Bar Examinations and High-Stakes Assessments

Title

Reviewing ADHD Accommodations Requests for the Bar Exam: What Has and Has Not Changed over 20 Years

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

6-2016

Keywords

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), reasonable accommodations, bar examination

Abstract

Every reviewer who assists testing organizations in examining documentation from applicants requesting accommodations for ADHD is well aware that some ADHD cases offer no indication that the clinical diagnosis was given in a reasonable manner (for instance, in the case of self-reported symptoms only), and that often the only evidence of impairment or limitation is that a person of average ability has reported finding law school to be a difficult and demanding academic environment. Frequently, this person is nevertheless passing law school classes before ever being granted an accommodation on a law school exam. Accommodations for such individuals should be denied, since they are simply unnecessary.

Other cases will, however, provide multiple ADHD diagnostic evaluations spanning many years with ample formal documentation of past accommodations. There is essentially no reason to deny current accommodations to an individual in such a case unless the request is for unreasonable accommodations never requested or received in the past.

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