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Despite his ability to fluently speak three languages; complete his high school education in just three years; graduate from Wayne State University with a bachelor’s degree; and obtain employment with the United States Department of Homeland Security, where he was awarded high-level clearance, 28-year-old Angelo Binno of West Bloomfield, Michigan cannot gain acceptance to law school.
Binno, who is legally blind, has been denied entry into several law schools and a legal education as a result of the American Bar Association’s (ABA) accreditation process requirements. Law schools are required by the ABA to administer an entry exam, which students must pass to gain entry into the school – the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), administered by the Law School Admission Council – to maintain their accreditation status.
The design of the test, of which one-fourth of the questions require diagramming to successfully answer, is patently discriminatory against people who are blind or with visual impairments, as they are physically incapable of completing the section and therefore cannot pass the exam.
The ABA has stated that should a law school waive the exam, the school faces sanctions, including loss of accreditation. Because the ABA’s discriminatory requirements, Binno is seeking action against the ABA, a private entity.
On May 24, 2011, Attorney Richard Bernstein, of the Sam Bernstein Law Firm in Farmington Hills, filed the lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan Southern Division, seeking an end to the American Bar Association’s failure to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).
The lawsuit has been assigned Case Number 2:11-cv-12247-DPH-MAR and placed on the docket of Judge Denise Page Hood at the U.S. District Court - Eastern District Michigan in Detroit.
The lawsuit asks the court to issue an injunction restraining the ABA from further administering accreditation to law schools until it complies with the ADA and cease implementation of the LSAT requirement of law schools, which discriminates against individuals with disabilities.
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