The Americans with Disabilities Act was enacted in 1990 as a comprehensive scheme in which previously discriminated against classes would be guaranteed fair treatment in employment as well as other settings. The Act protects those with both physical and mental disabilities. With respect to certification for the practice of law, the Act has almost unique significance as the accommodations the Act calls for arguably clash with state bar standards of competence both in legal education and mental fitness for certification. These clashes tend to stem from two major situations-accommodation of the learning disabled student who may not be able to complete course work or examinations in the same time as others do and reluctance of prospective attorneys to answer questions regarding past mental health treatment on bar examination applications. This note will give an overview of current litigation regarding these issues and summarize what uniform decisions have been made with respect to these situations.
Note, Learning and Mental Disability Protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act in the Quest for Certification for the Practice of Law, 10 J.L. & Health 209 (1995-1996)