University of Pittsburgh
January 23, 2013

Pitt Law Professor Available to Comment on Accommodations Policy for Law School Admission Test Takers With Disabilities

Contact:  412-624-4147

EDITORS: Professor Mary Crossley may be reached at 412-648-1401 or


January 23, 2013


PITTSBURGH—The Law School Admission Council recently sued the State of California over a law that bans the flagging of scores earned by Law School Admission Test takers with disabilities who receive extra-time accommodations. According to University of Pittsburgh Professor of Law and former Pitt School of Law Dean Mary Crossley, the lawsuit is the latest salvo in an ongoing battle between the council and opponents of its accommodations policies. 

The Law School Admission Council administers roughly 150,000 Law School Admission Tests annually at testing centers worldwide. Commonly referred to as the LSAT, the test has become one of several factors that law schools can use in assessing applicants. On average, the council annually receives 2,000 requests for accommodations, including those seeking extra time because of disabilities.

“Critics of the Law School Admission Council’s accommodations policies include not only the State of California, but also the U.S. Department of Justice and the American Bar Association,” said Crossley. “The application of disability discrimination law in competitive environments raises thorny questions; and when it comes to accommodations on the LSAT, it also raises important policy questions regarding the access of people with disabilities to the legal profession.”

A widely respected scholar in disability and health law, Crossley has written and spoken extensively on the Americans With Disabilities Act, including the act’s impact on health care for persons with disabilities and its reasonable accommodation mandate as part and parcel of the nation’s antidiscrimination laws.

Crossley returned to her research and teaching in 2012 after serving for seven years as Pitt’s law school dean. She earned her bachelor’s degree, Phi Beta Kappa, at the University of Virginia and her Juris Doctor degree, Order of the Coif, at Vanderbilt University School of Law, where she served as editor-in-chief of the Vanderbilt Law Review. Her scholarly articles on disability and health law have appeared in such journals as the Columbia Law Review, the Hastings Law Journal, Issues in Law and Medicine, the Journal of Gender, Race and Justice, the Notre Dame Law Review, the Rutgers Law Journal, and the Vanderbilt Law Review.