ACLU, Breasts, Disability Law, Education / Schools, LSAT, Women's Issues

Boobs v. Brains: Who Wins When It Comes to LSAT Accommodations?

Om nom nom.

Ah, the LSAT. For those of you who are still considering the practice of law, this test should be the first indication of the epic toolishness you will encounter when you enter the hallowed halls of a law school. This is usually where the bragging begins, folks. Your “friends” not only studied harder than you did (they didn’t), but they also got better scores than you did (they didn’t).

But worse than all of the bragging is the fact that some — but not all — people will get special accommodations for the LSAT (and law school exams, and the bar exam, and every other exam, ad infinitum). These special little snowflakes will get extra time and other perks to take the same exam that you’re taking.

The question is, who really deserves these special testing accommodations? Boobs or brains?

The Law School Admission Council recently fielded requests for extra test-taking time from a student with ADD and a breastfeeding mother. I know what you’re thinking: Boobs. Boobs have got to win. Boobs always win. Of course, I’m a little bit biased. I mean, I have boobs, after all.

But LSAC decided to go with brains over boobs. The Star Tribune has more information on the potential win for students with ADD hoping to take the LSAT:

As part of the settlement, the council agreed to double the standard testing time on each section and to allow the complainant breaks between sections, a separate and quiet testing area, permission to use his own computer for the writing section, permission to use scratch paper and use of an alternative answer sheet.

Wow. Who wouldn’t be able to pull a killer score on the LSAT with such accommodations?

But what happens if you’re a breastfeeding mother? Is LSAC really going to deny accommodation to a woman asking for more time so she can milk herself in private?

Looks like the answer to that question is “yes.” We’ve written in the past about women being denied the right to pump breast milk at work, calling the practice “udderly deplorable.” The ACLU Blog of Rights recounts the story of a young mother who tried to get extra time on the LSAT to pump breast milk:

Ashley had asked for additional break time so that she could pump breast milk for her 5 month old son during the test. (It typically takes half an hour to pump, but the LSAT only has one 15 minute break during the test). Her request was denied — when she initially called to request this accommodation, she was told she would either have to take the test under standard procedure, wean her baby in time for the October 1 test date, or opt to take the test at a later time when she was no longer breastfeeding.

The ACLU noted that LSAC typically refuses such requests because breastfeeding mothers aren’t considered “disabled” in the eyes of the law. Apparently LSAC would rather let lactating mothers leak all over themselves and give the rest of the room an impromptu wet t-shirt display than give nursing mothers an “advantage” on the LSAT. Please.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Oh, you women, always complaining. Wahhh, my boobs are leaking and I’m taking one of the most important exams of my life, wahhh.” But these women are facing a legitimate disadvantage.

Why should nursing mothers have to take a test while their breasts are throbbing with pain, when the kid who can’t finish a logic game because he’s distracted by a squirrel he saw out the window gets double the time to take the same test?

I guess the moral of the story here is that when it comes to the LSAT, you’ll get extra time if your mind doesn’t work, but if your boobs are exploding, well, tough titties.

U grad wins concessions on Law School Admission Test [Star Tribune]
Should ADD Test-Takers Get Double-Time on the LSAT? [LSAT Blog]
LSAT to Nursing Moms: Need Time to Pump? Tough Titties! [ACLU Blog of Rights]
Should Nursing Moms Get Extra Time on the LSAT? [LSAT Blog]
LSAT: No Breast Feeding Mothers Allowed [Ms. JD]

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