Disabled woman passes bar exam after Supreme Court fight

Kathy Woods Nov. 21, 2009, 2:00pm

Arnold Schwarzenegger (R)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Legal Newsline)- A California law school graduate who was temporarily blocked from taking the state bar exam over a technicality and took her case to the state Supreme Court has passed the bar exam, officials said Saturday.

Sara Granda, a quadriplegic since a 1997 car accident, was refused by the California State Bar to take the exam because she did not have a credit card.

The state Department of Rehabilitation paid her $600.00 test fee by check. Because the State Bar of California requires the fee to be paid for by credit card, her application was not processed.

Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who championed her cause, congratulated her Saturday.

"Sara has overcome so much in her life and today I congratulate her for once again persevering and passing the California Bar Exam," Schwarzenegger said in a statement. "Her hard work, dedication and outlook on life" are an inspiration and prove that "opportunity lies in every obstacle."

Granda, 29, and the state bar had worked together to accommodate her special needs in order to take the exam and then this month she was told that she had not properly registered and would not be allowed to take the test.

Schwarzenegger sent a letter to the state Supreme Court on Granda's behalf.

"The system needs to be flexible enough to accommodate extraordinary individuals like Sara Granda, I hope that you allow Ms. Granda a chance to achieve the goal that she has pursued with such incredible devotion," the governor said.

Granda graduated from the University of California Davis School of Law in May. The state Supreme Court in July sided with her in a 6-0 ruling reached in closed session.

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