Monday, January 31, 2011

Loyola's IP Theory Colloquium presents Professor Rebecca Tushnet

Today, as part of Loyola's weekly IP Theory Colloquium series, Georgetown University Law Center Professor Rebecca Tushnet will be presenting "Worth a Thousand Words: Copyright Law Outside the Text."

For a profession steeped in justice, now better access to it

By Professor Michael Waterstone

This column was originally published in the Jan. 28 edition of the Los Angeles Daily Journal.

People with disabilities face many barriers to becoming lawyers. Applications to law school, which are primarily found online, may not be accessible to blind individuals. For law students with disabilities, a law school may disagree on what accommodations are required for law school exams. There are few clubs or support structures in law schools for these students, in part because their numbers are so few. This in turn, creates feelings of isolation and aloneness. After graduation, law students with disabilities can face invasive questions on their bar applications, such as inquiries as to treatment or counseling for mental, emotional or nervous disorders. These students have to spend significant amounts of their own money documenting their disabilities. Even after they become licensed, lawyers with disabilities report prejudice and stigma: More than half of lawyers with disabilities polled by the State Bar reported being denied employment opportunities because of their disabilities.

Although good data is hard to come by, one study found that only 7 percent of the members of the American Bar Association identified themselves as having a disability (far below the rate of disability prevalence in the general population). This is a problem for our profession. Laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act have brought more people with disabilities into the mainstream of American life, opening up new opportunities across the spectrum. This means that more of our clients have disabilities, and there are more issues relating to disability that are part of general legal issues. Lawyers with disabilities have a life experience that is crucial to working on these legal problems.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Giffords shooting: No double jeopardy for Arizona gunman

By Professor Laurie Levenson

There has been much speculation over what charges Jared Loughner will face for his tragic shooting of 20 victims in Tucson on Jan. 8, 2011. So far, the federal authorities have filed only three charges for the attempted assassination of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and attempted murder of her two aides. Loughner currently faces a life sentence and multiple 20-year sentences on these charges.

However, the big question is what additional charges the federal authorities will bring and whether both the Department of Justice and Arizona state authorities will seek the death penalty. It is good that the DOJ is taking time to sort this out. Federal authorities have limited jurisdiction to charge murder cases. Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 1114: "Whoever kills or attempts to kill any officer or employee of the United States ... while such officer or employee is engaged in or on account of the performance of official duties ..." is guilty of murder. There is an open question whether United States District Judge John Roll was engaged in his official duties when he dropped by the town hall to talk with Rep. Giffords.

Moreover, given Loughner's apparent mental problems, prosecutors will have to sort out whether he meets the criteria for seeking capital punishment. Mentally unstable defendants are nothing new to the federal courts. Not so long ago, Bufford Furrow, another disturbed individual filled with hate, shot up a Jewish Community Center in Los Angeles. Ultimately, he pled guilty to avoid the death penalty. In order to decide whether to seek the death penalty, federal authorities need to know a lot more than who pulled the trigger.

The Arizona state authorities will have a separate opportunity to charge and try Loughner. Unlike in California, where the state double jeopardy laws prohibit retrial after a federal trial, Arizona has held that its double jeopardy clause does not provide broader protection than the federal double jeopardy clause. A.R.S. Const. Art. 2 § 10; State v. Cook, 185 Ariz. 358, 916 P.2d 1074 (App. Div. 1 1995). Under the federal double jeopardy clause, each sovereign has the right to try a defendant for his offenses. Abbate v. United States, 359 U.S. 187, 196 (1959); Bartkus v. Illinois, 359 U.S. 121, 128-29 (1959). Therefore, Loughner could be tried and punished in state court for the same offenses for which he is prosecuted in federal court.

In the end, logistics may end up driving the charging decisions. Both the federal authorities and state authorities will be looking to use the same evidence obtained in the investigation. Witnesses cannot be in different places at the same time. There is no statutory time pressure on the Arizona authorities to bring charges. Like the state prosecutors in the Oklahoma City Bombing case, they can wait to see how the federal authorities develop the case and then proceed when they are finished. Sometimes, the best strategy is to wait and see.

