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Syracuse Senior Sues
For More Time to Take LSAT

January 22, 2004

DENVER (AP) - A New York college student filed a federal lawsuit Thursday arguing she should be allowed extra time to take a law school entrance exam because of her learning disability.

Syracuse University senior Abby Rothberg, who is originally from Greenwood Village, Colo., accused the Law School Admission Council of discrimination by not allowing her more time to take the Law School Admissions Test, or LSAT.

The council administers the test, which is required for admittance to more than 200 law schools.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Denver, asks the court to force the council to allow Rothberg 50 percent extra time to take the exam in February.

Rothberg's learning disability significantly impairs her processing speed in math, written language and reading, the suit says. Testing has shown that her scores on timed exams, such as the LSAT, do not reflect her overall intellectual abilities.

She was granted extra time to take the ACT college entrance exam, the suit says.

The council first denied Rothberg's request for extra time before a scheduled LSAT exam in December. The organization said she had not taken a specific reading assessment test to determine her disability.

Although she had undergone clinical testing since age 5, Rothberg took the required reading test, the suit says. The doctor who administered the test suggested she be allowed 50 percent more time to complete the multiple choice and writing sections of the LSAT.

The council denied her second request Jan. 13, stating only that the ''documentation provided does not demonstrate a substantial limitation related to taking the LSAT.''

The council, a nonprofit organization based in Pennsylvania, could not be reached after-hours Thursday for details on its accommodations for people with learning disabilities.

Rothberg's father, Michael, said he couldn't discuss details of the suit. Her lawyers did not return after-hours phone messages.