Attorney Misconduct, Bar Exams, Biglaw, California, Disability Law, Legal Ethics

Former Summer Associate Busted For Lying About Disability To Get Extra Time On The Bar Exam

I’d like this story a lot better if it was about an associate busted for using a fake disability to get extra time, instead of just about an associate getting busted for not actually having whatever BS affliction the kids are using these days. But I guess this is a start.

A Hastings Law graduate and former summer associate at Morrison & Foerster was nailed for faking an unnamed disability to get more time on the California bar exam.

In related news, I’ll now be marketing myself as a disability-faker detector. I have a simple methodology for determining fakers, and I’m not afraid to share it. My system is: if you can fake it so well that I can’t tell the difference, then it’s not a real disability that requires extra time in the first place!

I’ll be coming to a bar testing center near you to show my proven method in action…

I know a lot of our readers are convinced that many students are “faking” to get extra time on standardized tests like the LSAT or the bar exam. So this story, from Am Law Daily, just confirms their suspicions:

A University of California Hastings College of the Law graduate should no longer be allowed to practice law in California because she lied about having a disability in order to get more time to take the 2009 bar exam, the State Bar of California said Wednesday.

The lawyer, Leah Harmuth, received time and a half to take the July 2009 bar exam in a semiprivate room after claiming in a March 2009 application that she suffered a disability and had received similar accommodations as an undergraduate student at the University of Pennsylvania, according to the California Bar.

The California Bar could not disclose the nature of the pretend disability, but this is where my system is so valuable. For instance, if you claim you are disabled because you have one arm, it’s pretty hard to fake. Granted, it might be easier to fake being a one-armed man in California, home of Industrial Light & Magic, but you wouldn’t be able to fool me.

If, on the other hand, you claim to need more time on a test because you are unable to pay attention, that’s a lot easier to fake. You might be able to fool me. There might be, I don’t know, entire websites devoted to helping you fake ADHD. In fact, I think this Leah Harmuth character was probably trying to fake something other than ADD/ADHD, because it’s nearly impossible to get caught faking ADD/ADHD.

So I don’t blame the (fake) victims, I blame the so-called disease. Is this kind of like blaming all poor people for the abuses of a few so-called “welfare queens”? Sure. But hey, there’s an entire political party that’s built on doing nothing other than using abusers as an excuse to deny services to those who need them. So it’s not like my approach here is novel.

Sorry, true ADD suffers, but the vast majority of bad apples have ruined it for everybody. All ten of you true sufferers are just going to have to focus up during the bar exam.

Former MoFo Summer Associate Acknowledges Lying To Gain Admittance to California Bar [Am Law Daily]

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