Fr. Greg Boyle keynotes Martin Luther King Jr. celebration

Fr. Greg Boyle, S.J., executive director of Homeboy Industries, author of Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion and longtime advocate for the poor and marginalized, was the keynote speaker for Loyola Law School's 12th-annual celebration of the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. on Thursday, Jan. 20 in Loyola's Student Lounge. Watch a video clip of Fr. Boyle's speech.

Below is a copy of the introductory remarks provided by Professor Sam Pillsbury, Loyola's interfaith chaplain:

For 12 years we have been celebrating the life of the Rev. Martin Luther King at Loyola Law school by connecting his work and the movement he helped lead, with the world of law.

We are thrilled today to have as our speaker one whose life and work embodies the mission of Rev. King., Father Greg Boyle, Society of Jesus.

Father Boyle is a Los Angeles native. He comes from a big LA family, one of eight children. He is the product of Jesuit education, having graduated from Loyola High School, received a BA from Gonzaga and a Masters in English from our own LMU -- among his several advanced degrees.

Our speaker has long ministered to those on the margins, those without much money or power, and who receive little respect or regard from those with money and power. Serving at Dolores Mission Church in East Los Angeles in the 1980s, Father Greg found himself in the middle of some of the city's most violent conflicts. He engaged directly with the gangs of the city, work that inspired many years of effort to encourage young people to turn away from that violent and destructive alternative to real family and community. This led to the creation of Homeboy Industries, an extraordinary and nearly unique nonprofit devoted to restoring to society those who have been in gangs.

Prof. Glazier speaks at "Torture in a Time of War" event

Loyola Law School hosted "Torture in a Time of War: Legal Remedies and Ramifications," an exploration of litigation and human-rights issues that can arise from wartime atrocities, from 12-1 pm on Thursday, Jan. 13 on its downtown L.A. campus. The discussion touched on possible criminal and civil remedies available in instances such as the abuses that took place at Iraq's now-infamous Abu Ghraib Prison. Portraits drawn from the lives of former Abu Ghraib detainees, soon to go on exhibit at the Laband Art Gallery at Loyola Marymount University (LMU), will serve as a launching point for the discussion.

The panelists were Professor David Glazier, a former U.S. Navy surface warfare officer and expert on the rights of military detainees; Rosemary Healy, a former human rights attorney at Burke O'Neill PLLC who worked on class action suits against private security corporations like Blackwater Worldwide; and Carolyn Peter, director of the Laband Art Gallery.

The panel discussion coincides with the opening of "Bearing Witness: Daniel Heyman," an exhibit featuring the work of Heyman and writer Nick Flynn, who sat in on the interviews of dozens of former Abu Ghraib detainees. The exhibit will run from Jan. 15 to March 13 on the LMU campus. Related events include "Immigration to the U.S.: Legal Challenges," to be held from 12-1 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 22 at Loyola Law School. The event will feature Associate Professor Kathleen Kim, an immigration law expert, and Peter, who will introduce a series of portraits of new immigrants as a take-off point for the talk.

Watch the video. (Requires RealPlayer. Free download available).

Weekly Faculty Workshop Series presents Professor Karl Manheim

Today, as part of Loyola's Faculty Workshop Series, Loyola Law School Professor Karl Manheim will be presenting "Do Health Insurance Violate the Takings Clause?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Loyola faculty members' work impacting the world

The scholarship of several Loyola Law School faculty members has recently had an impact on courts and policymakers. Associate Professor Kathleen Kim's article, The Trafficked Worker as Private Attorney General, 2009 Univ. Chi. Leg. F. 247 (2009) was cited in Hernandez v. Attisha, a 2010 U.S. District Court case, to support a broad interpretation of the 2008 amendments to the civil provision of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act. Senator Charles Grassley, Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, last week released his review of tax issues raised by six media-based ministries. A staff memo out of Senator Charles Grassley's office on a review of tax issues raised by media-based ministries cites Professor Ellen Aprill's article Parsonage and Tax Policy: Rethinking the Exclusion, including referencing her model statutory language. The National Taxpayer Advocate's 2010 Annual Report to Congress (12/31/10) cites Professor Ted Seto's article, The Unintended Tax Advantages of Gay Marriage, in a section identifying the taxation of gay marriage and other formally recognized same-sex relationships as one of our tax system's "most serious problems." And Professor Rick Hasen is a member of the American Bar Association's Task Force on Federal Lobbying Laws, which just released a report entitled "Lobbying Law in the Spotlight: Challenges and Proposed Improvements."

