The Blog Formerly Known As Practical Paralegalism
California legal assistant, Stephanie Enyart, employed at Disability Rights Advocates in Berkeley, is legally blind due to macular degeneration, but that has not stopped her from pursuing a successful career in the legal field, including graduating from law school last year.
But she had to resort to litigation to get the National Conference of Bar Examiners to allow her to use assistive technology to take the bar exam. The conference offered a human reader and a scribe instead.
KTVU.com reports that U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer granted her an injunction, which will allow her to use “a combination of magnified text and a software program that reads portions of the text aloud” during part of the exam. She uses this technology in her work as a legal assistant.
Judge Breyer said, “A disability should not prevent an individual from pursuing their dream, if that’s what it is of practicing law.”
Enyart talks about the necessity of doing things differently when you “have a different set of abilities” and the need for other legal professional mentors with disabilities in this short video:
The American Bar Association spotlighted Enyart in February 2008 with a terrific article about her law school career, which included helping establish the National Association of Law Students with Disabilities.
Enyart takes the bar exam on February 23, and I am wishing her the best of success on the exam and in her career. She sounds like she would make a tremendously compassionate, resourceful and determined lawyer.