disclosing questionable "events" on your addendum

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Aimhigh99
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disclosing questionable "events" on your addendum

Postby Aimhigh99 » Sun Mar 07, 2010 2:11 pm

so yay. im about to take the June 2010 lsat.

I'm thinking about writing a GPA addendum for my 2.9/3.0 ish GPA (depending on this semester). As well as a diversity statement for all the schools I will be applying to.

My question is this. I am not a URM However, I am diverse in the fact that I am late hard-of-hearing. (clinically deaf, it happened my freshman year in college)

Obviously had setbacks with my social and school life. GPA and diversity addendum will BOTH address this as a major changing point in my life.

My question. Will I have to disclose the events that CAUSED me to become hard-of-hearing... or can I simply state it as a "medical accident" or something similar....

BTW TLS... I lost my hearing resulting from a heroin overdose which I was in a coma for over 18 hours and had to be defibbed back to life. (life changing experience). I have since quit shooting dope. and aimed to get my life on track. for rather OBVIOUS reasons.... I would like to NOT disclose this....but don't know if I will have to.

ALSO... arrests in which the charges were dropped... Do i have to disclose? This seems rather unfair as if you are not convicted you shouldn't have to report...... rather dumb IMO.

Kobe_Teeth
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Re: disclosing questionable "events" on your addendum

Postby Kobe_Teeth » Sun Mar 07, 2010 2:27 pm

Wow. Is your past drug use part of your reason for going to law school?

As far as arrests go, even dropped charges, I think erring on the side of disclosure is the general rule.

This is a really tough question.

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whuts4lunch
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Re: disclosing questionable "events" on your addendum

Postby whuts4lunch » Sun Mar 07, 2010 2:32 pm

You have to answer the questions the applications give you. Some apps will ask you to disclose if you have been arrested or charged, in which case you have to answer yes. Others will ask only for convictions, or will have some other clause that precludes you from having to disclose.

I agree that it is wrong to force applicants to disclose charges w/o convictions, because doesn't doing so hold a person liable for something that person was not found guilty of doing?

Mr. Pablo
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Re: disclosing questionable "events" on your addendum

Postby Mr. Pablo » Sun Mar 07, 2010 2:34 pm

You will have to disclose those arrests. They specifically ask you to do so on the application, furthermore they often will ask you to write an addendum explaining the arrest. Be prepared to write about this.
You should not be ashamed of having overcome addiction to heroin. That is a difficult thing to do, so difficult in fact that it is the example people use when describing something that is addictive (also crack). Congratulations on your recovery, you should be proud of your tremendous willpower and fortitude. The admissions committees ask applicants to write about a challenge they, the applicant, have faced and overcome. This story is just such a thing. You have a 3.0 despite an addiction to heroin? That is some great material for a PS.

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voice of reason
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Re: disclosing questionable "events" on your addendum

Postby voice of reason » Sun Mar 07, 2010 2:46 pm

Heroin addiction is a potentially risky subject to write about. Some reviewers will credit you for overcoming adversity, but others may ding you as someone with poor judgment. I would write about that in statements to reach schools where you have little chance of getting in on the numbers without some special boost, because this might be it. For the schools where you're a more mainstream applicant, I would play it safer.

Hearing impairment presents much lower risk because you can focus on overcoming the challenges. If you write about the hearing impairment in your personal statement, perhaps there is some medically neutral language you can use to describe its onset without mentioning heroin. Maybe you can say you lost your hearing as a complication from another illness for which you were hospitalized and have recovered.

Mr. Pablo
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Re: disclosing questionable "events" on your addendum

Postby Mr. Pablo » Sun Mar 07, 2010 2:51 pm

voice of reason wrote:Heroin addiction is a potentially risky subject to write about. Some reviewers will credit you for overcoming adversity, but others may ding you as someone with poor judgment. I would write about that in statements to reach schools where you have little chance of getting in on the numbers without some special boost, because this might be it. For the schools where you're a more mainstream applicant, I would play it safer.

Hearing impairment presents much lower risk because you can focus on overcoming the challenges. If you write about the hearing impairment in your personal statement, perhaps there is some medically neutral language you can use to describe its onset without mentioning heroin. Maybe you can say you lost your hearing as a complication from another illness for which you were hospitalized and have recovered.


VoR is right, I should have said that myself.

Aimhigh99
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Re: disclosing questionable "events" on your addendum

Postby Aimhigh99 » Sun Mar 07, 2010 2:52 pm

Thanks everyone for the encouraging advise!

to answer questions. Yes I have a 3.0 My chosen study is Accountancy and I also go to a Top14 school in undergrad accounting (lol like that matters)

The reason for accountancy and Law school is that I don't have any interest in school subjects. However, I love being challenged, love the prestige, and don't might the difficulty of such subjects.