Tax Notes recognizes 10th anniversary of Loyola's graduate tax program

Tax Notes recently spoke to Professors Jennifer Kowal, Katie Pratt and Ted Seto for an article on the 10th anniversary of Loyola's graduate tax program. The story discusses the steps the program is taking to respond to changes in the legal market, as well as issues in tax policy.

Read the entire article on TaxProfBlog.

President Clinton, Justice Sotomayor, and Justice Ginsburg Publish Tribute Letters in Inaugural Supreme Court Issue of Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review

The Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review is publishing its inaugural Supreme Court issue in Volume 44 Issue 3 (Spring 2011). The issue will focus on the Court's 2009-2010 Term, with both professorial and student-written articles examining the Court's cases from this Term.

The issue is dedicated to Justice John Paul Stevens, and will include tribute letters and essays from approximately a dozen of Justice Stevens's former law clerks, many of whom are now law professors or serve within the Justice Department. President Bill Clinton, Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg are also publishing tribute letters to Justice Stevens in this issue. Justice Stevens himself is including a short thank-you note for the dedication.

In addition to articles written by Professor William Araiza of Brooklyn Law School, Professor Matt Vega of Faulkner University School of Law and a foreword by Dean Erwin Chemerinsky of the University of California, Irvine School of Law, the Law Review's inaugural Supreme Court issue also includes student-written Case Comments analyzing nearly twenty cases from the Court's 2009-2010 Term. The Law Review students thoroughly discuss both higher-profile and lower-profile cases from this Term, examining the Court's reasoning, analyzing strengths and weaknesses, and discussing the impact such cases will have going forward.

For further inquiries or a subscription to the Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review, please contact

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Cancún Climate Conference

By Professor Cesare Romano and Elizabeth Burleson

Professor Cesare Romano recently blogged from the Conference of the Parties of the Climate Change Convention and Kyoto Protocol in Cancún. His posts included "Climate change conference: Will Cancún deliver?" and "Do states have human rights?" This post is an excerpt from his piece in the American Society of International Law's Insights.

The United Nations Climate Change Conference, held from Nov. 29 to Dec. 11, 2010, in Cancún, Mexico, relaunched the United Nation's multilateral facilitation role. Delegates agreed to aspects of a global framework to help developing countries curb their carbon output and cope with the effects of climate change, but they postponed the harder question of precisely how industrialized and major emerging economies will share the task of making deeper greenhouse-gas emission cuts.

Read the complete post.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Will arbitration kill the consumer class action?

By Associate Professor David Horton

For "contract procedure" enthusiasts, few stories in 2011 will rival the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in AT&T v. Concepcion. The Court will decide whether the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) preempts state courts from striking down class arbitration waivers under the unconscionability doctrine. It's no exaggeration to say that the fate of the consumer class action hangs in the balance.

The seeds of Concepcion go back to the late 1990s and early 2000s, when companies began to see mandatory arbitration clauses as a panacea for class action liability. During that period, most courts held that the FAA flatly precluded plaintiffs from aggregating claims. As a result, mandatory arbitration clauses not only funneled consumers outside of the court system, but forced them to pursue their lawsuits on an individual basis. But in 2003, a highly fractured plurality of the Court suggested in Green Tree v. Bazzle that the FAA didn't bar class arbitration. Thus, to continue to use arbitration as a bulwark against the class action, companies were forced to insert express class action waivers into their agreements.

In Discover Bank v. Superior Court, a landmark 2005 decision, the California Supreme Court held that these class arbitration waivers could be unconscionable when applied to numerous low-value claims. The state high court explained that, in those circumstances, class arbitration waivers amounted to "get out of jail free cards" for corporate liability. For instance, if a business defrauds a million consumers out of $10, no individual consumer will spend the time and money necessary to sue. That lawsuit will either be brought as a class action or not at all.

Professors Aprill and Hasen on lobbying

Professors Ellen Aprill and Rick Hasen co-authored the article "Lobbypalooza" for The American Interest magazine. The article briefly describes the history of tax-related and disclosure-related regulation of lobbying. It also flags some developments in the lower courts, in which lower courts are relying on Citizens United to strike down some lobbying regulations. Hasen describes those lower court developments in his draft, "Lobbying, Rent Seeking, and the Constitution" (posted on SSRN).

