am

SecondWind wrote:I think that's a pretty valid point, but there's still a lot of grey to it. On a side note, when I read what you wrote, I imagined a Parkinson's sufferer trying to draw a logic game diagram. I know it's horrible, but at the same time...


Yeah, better save me a seat on the bus to Hell too.

On a related note, I sometimes think that LSAC seems blissfully unaware of the nature of their own test. If you read their descriptions of what each section of the test purports to measure, there's nothing in there that suggests that timing is important, much less a critical factor. Then there's that bullshit in the LG directions that says "for some questions, it may be helpful to draw a rough diagram", which has to be one of the great understatements in the history of the English language.

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Re: LSAC settles LSAT Disability Lawsuit

Postby UnicornHunter » Fri May 30, 2014 2:08 am

ScottRiqui wrote:
SecondWind wrote:I think that's a pretty valid point, but there's still a lot of grey to it. On a side note, when I read what you wrote, I imagined a Parkinson's sufferer trying to draw a logic game diagram. I know it's horrible, but at the same time...


Yeah, better save me a seat on the bus to Hell too.

On a related note, I sometimes think that LSAC seems blissfully unaware of the nature of their own test. If you read their descriptions of what each section of the test purports to measure, there's nothing in there that suggests that timing is important, much less a critical factor. Then there's that bullshit in the LG directions that says "for some questions, it may be helpful to draw a rough diagram", which has to be one of the great understatements in the history of the English language.


I read "organization and management of information...." as their allusion to time being important.

The LSAT is designed to measure skills that are considered essential for success in law school: the reading and comprehension of complex texts with accuracy and insight; the organization and management of information and the ability to draw reasonable inferences from it; the ability to think critically; and the analysis and evaluation of the reasoning and arguments of others.

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Re: LSAC settles LSAT Disability Lawsuit

Postby ScottRiqui » Fri May 30, 2014 2:14 am

TheUnicornHunter wrote:
ScottRiqui wrote:
SecondWind wrote:I think that's a pretty valid point, but there's still a lot of grey to it. On a side note, when I read what you wrote, I imagined a Parkinson's sufferer trying to draw a logic game diagram. I know it's horrible, but at the same time...


Yeah, better save me a seat on the bus to Hell too.

On a related note, I sometimes think that LSAC seems blissfully unaware of the nature of their own test. If you read their descriptions of what each section of the test purports to measure, there's nothing in there that suggests that timing is important, much less a critical factor. Then there's that bullshit in the LG directions that says "for some questions, it may be helpful to draw a rough diagram", which has to be one of the great understatements in the history of the English language.


I read "organization and management of information...." as their allusion to time being important.

The LSAT is designed to measure skills that are considered essential for success in law school: the reading and comprehension of complex texts with accuracy and insight; the organization and management of information and the ability to draw reasonable inferences from it; the ability to think critically; and the analysis and evaluation of the reasoning and arguments of others.


I don't think that "organization and management" has any connotation that you need to do it *quickly*, at least not so quickly that almost everyone who takes the test feels time-constrained to one extent or another.

And if you read the section-specific descriptions, there's even less that you could interpret as being timing-sensitive:

Reading Comprehension Questions—These questions measure the ability to read, with understanding and insight, examples of lengthy and complex materials similar to those commonly encountered in law school. The Reading Comprehension section contains four sets of reading questions, each consisting of a selection of reading material, followed by five to eight questions that test reading and reasoning abilities.

Analytical Reasoning Questions—These questions measure the ability to understand a structure of relationships and to draw logical conclusions about that structure. You are asked to reason deductively from a set of statements and rules or principles that describe relationships among persons, things, or events. Analytical Reasoning questions reflect the kinds of complex analyses that a law student performs in the course of legal problem solving.

Logical Reasoning Questions—These questions assess the ability to analyze, critically evaluate, and complete arguments as they occur in ordinary language. Each Logical Reasoning question requires the test taker to read and comprehend a short passage, then answer a question about it. The questions are designed to assess a wide range of skills involved in thinking critically, with an emphasis on skills that are central to legal reasoning. These skills include drawing well-supported conclusions, reasoning by analogy, determining how additional evidence affects an argument, applying principles or rules, and identifying argument flaws."




To me, it sounds like the LSAT was supposed to be an IQ-style aptitude test, but now it's been co-opted into a proxy for law school grades (and evidently a proxy for future performance as a lawyer, at least by a lot of posters in this thread).

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Re: LSAC settles LSAT Disability Lawsuit

Postby ScottRiqui » Fri May 30, 2014 2:21 am

Also, for all the people who are hung up on the correlation between LSAT score and 1L grades: The correlation is loose, and it will always be loose - there's no mathematical way around it. You could form an incoming 1L class from 300 students who all have identical LSAT scores, and the nature of the law school curve means that there will be a wide variation in their 1L grades. When absolutely identical inputs are forced to produce widely-varying outputs, there's no hope for any real predictive ability.