To answer someone's question, YES this is why I've decided to go into law and other reputable fields of study. Why? Because after I died and came back to live I had a life changing moment. I realized that I spent my life doing the easy things. Taking the easy way out. (shooting dope, smoking weed, poppin pills, fuckin hoes. No disrespect to the ladies, just girls in the circles I ran with) Never challenging myself. WASTING my god given gifts and talents. If I had died, I would never have even reached NEAR my potential (I was a 2.0 GPA/ C student before my overdose). It saddened me to an extent where I try to challenge myself in everything I do now.

I look at life differently. Its like everything that is happening now... coulda just....NOT happened ya know? Its a weird feeling having died before. You aren't scared of anything. You accept how the world works. And you aim to better yourself. (can't speak for others, just from 1st hand experience here)

Yes, I was a heroin addict for 3 years (when i was 16-19). Most of my arrests happened during that time period. However I have 2 arrests that happened after the fact. I've had 5 arrests total, most were within 16-19 however I have an arrest after 19 as well. (1 arrest is a possession with intent to distribute FELONY.... :shock: YIKES)

3.0 is okay (certainly nothing to aw about LOL)... However, don't underestimate heroin addicts. I know many that walk daily through life and you could be their best friend and not know they were a junkie. (I know a lot of my friends were SHOCKED to find out I used heroin daily)

ALSO. the main thing is. I've read a post where another TLSer was asking about disclosing former drug and alcohol addictions. A reputable TLSer (I forgot the name) said that drug use is very taboo and should only be used in the PS for "reach" schools... as most people see drug use as bad and taboo... and something along those lines ( can't find the exact thread right now)

EDIT: ^ was just discussed right above me thanks for the input!

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quasi-stellar
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Re: disclosing questionable "events" on your addendum

Postby quasi-stellar » Sun Mar 07, 2010 2:55 pm

I'd say don't ever, ever mention heroin addiction in your statement or addendum as it is a sure way of getting rejected. You know, they say there are no ex-drugs users. However, I do not imply that you are one, it's just the fact that this word has certain negative connotations.

As far as the arrests go, if they ask you - you should tell them( schools you're applying to).

Aimhigh99
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Re: disclosing questionable "events" on your addendum

Postby Aimhigh99 » Sun Mar 07, 2010 2:59 pm

quasi-stellar wrote:I'd say don't ever, ever mention heroin addiction in your statement or addendum as it is a sure way of getting rejected. You know, they say there are no ex-drugs users. However, I do not imply that you are one, it's just the fact that this word has certain negative connotations.

As far as the arrests go, if they ask you - you should tell them( schools you're applying to).


thanks. This is the route I wanted to personally go with. Which is why I asked about this.

The world we live in is pretty sad ... It sucks.

eudaimondaimon
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Re: disclosing questionable "events" on your addendum

Postby eudaimondaimon » Sun Mar 07, 2010 3:09 pm

quasi-stellar wrote:You know, they say there are no ex-drugs users.


There are indeed ex-drug-users. However, there are no ex-drug-addicts. Once an addict, you're always addicted, but that doesn't preclude the possibility of permanently staying clean.

OP, I don't have anything else to add that hasn't already been covered by the previous posters with respect to your original query. I just want to say congratulations for kicking the monkey off your back. I'm sorry it had to come at such a high cost. I've only had to deal with addiction to nicotine, and I know how hard that was to fight. I can't imagine how hard it must've been for you. Good luck staying clean.

Aimhigh99
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Re: disclosing questionable "events" on your addendum

Postby Aimhigh99 » Sun Mar 07, 2010 3:17 pm

eudaimondaimon wrote:
quasi-stellar wrote:You know, they say there are no ex-drugs users.


There are indeed ex-drug-users. However, there are no ex-drug-addicts. Once an addict, you're always addicted, but that doesn't preclude the possibility of permanently staying clean.

OP, I don't have anything else to add that hasn't already been covered by the previous posters with respect to your original query. I just want to say congratulations for kicking the monkey off your back. I'm sorry it had to come at such a high cost. I've only had to deal with addiction to nicotine, and I know how hard that was to fight. I can't imagine how hard it must've been for you. Good luck staying clean.


Thanks so much! IT has come at a high price, but I realize if I didn't pay this price, I would very well be DEAD by now. PERIOD no question about it. I was insane.