Excerpt from "Lobbyapalooza":

"In the face of the financial crisis, partisan recriminations and other problems of contemporary American governance, some have urged limits on lobbying in order to promote the public interest. They fear not only potential lobbyist corruption, but also lobbyists facilitating a raiding of the public fisc...Lobbyists provide legislators and other government officials with crucial information and convey the points of view of important constituencies. A responsive government needs to hear various viewpoints, and in a complex world legislators and staffers need help analyzing, and even writing, important legislation. It is hard to imagine the U.S. government today functioning without lobbying. Moreover, lobbying also enjoys constitutional protections. The First Amendment guarantees both free speech and the right to petition the government.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Tax reform event live streaming on web today

Loyola Law School, Los Angeles is hosting "Starving the Hidden Beast: New Approaches to Tax Expenditure Reform" today in partnership with the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center. Video from the daylong event is:

David Gamage, University of California, Berkeley School of Law: "Tax Salience and Tax Expenditures"

COMMENTATOR: Damon Jones, Harris School of Public Policy, University of Chicago

10-11:30 a.m.: Reforming the Tax Expenditure Budget Presentation

MODERATOR: Sarah Lawsky, University of California, Irvine School of Law


Linda Sugin, Fordham Law School: "Tax Expenditures, Reform, and Distributive Justice"

Eric Toder and Donald Marron, Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center: "Tax Expenditures and the Size of Government"

COMMENTATOR: Daniel Shaviro, New York University School of Law

11:30 a.m.: Lunch

12:45-2:15 p.m.: Evaluating Tax Expenditures

MODERATOR: Rosanne Altshuler, Rutgers University


Theodore Seto, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles: "Reframing the Tax Expenditure Budget"

Thomas Hungerford, Congressional Research Service: "Tax Expenditures"

COMMENTATOR: Edward Kleinbard, USC Gould School of Law

2:30-4 p.m.: Approaches to Tax Expenditure Reform

MODERATOR: Katherine Pratt, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles


Marvin Phaup, Federal Budget Reform Initiative, Pew Economic Policy Group: "Integrating Tax Expenditures with the Budget Process"

Diane Lim Rogers, Chief Economist, Concord Coalition: "Tax Formed in the Proposal of the Deficit-Reduction Commissions"

COMMENTATOR: Elizabeth Garrett, USC Gould School of Law

4:00 p.m.: Reception

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Loyola achieves 84% passage rate for July 2010 California Bar Exam

Loyola Law School, Los Angeles' July 2010 California Bar Examination pass rate for first-time takers was 84 percent, nine percentage points above the 75 percent pass rate for first-time takers from all ABA-accredited schools in California. Loyola improved its margin over the average by 50 percent versus 2009. And Loyola Law School graduates represented the largest group of successful first-time takers with 297 alumni passing.

According to State Bar of California statistics, Loyola's first-time pass rate ranked it just above the UCLA School of Law, with a first-time pass rate of 83 percent; the University of California, Hastings, which had a first-time pass rate of 81 percent; and the University of California, Davis, which also had an 81-percent pass rate.

"Our curriculum - dominated by clinics, externships, skills classes and specialized courses - is designed to prepare students to hit the ground running. And the latest bar exam results reflect that," said Dean Victor Gold. "We congratulate our alumni as they embark on careers as practicing attorneys.

Weekly faculty workshop series presents Professor Tung Yin

Today, as part of Loyola's Faculty Workshop Series, Professor Tung Yin of the Lewis and Clark Law School will be presenting his paper, Diverse Diversity.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Show Me the Money: A Hidden Source of Funding for Federal Deficit Reduction

By Professor Katie Pratt

This op-ed was originally published in the Jan. 12, 2011 edition of the Los Angeles Daily Journal.

If President Barack Obama and Congress ever decide to get serious about

federal deficit reduction, there is a potential $1 trillion deficit reduction funding source that they have ignored. With annual federal budget deficits projected to average $1 trillion for the next decade, they should seriously consider this funding source, instead of assuming - contrary to fact - that radical cuts in federal discretionary spending programs can painlessly and equitably achieve meaningful deficit reduction.

