Fighting For a Chance to Take the California Bar Exam
Around this time you may find a would-be Bar exam taker decide not to take the three-day, seventeen-subject marathon that is the California Bar Exam that begins today. It is, however, rare to find someone petitioning the state supreme court for the chance to sit for the exam---and being backed by the state governor.
Sara Granda graduated from UC Davis School of Law in 2009. Being awarded a
coveted Juris Doctor degree from one of the country's top fifty law schools is
made more meaningful by the fact that Granda is paralyzed from the neck down
following a car accident she was in over a decade ago. Her California Bar exam snafu
occurred when the the State Bar failed to to process her application
after the California's Department of Rehabilitation sent a $600 check to cover
her exam fees. It turns out the State Bar website requires payment be made by credit
card rather than check.
Distinction without difference? You be the judge.
It is key to note that Granda double-checked with the State Bar and received a thumbs up that her registration was valid during the application process.
On Friday, a federal court judge denied Granda's request for an order to prohibit the State Bar from stopping her from taking the California Bar exam on the grounds that it lacked jurisdiction in the matter. Governor Schwarzeneggar campaigned on Granda's behalf over the weekend, calling on the State Bar to allow her the opportunity to take the exam. "Sara is a fighter, and I'm with her all the way," said California's head statesman.
The State Bar has been 'taking the Fifth' in responding to the public appeals to allow Granda to take the exam. However, it did file a request with the state supreme court on Monday seeking guidance.
For Sara Granda, the next stop was also the California Supreme Court, where she
filed an emergency petition just one day before the exam's start.
In the end, the eleventh-hour petitions proved successful, with the Supreme Court directing the California State Bar to provisionally allow Granda to take the exam---and giving her until September 1st to finish up any other application requirements.
So on this morning just hours from the start of the exam, good luck to Sara Granda and all July '09 Bar Exam takers!
- State Bar seeks guidance on exam for paralyzed law school grad (The Sacramento Bee)
- Schwarzenegger: Overlook glitch, let paralyzed grad take bar exam (CNN)
- Paralyzed student told she can't take California bar exam because she paid by check (MercuryNews.com)
- Sara Granda -- smart, spirited and disabled -- gets her UCD law degree (The Sacramento Bee)