Saturday, May 9, 2009

How to Fail Out of Law School and Still go to Court

New England Law School expelled Seva Brodsky after he failed two courses in the Spring of 2005. That's generally how school works... you fail and you're out.

What makes Brodsky's case unique is that he subsequently sued the school under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other statutes. Brodsky suffers from "memory and organizational deficits." Uh, that would make law school kinda tough I guess, but surely the school can fail people who can't do the work and pass the tests right?

The National Law Journal reports that a Massachusetts District Court Judge denied a motion to dismiss Brodsky's claims. Brodsky v. New England School of Law, No. 1:09-cv-10007 (D. Mass.). The Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA 2008) played a role in the Judge's reasoning:
"Congress recently amended the ADA, in response to what it perceived to be an inappropriately narrow definition of 'substantially limited' being applied in the federal courts."
So the case will proceed and the school must continue to litigate the matter. This could make law school admissions very interesting...

UPDATE (6/20/2009): I have written a separate entry with advice for those Failing Out of Law School.