Last week, the new Speaker of the House, John Boehner, citing the "Pledge to America," committed to cut federal spending, reduce federal budget deficits, cut federal taxes and shrink the size of the federal government. Democrats also have acknowledged the serious threat posed by projected

federal budget deficits, and Obama has proposed a freeze on discretionary spending programs. Freezing discretionary spending or cutting wasteful discretionary spending will not achieve meaningful deficit reduction, however, because the total funding for non-defense domestic discretionary spending programs adds up to only about one-sixth of the federal "spending" budget; defense and homeland-security spending, interest on the federal debt and entitlement-benefit spending account for most federal outlays.

Boehner and other prominent Republicans do not acknowledge any connection between tax cuts and federal budget deficits, despite the fact that federal revenue fell during the Bush administration to the lowest levels since the 1950s, and that revenue loss has been a major contributor to federal budget deficits. Instead, they frame tax cuts as "pro-growth" measures and budget deficits as the result of the federal government spending too much money on wasteful and inefficient programs. Many voters also erroneously assume that spending cuts can be achieved painlessly by cutting wasteful, inefficient or overly generous programs.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Loyola partners with Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center on tax-expenditure reform conference

Subsidies totaling over $1 trillion, known as "tax expenditures," are woven throughout the federal tax code. These tax expenditures provide federal subsidies that are targeted to specific industries and activities. Some of these tax expenditures (e.g., the home mortgage interest deduction) are well known and considered by most Americans as entitlements. Many tax expenditures are hidden from public view, however, buried in the complex morass of the federal tax code.

Unlike discretionary spending programs, most tax expenditures are not subject to annual budget scrutiny or performance review (such as cost-benefit analysis), and often provide disproportionate subsidies to upper-income Americans.

-Excerpt from Professor Katie Pratt's op-ed, "Show Me the Money: A Hidden Source of Funding for Federal Deficit Reduction," scheduled to appear in the Jan. 12 edition of the Los Angeles Daily Journal

Loyola Law School and the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center are co-hosting a daylong exploration of tax-expenditure reform during "Starving the Hidden Beast: New Approaches to Tax Expenditure Reform" to be held from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 14 at Loyola Law School's downtown L.A. campus. Speakers include Loyola Professors Ellen Aprill, Katie Pratt and Ted Seto, as well as tax law and policy experts from academia and think tanks such as the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, the Federal Budget Reform Initiative of the Pew Economic Policy Group and the Congressional Research Service. The panels will dissect a range of topics: "The Salience of Tax Expenditures and Implications for Reform," "Reforming the Tax Expenditure Budget Presentation," "Evaluating Tax Expenditures" and "Approaches to Tax Expenditure Reform.

See the event website for complete details.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The future of employment discrimination class actions

By Professor Michael Waterstone

This spring, the Supreme Court will weigh in on Wal-Mart v. Dukes, a case which could have huge implications for both employment discrimination and class action law. Plaintiffs are a class of female Wal-Mart employees alleging sex discrimination. Specifically, they claim that they were paid less than men in comparable positions and received fewer promotions to management positions. The District Court certified a class of more than 1.5 million employees, but the Ninth Circuit reduced the number to 500,000 by excluding female employees who no longer worked at Wal-Mart from the class.

Even at 500,000, this would still be the largest-ever gender bias class action case. Enter the Supreme Court. The order granting certiorari indicates the Court will look at two questions. The first question is whether claims for monetary relief can be certified under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(b)(2)--which by its terms is limited to injunctive or corresponding declaratory relief--and, if so, under, what circumstances? Plaintiff's damage claims are for back pay, declaratory relief, and punitive damages, but not compensatory damages. There is currently a Circuit split on the issue of to what extent monetary damage claims are allowable in a 23(b)(2) class action. The stakes here are important: If plaintiffs' damage claims disqualify them from a 23(b)(2) class action, they will need to serve notice to every individual plaintiff and show that common issues predominate over individual ones.

