By Virginia E. Robinson

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) moved this week to intervene in a class action lawsuit brought against the administrators of the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), alleging “widespread and systemic deficiencies” in the way that testing accommodation requests are processed.

The underlying suit, which was initiated in April by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, alleges that the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and California state civil rights laws by failing to provide testing accommodations to disabled individuals, subjecting applicants requesting accommodations to burdensome documentation requirements, and “flagging” disabled individuals’ test scores when transmitting those scores to schools.  DOJ’s proposed complaint identifies additional class members and alleges that LSAC routinely denied well-supported accommodation requests and unnecessarily flagged test scores from individuals who had received accommodations.  DOJ seeks declaratory and injunctive relief, compensatory damages, and a civil penalty.

LSAC moved to dismiss the original complaint before the motion to intervene was filed, but that motion has not been ruled on by the court.

The case is Department of Fair Employment & Housing v. Law School Admission Council Inc., Case No. 3:12-cv-1830 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.