Test Accommodations for Applicants with Disabilities

Request Form: PDF | Word

Accommodations Available - The State Board of Law Examiners (SBLE) will provide reasonable nonstandard test accommodations on the Uniform Bar Examination (UBE) in Maryland at no additional cost to qualified applicants with disabilities as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended (ADA). An individual with a disability is defined by the ADA as a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity (e.g., seeing, hearing, learning, reading, concentrating, or thinking) as compared to most people in the general population or the operation of a major bodily function (e.g., the neurological, endocrine, or digestive system). A substantial limitation of a major life activity may be based on the extent to which the impairment affects the condition, manner, or duration in which the individual performs the major life activity.

In reviewing and making decisions about requests for test accommodations, SBLE strives to provide reasonable accommodations, which ensure individuals with disabilities can take the UBE under conditions enabling such individuals to accurately demonstrate aptitude or achievement level consistent with the nature and purpose of the examination. Test accommodations are adjustments or modifications to the standard testing conditions established by the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) for administration of the UBE. Reasonable accommodations are adjustments or modifications that can be implemented without: (1) fundamentally altering the nature of the examination; (2) imposing an undue administrative or financial burden on SBLE; (3) compromising the security, validity, or reliability of the examination; or (4) providing an unfair advantage to the applicant with the disability. Accommodations are not a guarantee of improved performance, test completion, or a passing score.

Where to File the Request for Test Accommodations - A request for ADA test accommodations shall be addressed to:
State Board of Law Examiners
Judiciary A-POD
580 Taylor Avenue
Annapolis, MD 21401

Deadline to Request Test Accommodations - Pursuant to Maryland Rule 19-206(b), SBLE must RECEIVE your completed and signed ADA Accommodations Request Form and all supporting documents not later than the applicable filing deadline for the exam you intend to take, which is set forth in Maryland Rule 19-206(d):

  • May 20* for a July UBE
  • December 20* for a February UBE

*If the deadline falls on a Saturday, Sunday or Court holiday, the Notice of Intent and Accommodations deadline will be the next business day.

Please note that an ADA accommodations request received after the applicable Notice of Intent filing deadline will be rejected as untimely. Rejection of an ADA accommodation request for untimeliness does not constitute a denial on the merits. As such, review by the Accommodations Review Committee is not available where the request is rejected for untimeliness.

Notwithstanding the deadlines set forth above, you are strongly advised to submit your request for ADA test accommodations well in advance of the filing deadline for the session of the UBE in Maryland you seek to take. Early submission of the request packet is particularly important for applicants who are seeking test accommodations for the first time with no history of receiving accommodations in any academic setting or on prior standardized tests. SBLE may choose to have such requests reviewed by one or more outside consultants with expertise in evaluating the applicant’s disability. The process of seeking an outside expert’s opinion may delay SBLE’s ability to reach a decision, making early submission more critical in such circumstances.

Process to Apply for ADA Test Accommodations in Maryland - Complete and sign the Accommodations Request Form and Checklist, linked above, and attach all the required documents to your Accommodations Request Form. Mail or deliver your Accommodations Request Form and supporting documents to SBLE at the address listed above. Your Accommodations Request Form and documents should be mailed or delivered separately from your Bar Application (or if delivered together with your Bar Application, packaged separately and clearly labeled so that those materials may be properly directed). Please note: If you have been granted accommodations for a prior administration of the UBE in Maryland and are requesting the same accommodation(s) again, you need to submit a new signed Request Form by the deadline for any subsequent exam you seek to take, but not the additional documentation you previously submitted.

Documents to Include in Your Request for ADA Test Accommodations - To receive consideration, your request for test accommodations MUST INCLUDE ALL OF THE FOLLOWING, or satisfactorily explain the absence of any missing document:

  • Your completed, signed, original Applicant’s Accommodations Request Form and Checklist (linked at the top of this page). Please note: your accommodation request must be specific. For example, if requesting extra time, state the amount or percentage of extra time requested. Requests lacking sufficient specificity will be rejected without action.
  • Evaluation Report(s) from your treating health professional(s), including each professional’s specific recommendation for accommodations on the UBE. The full requirements for contents of an Evaluation Report are set forth on pages 4 and 5 of the Accommodations Request Form linked above. [Exception: If you previously submitted any health professional’s report to a law school to support a request for test accommodations for which you were approved by that law school within the preceding five (5) years and if you are requesting test accommodation(s) for the UBE substantially identical to what you received from that law school, you may include such a report in lieu of an Evaluation Report fully meeting the requirements set forth on pages 4-5. If requesting an accommodation that differs in extended time duration and/or in some other way from what you received in law school, you must provide an updated Evaluation Report from the same or a different health professional that explains the basis for the currently recommended accommodation(s), including the results of any new diagnostic testing performed by or at the direction of the health professional, if applicable.]
  • Certified copies of your academic transcripts from college and law school. If you have previously sent academic transcripts to SBLE to establish your eligibility to file a bar application in Maryland, you must specify that on the documentation checklist that appears on page 2 of the Accommodations Request Form.
  • Your standardized test score reports for the SAT and/or ACT, LSAT, and the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE). In the event an official score report cannot be obtained for one or more of the listed standardized tests, the Board will accept a printed screenshot or other unofficial score report as acceptable documentation for accommodation requests, provided that the screenshot or other record reliably identifies the applicant on its face. (Please note that for MPRE scores, you are still required to have NCBE report your qualifying score to SBLE as an admission requirement.) If you did not take one or more of the listed standardized tests, you should indicate that fact on the checklist. If you took one or more of the standardized tests more than 12 years ago and did not request accommodations on that test, you should indicate that fact on the checklist.
  • Evidence of Prior Accommodations Decisions in College and/or Law School – This may be in the form of a copy of one or more letters or other documents (on official letterhead) that you received from the college/university and/or law school listing the academic semester/year for which accommodations were requested, whether the request for accommodations was granted or denied, and describing any accommodation granted to you. Please note:
    • If your school issued separate accommodations decision letters for each academic semester/year, provide a copy of each letter you received.
    • Your evidence should cover all academic semesters/years of your attendance at each college/university and/or law school, as shown on your academic transcript. If you do not submit evidence pertaining to one or more academic semesters/years, SBLE will presume that you did not request accommodations for that academic term.
    • If you lack evidence regarding your complete accommodations request history at any school or for any academic semester/year, you may have your school complete a Certification of ADA Accommodations History form and return it to you to submit to SBLE.
    • If you did not request any test accommodations in college or law school, you should indicate that fact on the checklist.
  • Evidence of Prior Accommodations Decisions for bar examinations in other jurisdictions and for the LSAT, ACT, SAT and/or MPRE regardless of whether accommodations were granted or denied. If you did not request test accommodations on prior standardized tests or prior bar examinations, you should indicate that fact on the checklist. Please note that, subject to the limited exception stated in Item 4, above, you must still send standardized test score reports even if you did not request accommodations for the test.
  • Any other materials you deem relevant to substantiating your disability and assessing the degree of impairment arising from your disability.

Process After SBLE Receives the Accommodations Request Form and Supporting Documents -

Upon receipt, the Board will review your Accommodations Request Form and supporting documents for completeness. If the request package is complete, the Board will review the request on the merits.

If the Board grants the requested accommodations, it will notify the applicant of the details of the accommodations granted for the upcoming bar exam.

If the Board denies the requested accommodations, in whole or in part, it will notify the applicant of the grounds of denial and notify the applicant of the opportunity for appeal to the Accommodations Review Committee, pursuant to Maryland Rule 19-208.

If the Board believes that further documentation or an independent evaluation is required, it will notify the applicant and provide a timeframe within which the applicant must respond and/or be evaluated. The following deficiencies may cause SBLE to determine that an accommodations request is substantially incomplete:

  • The request package lacks one or more required document(s) and lacks the required explanation of the absence of a required document.
  • The completed Accommodations Request Form lacks the required specific request for accommodations.
  • The applicant’s medical Evaluation Report:
    • lacks the required specific recommendation of accommodations; and/or,
    • is not based upon recent medical evaluation and testing as described on pages 4 and 5 of the Accommodations Request Form linked above; and/or,
    • lacks a description or inadequately describes the applicable diagnostic criteria, diagnostic tests, test results, and interpretation of results; and/or,
    • lacks a description or inadequately describes the candidate’s limitations arising from the diagnosed disability; and/or,
    • is based solely upon self-reporting by the candidate of alleged symptoms and impairment, without further explanation as to why that is the case.

Upon receipt of a timely Accommodations Request Form and document package that is substantially incomplete, as described above, the Board will notify the applicant and provide an opportunity to cure the deficiency. If the deficiency is cured by the applicable filing deadline or by any extended deadline granted by the Board, the Board will consider the Accommodations Request for the upcoming bar exam. If the deficiency is not cured by the deadline or by any extended deadline granted by the Board, the Board will reject the request. If the request is rejected as substantially incomplete or deficient, the Board will retain the Accommodations Request file for one year during which time the applicant may submit additional or updated documents along with an updated Accommodations Request Form to request accommodations for a future bar examination in Maryland.

For more information on requesting ADA Test Accommodations, please contact SBLE at 410-260-3640 or by email at [email protected].