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Having failed the bar exam multiple times Mark Tetzlaff has sued the Illinois State Bar(State Bar) over not being able to take the Bar Exam in an open book format.  According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) complaint filed against the State Bar, Tetzlaff, an alcoholic, suffers from memory loss and depression.   The complaint states that not being able to take the exam over a 4 day period in a private room in an open book format violates his rights under the ADA.

Tetzlaff, who is currently pursuing a LLM at Temple University, has short-term memory loss, a condition for which he receives Social Security disability income. The State Bar in 2012 granted his request to take the exam over a 4 day period in a semi-private room due to his documented test taking anxiety.  But the State Bar denied his request for an open book test.  He failed that exam. 

In addition to taking the bar exam in Illinois Tetzlaff has unsuccessfully attempted the bar exam in Wisconsin.

Currently employed as a legal researcher, Tetzlaff argued his own bankruptcy appeal regarding student loan discharge in front of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.  The US Supreme Court denied Tetzlaff petition on this matter.  This notoriety helped lead to the current scholarship he has at Temple.

Although Tetzlaff did not take the July 2017 State Bar Exam as hoped, he is now hoping to take it in February 2018 pending the outcome of his ADA complaint.

To read further about this from the ABA

Click Open Book Bar Exam


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