Department of Fair Employment and Housing v. Law School Admission Council, Inc.

This page provides information about the settlement agreement (Consent Decree) reached in Department of Fair Employment and Housing v. Law School Admission Council, Inc. In this case, DFEH filed suit to halt ongoing harm to individuals with disabilities who sought to enter the legal profession. DFEH alleged that the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) which administers the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) subjected test takers who seek accommodations to onerous documentation requirements, denied requests for reasonable accommodations, and provided different and less desirable score reports to test takers who received the accommodation of additional test time. The United States Department of Justice intervened in the lawsuit which expanded the scope of the case and allowed for nationwide recovery.

On May 29, 2014, United States District Court Judge Edward M. Chen entered a Permanent Injunction banning LSAC from annotating or “flagging” the LSAT scores of test takers who took the examination with the accommodation of additional test time. In the past, LSAC had reported the scores of those test takers and identified that the test taker was an individual with a disability, that the test had been taken under non-standard conditions and that the test scores had to be viewed with great sensitivity. In addition the Judge approved a Consent Decree with extensive provisions and revisions to LSAC’s practices regarding testing accommodations and which provided for $8.73 million in monetary relief.

News and Resources

  • Order Granting in Part and Denying in Part Appeal of Best Practices Panel Report (HTML | PDF)
    • LSAC filed an appeal against most of the Best Practices Panel Report. In an order issued on August 7, 2015 at page 2, the Court “upholds most of the Panel’s Report.” LSAC will implement the upheld recommendations starting immediately for testing accommodation requests related to the December 2015 LSAT administration and later administrations.
  • UPDATE — CLAIM FILING DEADLINE EXTENDED TO APRIL 15, 2015:
    • In an order issued on March 26, 2015, at the request of the parties, the Court extended the time for filing claims up through and including April 15, 2015.
  • Final Report of the Best Practices Panel (HTML | PDF)
    • Plaintiffs, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing and the United States Department of Justice claimed that the Law School Admission Council (“LSAC”) unlawfully discriminated against test takers with disabilities in the administration of the Law School Admission Test (“LSAT”). To resolve their claims – that LSAC’s policies and practices resulted in the unwarranted denial of valid requests for testing accommodations — the Parties agreed to the establishment of a Best Practices Panel composed of five experts to review LSAC’s practices and establish best practices to be implemented.On January 26, 2015 the Best Practices Panel issued its Final Report.The Final Report of the Best Practices Panel calls for extensive changes. However, LSAC has notified the parties of its intent to appeal most of the Best Practices. Thus, implementation of most of the Best Practices will be on hold pending the outcome of the appeal.
  • Press Release, January 30, 2015 ( HTML | PDF)
  • Consent Decree in DFEH v. LSAC (HTML | PDF)
  • Press Release, May 20, 2014 (HTMLPDF )
  • Director’s Complaint in DFEH v. LSAC (HTML | PDF)
  • Federal Court Complaint in DFEH v. LSAC (HTML | PDF)
  • Notice of Settlement (HTML | PDF)
  • Not a Californian/not a California test taker?