Is the Louisiana State Bar Association Violating Applicant’s Civil Rights Over Mental Health Issues?

The Louisiana Record reports that the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) is investigating the Louisiana Supreme Court Committee on Bar Admissions over alleged violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Specifically, the DOJ has found that the Committee on Bar Admissions requires disclosure of bar applicant’s mental health status and access to applicant’s mental health records. Admission for certain applicants with mental health issues are conditional despite the lack of any misconduct.

In a February 5, 2014 letter sent to the Chief Justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court, the executive director of the Louisiana Supreme Court Committee on Bar Admissions and the chief disciplinary counsel for the Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board, the DOJ states that: “Questions based on an applicant’s status as a person with a mental health diagnosis do not serve the Court’s worthy goal of identifying unfit applicants, are in fact counterproductive to ensuring that attorneys are fit to practice, and violate the standards of applicable civil rights laws.”

The full article can be found here at The Louisiana Record.