The Supreme Court of South Carolina
Re: Rules of the Board of Law Examiners - Appendix A, SCACR
Appellate Case No. 2014-001607
The Board of Law Examiners requests the Court approve its proposed amendments to the Rules of the Board of Law Examiners found at Appendix A to Part IV of the South Carolina Appellate Court Rules. Pursuant to Rule 402(k)(3), this Court approves the Board of Law Examiners' proposed amendments to the Rules of the Board of Law Examiners. Appendix A to Part IV, SCACR, shall state as follows:
RULES OF THE BOARD OF LAW EXAMINERS
(Promulgated Pursuant to Rule 402(k)(3) of the
South Carolina Appellate Court Rules (SCACR))
SPECIAL ACCOMMODATIONS FOR DISABLED APPLICANTS.
1. Policy. It is the policy of the Board of Law Examiners (the Board) of the State of South Carolina to provide reasonable accommodations for disabled applicants including persons with learning disabilities and persons with health impairments. The bar examination will be administered to all eligible applicants in a manner that does not discriminate against those applicants with disabilities.
2. Application Procedure.
(a) Persons needing special accommodations on examinations should make a written request to the Board to obtain the necessary information, procedures and written forms. Appropriate current documentation is required by the Board.
(b) Upon written request to the Board, the manner in which the examination is administered to an applicant may be modified while maintaining the security and integrity of the examination.
(c) An applicant must submit a written request for special testing accommodations on forms prescribed by the Board no later than November 1st for the February examination and April 1st for the July examination.
(d) Applicants must submit a current medical verification prepared by a licensed professional qualified to diagnose such disability who can describe the nature and extent of the disability. Applicants must submit all medical information to be considered by the Board with their written request.
(e) The Board may require the applicant to provide additional information in support of the applicant's request. This information may include, but is not limited to, information concerning special accommodations provided during the applicant's law school education including certification from official representatives of the school where such accommodations were provided. The Board may also require the applicant to undergo a physical/psychological examination to be conducted by a licensed professional designated by the Board verifying the nature and extent of the impairment. The Board may also appoint an expert to analyze the documentation submitted by the applicant and to make a recommendation to the Board concerning appropriate accommodations.
(f) In addition, an applicant seeking special testing accommodations due to a learning disability or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder must provide appropriate documentation provided by a licensed professional qualified to diagnose such disability including, but not limited to, a licensed physician, learning disability specialist or psychologist. Learning disability and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder evaluations must meet all requirements stated on the Board's written forms and should be completed or updated within the past three (3) years. An updated evaluation does not necessarily need to be a full, comprehensive diagnostic evaluation, but must provide information concerning relevant treatment, course of condition, current impairment, and rationale for current accommodation requests. The previous comprehensive diagnostic evaluation must be submitted with the updated evaluation. It is the applicant's responsibility to insure the Board is provided with a complete record fully demonstrating the existence and extent of impairment.
3. General Standards and Procedures.
(a) Depending on the nature and extent of an applicant's disability, the exam may be administered to the applicant in a separate room. Applicants assigned to a separate testing room will be monitored by a proctor approved by the Secretary of the Board.
(b) At the request of a blind or sight impaired applicant, the Board may provide the examination in braille or in large print; provided, the request is made no later than November 1st for the February exam and April 1st for the July exam.
(c) The Board may allow the applicant to use the services of a special assistant. This person may not provide substantive assistance to the applicant, but may read the Multistate Performance Examination (MPT), Multistate Essay Examination (MEE) and/or the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) questions to the applicant. The special assistant may type or write the applicant's answers to the MPT and MEE questions and fill in the MBE answer sheet at the applicant's direction. If the applicant chooses to use a special assistant, the applicant must provide background information regarding the special assistant to the Board. The special assistant shall not have any legal related employment or education. The Secretary of the Board must approve the special assistant.
(d) The Board may allow a disabled applicant additional time to complete the MPT, MEE, and MBE portions of the examination. The additional time on each section of the examination shall not exceed one and one half (1 1/2) times the normal time allotted for the section. In addition, longer rest and/or lunch breaks may be permitted; however, in no event shall the entire examination extend beyond two (2) additional days.
(e) The Board shall determine the measures necessary to ensure that any special accommodations approved under this policy do not compromise the security or integrity of the examination or the integrity of the applicant's answers.
(f) The Board will notify the applicant of its decision on the request for special accommodations in writing at least thirty (30) days prior to the scheduled examination.
(g) An applicant dissatisfied with the decision of the Board may appeal to the Supreme Court within ten (10) days after service of the written decision of the Board. This appeal is to be made by filing a motion with the Clerk of the Supreme Court in compliance with Rule 240, SCACR. The record in this appeal will be limited to the forms and other documents considered by the Board prior to making its decision.
(h) The Secretary of the Board shall serve as the Americans with Disabilities Act coordinator for the Board and shall ensure that the provisions of this Rule are fully implemented.
These amendments shall take effect ninety (90) days from the date of this order. See Rule 402(k)(3), SCACR.
s/Donald W. Beatty C.J.
s/John W. Kittredge J.
s/Kaye G. Hearn J.
s/John Cannon Few J.
s/George C. James, Jr. J.
Columbia, South Carolina
August 1, 2019