A University of California Hastings College of the Law graduate should no longer be allowed to practice law in California because she lied about having a disability in order to get more time to take the 2009 bar exam, the State Bar of California said Wednesday.
The lawyer, Leah Harmuth, received time and a half to take the July 2009 bar exam in a semiprivate room after claiming in a March 2009 application that she suffered a disability and had received similar accommodations as an undergraduate student at the University of Pennsylvania, according to the California Bar. Citing the confidentiality of admissions records, the agency did not specify the nature of Harmuth’s alleged disability.
California bar officials only learned of Harmuth’s falsehood in August 2011 after being notified by the New York State Board of Law Examiners that she had requested the same treatment from them under penalty of perjury in her application to take the February 2011 bar exam in New York. After determining that she received no university-approved special treatment as an undergraduate, the New York board disqualified Harmuth from taking the exam and barred her from applying for admission to be a lawyer in the state for two years. (A representative for the New York board did not return a call for comment Wednesday.)