Changes to Connecticut Bar Admission Questions – New Focus on Past Conduct, Not Mental Illness

The Connecticut Bar Examining Committee (CBEC) has recently changed its questions, making admission easier for an applicant with a history of mental illness. Starting next year, instead of focusing on disorders, diagnoses and past treatment, the questions will focus on past conduct to determine whether an applicant is fit to practice law. Mental health issues could still be revealed under the new questions through an applicant’s explanation of circumstances leading to certain conduct, but the questions themselves will no longer specifically reference drugs or disorders; a change that advocates say at the very least will be less intrusive. These changes are a result of a continuing effort to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act and come as a response to lobbying efforts and a recent U.S. Justice Department finding of discrimination against bar applicants with mental illness in Louisiana.

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