Extra Time on the LSAT for Nursing Mothers

LSAT Blog Extra Time LSAT Nursing Mothers
I've blogged about the fact that the Law School Admission Council denies extra time on the LSAT to nursing mothers, while providing it to a test-taker with ADHD. (Above the Law picked up the stories.)

At the time, the ACLU took up the nursing mothers' case, arguing (emphasis mine):

LSAC has a blanket policy of refusing such requests from women who are breastfeeding, because they are not considered “disabled.” This puts breastfeeding women at a significant disadvantage. Babies typically eat every two to three hours; if moms are away from their babies and aren’t able to empty their breasts on the same schedule, it causes pain, possible infection, and reduction in milk supply. Without sufficient time to pump, Ashley, and other moms in her position, will become increasingly uncomfortable as the test progresses—a serious distraction that could lead to a lower score, not to mention the health risks.

For months, it seemed that LSAC would do nothing, despite the apparent unpopularity of its policy.

However, this week, LSAC announced a major policy change on the controversial "no extra time for breastfeeding" issue:

At its June 1, 2012 meeting, the LSAC Board of Trustees adopted a new policy that will make it easier for some nursing mothers to sit for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT®). The policy makes it possible for a test-taker with a documented need for a lactation-related modification in the administration of the LSAT—such as extended or additional breaks—to request a modification for up to one year following the birth of her child. The request must be made in writing addressed to LSAC Test Administration by the regular registration deadline associated with the LSAT administration for which the test taker is registered. LSAC’s decisions on such requests will be made on a case-by-case basis.

(The vagueness of LSAC's language begs the question, "What other 'lactation-related modifications' might there be in the administration of the LSAT?")

Anyway...while fans of attachment parenting may argue nursing mothers deserve extra time for up to 10 years after the birth of their child, I think LSAC's recent policy change on the issue strikes a good compromise.

(Note: I've never been, nor do I expect to ever be, a nursing mother, and have no basis upon which to express any opinions on this subject.)

What do you all think?

1 comment:

  1. I am a nursing mother studying for the LSAT, and in theory, I am supportive of this move. My child is 14 months, though, so this policy won't give me any extra time, and to be honest, I would have never thought to ask for extra time, even if she were younger. The situation that is described above would only happen in the first several weeks/few months of nursing. A mother's milk supply evens out, and I say that as a mother who has nursed two daughters, completely on demand (when they want it, not on a schedule), and who has dealt with mastitis several times. If I was still at the point where I could not sit for 5ish hours, I would not be in a position to take the LSAT. I would still be overly exhausted from a baby who was nursing constantly and up all night. And, even if I somehow were miraculously ready to take it, my strategy would be to take the pump with me and pump before going in and immediately after coming out. I suppose I just don't see the need for the ACLU to get involved. After all, it seems obvious that if you can't handle the LSAT on your own while nursing, you certainly can't handle law school with a demanding child at home. Nursing gets easier, but parenting certainly doesn't. But, then again, each child/mother and their needs are different and much better to have this policy in place than jeopardize a child's access to breastmilk...