Yeah true, you're always addicted but I've been clean since January 20th 2008 and still going strong.

Nicotine is a hard fight don't discredit it. It's not like you can travel to gas stations to buy a bag of H! when you can buy 20 squares at a time in a convenient little box... and its LEGAL... (if you're over 18) lol.

All I can do is keep my head up, You know you can't be discouraged in life! haha :D

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JustDude
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Re: disclosing questionable "events" on your addendum

Postby JustDude » Sun Mar 07, 2010 7:47 pm

Shouldnt you screenname be "Iamhigh" instead of "Aimhigh". Is it a typo?

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maine08080
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Re: disclosing questionable "events" on your addendum

Postby maine08080 » Mon Mar 08, 2010 12:20 am

Aimhigh99 wrote:Yes, I was a heroin addict for 3 years (when i was 16-19). Most of my arrests happened during that time period. However I have 2 arrests that happened after the fact. I've had 5 arrests total, most were within 16-19 however I have an arrest after 19 as well. (1 arrest is a possession with intent to distribute FELONY.... :shock: YIKES)


Damn! That's some serious stuff. Admissions might not be crazy about this but what the hell. I won't try to completely dissuade you to not apply to law school, but definitely study your ass off for the LSAT.

If all else fails, become a motivational speaker.

CMDantes
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Re: disclosing questionable "events" on your addendum

Postby CMDantes » Mon Mar 08, 2010 6:06 pm

Yeah I think you're pretty screwed, honestly. Hate to be the one to say it, but there it is.

With all those arrests on your record and the amazingly bad judgement throughout your history (2 arrests AFTER you had the life changing experience? lol)

I doubt any adcom is going to commend you in any way for mentioning this on your PS. I just think it's extremely hard to find someone who hasn't suffered through drug addiction that will be completely sympathetic to this stuff. Even if those people were more common, they likely won't be adcoms. Better off just avoiding the subject, and really I recommend not putting yourself through the turmoil of failing the character and fitness portion of the bar exam after spending all that money on law school.

I dunno though, just my opinion.

Aimhigh99
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Re: disclosing questionable "events" on your addendum

Postby Aimhigh99 » Mon Mar 08, 2010 7:36 pm

^ i had 2 arrests but neither of them convictions just some cops I knew that wanted me gone because they couldn't do it the first time. / WRONG PLACE WRONG TIME

I have completed probation satisfactorily, attended counseling , community service, all that has been required of me.

Do you really think I'll fail it? If so, Maybe I shouldn't do this.

EDIT: lawyer tells me I can expunge my felony in 2015 as well....
Last edited by Aimhigh99 on Mon Mar 08, 2010 7:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

CMDantes
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Re: disclosing questionable "events" on your addendum

Postby CMDantes » Mon Mar 08, 2010 7:43 pm

I honestly have no idea, but I would laugh at the entire character and fitness portion of the bar exam if someone who had serious drug dependencies and a felony was able to pass and then be admitted into a profession already full of drug abuse.

I would conduct some serious research on this question before proceeding.

Let us know, if you're in the clear than I've certainly got nothing to worry about.

Aimhigh99
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Re: disclosing questionable "events" on your addendum

Postby Aimhigh99 » Mon Mar 08, 2010 10:27 pm

.

Miznitic
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Re: disclosing questionable "events" on your addendum

Postby Miznitic » Wed Mar 10, 2010 5:00 pm

It's going to have to be disclosed sometime. If not now, then by the time you need to submit a C&F for the bar.

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Sangiovese
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Re: disclosing questionable "events" on your addendum

Postby Sangiovese » Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:27 am

I wouldn't hide it. Put it out there front and center. With all those arrests, you're not going to be able to avoid talking about the heroin addiction. A near-death experience followed by overcoming a major drug addiction is the stuff that powerful personal statements are born from. Use it.

Character and Fitness problems are a possibility... but less so if you show that you disclosed everything at the outset.

One thing is... although being clean for over a year is awesome (congratulations!!) it is still a fairly short time period to separate you from a lot of bad choices. With something so serious, I think you are going to need more time to distance yourself from the old you and prove that you can stay clean. Is it realistic to wait a year so that you can say that you've been clean for over 2 years? It would be even more compelling if you could do some counseling with at risk youth or something during the time off.

And when you do apply, I would get a LOR from a doctor or official involved in your rehab. Having someone with credentials making a statement on your behalf about your progress with dealing with the addiction and their belief that you can stay clean in a stressful law school environment should help. Multiple arrests + major addiction is a big enough problem to devote a LOR towards.




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