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Re: LSAC settles LSAT Disability Lawsuit

Postby Onomatopoeia » Fri May 30, 2014 11:55 am

ScottRiqui wrote:Also, for all the people who are hung up on the correlation between LSAT score and 1L grades: The correlation is loose, and it will always be loose - there's no mathematical way around it. You could form an incoming 1L class from 300 students who all have identical LSAT scores, and the nature of the law school curve means that there will be a wide variation in their 1L grades. When absolutely identical inputs are forced to produce widely-varying outputs, there's no hope for any real predictive ability.


Scott your position is an easy one to take and has been covered many times. Try defending the other side on this without sounding like a dick/retard. That would interest me

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Re: LSAC settles LSAT Disability Lawsuit

Postby ScottRiqui » Fri May 30, 2014 1:39 pm

BornAgain99 wrote:
ScottRiqui wrote:Also, for all the people who are hung up on the correlation between LSAT score and 1L grades: The correlation is loose, and it will always be loose - there's no mathematical way around it. You could form an incoming 1L class from 300 students who all have identical LSAT scores, and the nature of the law school curve means that there will be a wide variation in their 1L grades. When absolutely identical inputs are forced to produce widely-varying outputs, there's no hope for any real predictive ability.


Scott your position is an easy one to take and has been covered many times. Try defending the other side on this without sounding like a dick/retard. That would interest me


Well, I hadn't seen anyone make the point that the nature of the law school curve necessarily tanks the predictive ability of the LSAT, so that's why I tacked it on.

As for "defending the other side", I do think that some legitimate accommodations (not talking about fraudulent medical diagnoses here) probably *do* give more time than is strictly necessary to account for the disability, leading to a score that's probably higher than what they would have made on a non-accommodated test if they didn't have their disability. It's like handicapped parking placards - does everyone who has one really need a parking space right by the front door? Couldn't a designated spot somewhere in the middle of the lot suffice for a lot of them? But we, as a society, have decided to err on the side of generosity, partly to reduce complexity and partly to acknowledge the fact that it's hard to tell just how much is "enough" when it comes to accommodations.

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Re: LSAC settles LSAT Disability Lawsuit

Postby Onomatopoeia » Fri May 30, 2014 2:00 pm

Agreed to a degree. Can you cite private companies that deal with handicap people's issues that have had their autonomy stripped like Lsac has.

Going by your example, town/county office decides how to dole out handicap parking passes, not society as a whole. Shouldn't Lsac, a private company have enough or more autonomy to decide how to give out their handicap passes within the bounds of the law, just like the town office ?

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Re: LSAC settles LSAT Disability Lawsuit

Postby Tanicius » Fri May 30, 2014 2:02 pm

BornAgain99 wrote:Agreed to a degree. Can you cite private companies that deal with handicap people's issues that have had their autonomy stripped like Lsac has.

Going by your example, town/county office decides how to dole out handicap parking passes, not society as a whole. Shouldn't Lsac, a private company have enough or more autonomy to decide how to give out their handicap passes within the bounds of the law, just like the town office ?


FYI the law is different for physical facility accommodations versus employment/educational accommodations. The latter is strictly enforced by the ADA; the former is only required when you decide to renovate old buildings or create new buildings. And parking spaces are more of a convenience rather than required accommodation.

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Re: LSAC settles LSAT Disability Lawsuit

Postby ScottRiqui » Fri May 30, 2014 3:49 pm

I only brought up the handicapped parking spaces as an example of a "one size fits all" approach to accommodations with little granularity. I realize they're governed by a completely different set of laws.

As for LSAC, I think they should have more discretion than the consent decree grants them, but it's not unusual for such decrees to be heavy-handed (see the decree the LAPD had to operate under after the Rampart Scandal). Is the decree permanent, though? I can't imagine the rules/oversight lasting forever - hopefully at some point LSAC will regain some autonomy, and will use that autonomy to do a better job of granting accommodations than they've done up to this point.

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Re: LSAC settles LSAT Disability Lawsuit

Postby NYSprague » Fri May 30, 2014 4:30 pm

The agreement is permanent. The DOJ monitoring lasts 4 years.
Though I'm sure it can be changed as needed with court approval.

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Re: LSAC settles LSAT Disability Lawsuit

Postby ScottRiqui » Fri May 30, 2014 5:56 pm

NYSprague wrote:The agreement is permanent. The DOJ monitoring lasts 4 years.
Though I'm sure it can be changed as needed with court approval.


Where did you find this? The relevant part of the decree seems to say that although the practice of flagging scores is gone forever, the decree (and not just the monitoring) has a term of four years:

Term Of This Decree. This Decree shall become effective as of the date that it is entered by the Court and shall remain in effect for four (4) years from that date. However, LSAC’s agreement to discontinue score annotations as stated in Paragraph 9 shall continue in perpetuity beyond the term of this Decree, absent agreement of the United States and the DFEH. The Court shall retain continuing and exclusive jurisdiction for the duration of the Decree to enforce the terms of the Decree. The United States, the DFEH, and/or LSAC may apply to the Court for such further orders as may be necessary for, or consistent with, the enforcement of this Decree.



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