Supreme Court of Florida
No. SC06-1074, 2007 WL 3024353
October 18, 2007
Keywords: test accommodations, admission applications, Internet, web accessibility
The Florida Board of Bar Examiners formally asked the Supreme Court of Florida to change the Supreme Court Rules for Admission to the Florida Bar.
The changes they wanted to make to rule 4-17.1 said, “In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), test accommodations are provided by the board at no additional cost to applicants.”
They wanted to combine the bar exam and bar admission applications.
They wanted to require all applications be completed online.
The Court adopted the proposed changes and they took effect on May 1, 2008.
In making this decision, the Court looked to Title II of the ADA. This title says the Court must make sure qualified bar applicants with disabilities have equal participation in the benefits, services, programs, and activities of the Florida State Bar.
Requiring that anyone applying to the Bar do so on-line could make it more difficult for people with visual impairments to apply. The Florida Supreme Court will have to make sure its website meets minimum accessibility rules.
In 2010, the Supreme Court of Florida again changed the rules for admission to the bar. All applicants may now use a laptop for the written part of the exam. Applicants that choose this option must fill out a form on the Florida Bar website and pay a $125 fee. Applicants that need a laptop as an accommodation must request it as an accommodation from the Florida Bar. There is no cost to individuals with disabilities for reasonable accommodations.