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Blind Law Student Can Use Special Software on MPRE, Judge Rules

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By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on August 05, 2011 6:42 AM

For one blind law student, the MPRE was going to be a tough challenge. Until now.

Vermont Law School student Deanna Jones, 44, will today be able to use a screenreader software that will read the text aloud while enlarging the font.

Jones is legally blind and has also been diagnosed with an auditory learning disability. In order for her to fully comprehend the exam, she needs to have the exam text read out loud, according to WCAX-TV.

And, in truly ethical fashion, the National Conference of Bar Examiners initially refused her request to use the screenreader software.

Apparently, the NCBE has little faith in the ethics of potential attorneys. They think that by using a computer program during the exam, there's the potential that someone might steal or copy the exam onto a thumb drive, according to WCAX-TV.

Ah, bar examiners. Maybe it should have occurred to them that a law student who is studying for the MPRE might just want to take this fight to the courthouse instead.

Law students are also fresh off of taking courses in constitutional law and torts, where they are basically instructed on the various types of lawsuits you can file if you think someone is stepping on your rights or have caused you some sort of injury.

Well, NCBE, you asked for it, and you got it. And you lost (preliminarily).

Jones has been granted a preliminary injunction that will allow her to use her screenreader software during the MPRE exam, according to the ABA Journal.

The preliminary injunction, of course, does not mean that the case is over. After all, case still has to go through the whole trial process. But the injunction does means that for one blind student, the MPRE will no longer be an insurmountable obstacle.

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