Should I write about my recent substance abuse issues...

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )

Should I write about my substance abuse

Poll ended at Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:09 pm

Yes
1
5%
No
20
95%
 
Total votes: 21

richalvarez
Posts: 63
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2011 7:53 pm

Should I write about my recent substance abuse issues...

Postby richalvarez » Tue Dec 06, 2011 8:09 pm

I had a problem with cocaine and I got a DUI in 2008 for narcotics. I went to a treatment program and got help for my addiction, and I am proud to say I've been clean since 2009. Unfortunately, I got a second DUI in 2010 for alcohol. I also got an open container towards the end of 2010. I know everyone is going to read this and write me off as an addict who doesn't belong in law school, but I truly feel I'm exactly what a law school needs. I'm an individual who has hit his bottom, fought through adversity and refused to accept my shortcomings. I graduated with a B.S in Accounting and started my own firm doing taxes and bookkeeping. I feel I'm about as diverse as they come: reformed addict, self-employed, single parent, and URM (Mexican Male).

I have found my passion in taxes and would like to study tax law to further my practice, which would also give me the ability to better assist the underprivileged Hispanic members of my community.

What do you guys think? Obviously, I have to divulge my criminal background on my application, so I figured I might as well try and benefit from it. Agree or Disagree?

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sunynp
Posts: 1899
Joined: Tue May 24, 2011 2:06 pm

Re: Should I write about my recent substance abuse issues...

Postby sunynp » Tue Dec 06, 2011 8:19 pm

Don't write about substance abuse. Lawyers are notorious for substance abuse issues. Not everyone feels that overcoming addiction is a great accomplishment.
Write about overcoming some other adversity - something that puts you in a shining light - write about what drives you now.

hooma
Posts: 213
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:33 pm

Re: Should I write about my recent substance abuse issues...

Postby hooma » Tue Dec 06, 2011 8:39 pm

Do not put this in a personal statement, although you will probably need to write an addendum explaining how much you've grown since these experiences. But adcomms may not believe it, this wasn't that long ago. I think you would be best served by continuing to work for a couple more years to put chronological distance between who you were then versus now.

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MormonChristian
Posts: 214
Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2011 11:33 pm

Re: Should I write about my recent substance abuse issues...

Postby MormonChristian » Wed Dec 07, 2011 1:06 am

richalvarez wrote:I had a problem with cocaine and I got a DUI in 2008 for narcotics. I went to a treatment program and got help for my addiction, and I am proud to say I've been clean since 2009. Unfortunately, I got a second DUI in 2010 for alcohol. I also got an open container towards the end of 2010. I know everyone is going to read this and write me off as an addict who doesn't belong in law school, but I truly feel I'm exactly what a law school needs.


I go back and forth on whether you are what a law school needs. I personally think you would be fascinating to discuss legal drug issues with, but on the other hand if you are an addict. Please let me know what happens, since I haven't made up my mind either way.

Best of luck with the process.

User avatar
tyro
Posts: 648
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2011 2:23 am

Re: Should I write about my recent substance abuse issues...

Postby tyro » Wed Dec 07, 2011 1:15 am

richalvarez wrote:I had a problem with cocaine and I got a DUI in 2008 for narcotics. I went to a treatment program and got help for my addiction, and I am proud to say I've been clean since 2009. Unfortunately, I got a second DUI in 2010 for alcohol. I also got an open container towards the end of 2010. I know everyone is going to read this and write me off as an addict who doesn't belong in law school, but I truly feel I'm exactly what a law school needs. I'm an individual who has hit his bottom, fought through adversity and refused to accept my shortcomings. I graduated with a B.S in Accounting and started my own firm doing taxes and bookkeeping. I feel I'm about as diverse as they come: reformed addict, self-employed, single parent, and URM (Mexican Male).

I have found my passion in taxes and would like to study tax law to further my practice, which would also give me the ability to better assist the underprivileged Hispanic members of my community.

What do you guys think? Obviously, I have to divulge my criminal background on my application, so I figured I might as well try and benefit from it. Agree or Disagree?

I would write about it but I'm not really sure how they view the "bad boy gone good" statements over at the admissions offices. People say they like it. I might just talk about the drinking stuff though and leave the drugs out unless the drugs have to come up in the character & fitness part. Or maybe you could just say that you struggled with alcohol and substance abuse and not mention the actual substance? Not sure. You don't want to seem like you're hiding something though either.

kublaikahn
Posts: 647
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:47 am

Re: Should I write about my recent substance abuse issues...

Postby kublaikahn » Wed Dec 07, 2011 3:43 am

Tell them that discriminating against you because you enjoy a libation now and then is tantamount to criminalizing your status.

richalvarez
Posts: 63
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2011 7:53 pm

Re: Should I write about my recent substance abuse issues...

Postby richalvarez » Wed Dec 07, 2011 3:05 pm

Thanks guys for all your input. I think I'll heed your advice and find another topic, this is probably a matter best left to an addendum and I don't want to come off as trying to undermine the severity of the issue.

Ende
Posts: 54
Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2010 2:54 pm

Re: Should I write about my recent substance abuse issues...

Postby Ende » Thu Dec 08, 2011 8:20 pm

I'm glad this topic was brought up. I was dependent on drugs for 8 years, and finally got clean in July of 2003. I was involved in an anonymous program for almost 8 years and decided to move on as of January 2011. Had one arrest when I was 18 that I believe was expunged from probation.


So what do you guys think? Why shouldn't it be on there?

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theadvancededit
Posts: 315
Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2011 1:31 pm

Re: Should I write about my recent substance abuse issues...

Postby theadvancededit » Fri Dec 09, 2011 1:22 am

richalvarez wrote:I don't want to come off as trying to undermine the severity of the issue.


Wise of you to not write about if if you feel you might cheapen the issue.




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