7 Beginning in the 1970s, bar admission applica-
tions began to include questions as to whether
the applicant had mental health disorders
and/or substance addictions. An affirmative
response required the applicant to consent to
disclosure of the names of treatment providers
and medical records. See Andrea Stempien,
“Answering the Call of the Question: Reform-
ing Mental Health Disclosure During Charac-
ter and Fitness to Combat Mental Illness in the
Legal Profession,” U. Det. Mercy L. Rev. 1, 4-5
(Winter 2016); see also “Suffering in Silence:
The Tension Between Self-Disclosure and A
Law School’s Obligation to Report,” Confer-
ence Panel on Assisting Law Students with
Disabilities in the 21st Century, 18 American
University Journal of Gender, Social Policy
& the Law 121 (2009). After the passage of
the ADA in 1992, certain questions, partic-
ularly broad based inquiries about whether
an applicant had ever suffered from a mental
impairment, were held to violate the Act. See,
e.g., Ellen S. v. Florida Board of Bar Examiners,
859 F.Supp. 1489 (S.D. Fla. 1994); Clark v. Vir-
ginia Bd. of Bar Examiners, 880 F. Supp. 430,
442-43 (E.D. Va. 1995) (finding that questions
requiring individuals with mental disabilities
to subject themselves to further inquiry and
scrutiny discriminate against those with men-
tal disabilities); Medical Society of New Jersey
v. Jacobs, 1993 WL 413016 at 7 (D. N. J. 1993)
(refusing to allow questions that substitute an
inquiry into the status of disabled applicants
for an inquiry into the applicants’ behavior
and place a burden of additional investigations
on applicants who answer in the affirmative).
More narrowly tailored questions limiting
the time period asked about and/or relating
to specific diagnoses were held to not be in
violation of the ADA. See, e.g., Applicants v.
Texas State Board of Law Examiners, 1994 W.L
923404 (W.D. Texas, Oct. 11, 1994). Title II of
the ADA prohibits policies that are based on
“mere speculation, stereotypes, or generaliza-
tions about individuals with disabilities.” See
28 C.F.R. § 35.130(h); 42 U.S.C. § 12101(a)( 7)
(criticizing unequal treatment “resulting from
stereotypic assumptions not truly indicative
of the individual ability [of people with dis-
abilities] to participate in, and contribute to,
society”). See also S. Rep. No. 116, 101st Cong.,
1st Sess., at 7 (1989) (discussing the “false pre-
sumptions, generalizations, misperceptions,
patronizing attitudes, ignorance, irrational
fears, and pernicious mythologies” surround-
ing disability; H.R. Rep. No. 485, 101st Cong.,
2d Sess., pt. III, at 25 (1990) (noting that “many
of the problems faced by disabled people are
not inevitable, but instead are the result of
discriminatory policies based on unfounded,
outmoded stereotypes and perceptions, and
deeply imbedded prejudices towards people
8 The submitted comments can be viewed here:
rules.commentDisplay&ruleId=487 (last re-
trieved Sept. 6, 2016).
9 APR 24. 1 (c) (amended effective Sept. 1, 2016).
10 RCW 49. 60.010 and RCW 49. 60.040( 7).
11 APR 22(a) (version in effect until Sept. 1,
12 APR 20(d) (amended effective Sept. 1, 2016).
13 APR 20(c) (amended effective Sept. 1, 2016).
14 These factors are distinct from the essential el-
igibility requirements, although there is some
overlap between the two.
15 APR 21(a)( 10) and APR 21(a) ( 13) (amended
effective Sept. 1, 2016).
16 APR 21(b) ( 1-9) (amended effective Sept. 1,
17 APR 22. 1(e) and (f) (amended effective Sept. 1,
18 APR 24. 1(f) (amended effective Sept. 1, 2016).
19 APR 24. 2 (e) (version effective before Sept. 1,
20 APR 21(c) (amended effective Sept. 1, 2016)
(referencing RCW 10. 60.010).
Dishing up free CLEs!
WSBA invites you to lunch and learn
while earning 1. 5 CLE credits. And the
tab is on us! The Legal Lunchbox Series
is at noon on the last Tuesday of each
month, starting in October. WSBA will
host a 90-minute, 1. 5 credit, live webcast
CLE on topics such as e-discovery and
ethics in social media.
Mark your calendars now!
To register and for more
information, visit www.wsbacle.org.