The second question goes more to the heart of whether a class this big can be maintained, asking "whether the class certification ordered under Rule 23(b)(2) was consistent with Rule 23(a)?" The Court will look at whether plaintiffs' evidence--including statistical proof of disparities between men and women, anecdotal evidence, and expert proof on social framework analysis showing susceptibility to gender bias in the management structure--establish a corporate-wide policy of discrimination, an issue that could be common to all women in the class?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

LLS at AALS today

This year's American Association of Law Schools (AALS) Annual Meeting in San Francisco will include an all-day workshop on Changing Society, Changing Law: Conflicts Over Sexuality and the Evolving American Family. The workshop will run from 8:45 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on today, Thursday, January 6. The last panel of the day, "Sexuality and the Family: Backlash and Social Change," will feature Associate Professor Doug NeJaime, who will be speaking about the productive effects of litigation loss in the LGBT rights and Christian Right movements. He will be joined by Reva Siegel (Yale), Bill Eskridge (Yale), Pam Karlan (Stanford) and Matt Coles (ACLU).

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Proposition 8 and Standing: The Waiting Game

By Associate Professor Doug NeJaime

Today, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued two crucial orders in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the federal challenge to California's Proposition 8. But rather than get to the merits of the question -- whether California's denial of the right to marry to same-sex couples violates federal equal protection or due process principles -- the panel dealt with threshold questions of standing. And at least one member of the court, Judge Reinhardt, seems frustrated by the roadblocks standing between the court and the merits.

In a per curiam opinion, the panel asked the California Supreme Court to weigh in on the question of standing. Specifically, the judges asked the state court to determine whether "the official proponents of an initiative measure possess either a particularlized interest in the initiative's validity or the authority to assert the State's interest in the initiative's validity, which would enable them to defend the constitutionality of the initiative upon its adoption or appeal a judgment invalidating the initiative, when the public officials charged with that duty refuse to do so." In other words, now that the California Governor and Attorney General refuse to defend the marriage ban, can the groups behind Proposition 8 step in to defend it? If the Proposition 8 proponents do not have a state-created right to defend their intiative, then the Ninth Circuit would be compelled to dismiss the appeal for lack of standing and leave the substance of marriage equality for another day.

Ninth Circuit announces opinion on important disability-rights case

By Professor Michael Waterstone

Today, the Ninth Circuit announced its opinion in Enyart v. National Conference of Bar Examiners, and important disability rights case. Several months ago, I blogged about this case here.

Stephanie Enyart, a law graduate who is blind, sued the National Conference of Bar Examiners under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act for the right to take the bar exam with assistive technology software (known as JAWS and ZoomText). Enyart prevailed at the District Court level, getting a preliminary injunction to take the exams using this assistive software. The Ninth Circuit affirmed the District Court.

The National Conference of Bar Examiners offered different accommodations than those Enyart requested (the choice of a live reader or an audio CD of the exam, along with the use of a closed-circuit television for text magnification), and argued that this satisfied its obligations under the ADA. Enyart presented evidence, which the District Court accepted, that she would suffer eye fatigue, disorientation, and nausea if she used the closed circuit television, and that the live reader or audio CD were insufficient to allow her to effectively comprehend and retain the language used on the exam. The Ninth Circuit, after giving Chevron deference to a regulation providing that private entities giving exams must assure that the exam is administered so as to best ensure that the exam results accurately reflect the individual's aptitude or achievement level, held that the accommodations offered by the National Conference of Bar Examiners were not sufficient, and that Enyart was entitled to her requested accommodations.

This is an important case. Not because all law graduates who are blind will get the accommodations that Ms. Enyart requested; the Court was actually quite clear that each case requires an individualized analysis, and that accommodations that make an exam accessible to many blind people may not make the exam accessible to any one blind individual. This is a key to why this case is significant - it ensures that the National Conference of Bar Examiners (or other organizations that administer licensing exams) will need to take an individual's circumstances into account in providing accommodations, rather than just assuming there is a one-size-fits-all solution for particular disabilities.

Would-be lawyers who are blind, like all would-be lawyers who have disabilities, face many barriers to gain access into our profession. These include getting needed accommodations for the LSAT, attitudinal barriers and stigma while in law school, and discrimination in getting the all-important first job out of law school. These all contribute to a legal profession that is not representative of our society: although good data is hard to come by, one recent study found that only 7% of the members of the American Bar Association identified themselves as having a disability, (far below the rate of disability prevalence in the general population). This decision helps clarify that the ADA requires fair treatment in at least one step of the process of becoming a lawyer.