Addendum Critique-- PLEASE BE HONEST AND BRUTAL!

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
tonkatruck
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2009 9:12 pm

Addendum Critique-- PLEASE BE HONEST AND BRUTAL!

Postby tonkatruck » Fri Jan 08, 2010 4:10 pm

---
Last edited by tonkatruck on Tue Jan 26, 2010 5:16 am, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
fl0w
Posts: 1404
Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2009 9:46 am

Re: Addendum Critique-- PLEASE BE HONEST AND BRUTAL!

Postby fl0w » Fri Jan 08, 2010 4:17 pm

tonkatruck wrote:Shortly after arriving at XXX to start law school, I was diagnosed with depression. I sought help from Student Psychological Services, the law school’s resident Psychologist, the Dean of Students, and my physician. I learned tools to help manage the depression and was prescribed medicines to help cope.

After going back and forth as if I should withdraw from school, I decided to go home, get healthy, and start again with the clarity and peace of mind necessary to reach my full capacity both as a student. After being home for a few months, I am in a much better place to confront these new challenges. I know I will be fully able to devote myself to getting the most out of my legal education and pursuing my career goals. I will be the successful, accomplished, caring lawyer that I know I am capable of being.

Medical documentation of this diagnosis and its treatment can be provided upon request.


edited for brevity's sake. What you wrote initially was an essay, not an addendum.

Sourpunch
Posts: 104
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2009 2:23 am

Re: Addendum Critique-- PLEASE BE HONEST AND BRUTAL!

Postby Sourpunch » Fri Jan 08, 2010 4:24 pm

Yup. Also, just provide your medical documents instead of saying "I can provide them". Or don't say that at all. lol

User avatar
fl0w
Posts: 1404
Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2009 9:46 am

Re: Addendum Critique-- PLEASE BE HONEST AND BRUTAL!

Postby fl0w » Fri Jan 08, 2010 4:39 pm

Sourpunch wrote:Yup. Also, just provide your medical documents instead of saying "I can provide them". Or don't say that at all. lol


good point, missed that.

User avatar
Dany
Posts: 11580
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2009 3:00 pm

Re: Addendum Critique-- PLEASE BE HONEST AND BRUTAL!

Postby Dany » Fri Jan 08, 2010 5:09 pm

I like fl0w's shorter version. The first one would make me very, very hesitant to accept you, for fear of a relapse, especially because you say you've only been home for a few months. You're essentially playing up the depression, as opposed to playing it down. You want this to read as a simple explanation for a dip in the road, which you have now overcome.

Also, just attach the documentation and say "Medical documentation of this diagnosis and its treatment are attached." or something along those lines.

User avatar
Dany
Posts: 11580
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2009 3:00 pm

Re: Addendum Critique-- PLEASE BE HONEST AND BRUTAL!

Postby Dany » Fri Jan 08, 2010 5:11 pm

Also, to clarify - I'm not trying to belittle your battle with depression. I just mean that you want it to sound like a minor issue that has now been resolved, so that the admissions committees will have no qualms in accepting you. Good luck!

Cale39
Posts: 99
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2009 9:34 pm

Re: Addendum Critique-- PLEASE BE HONEST AND BRUTAL!

Postby Cale39 » Fri Jan 08, 2010 6:08 pm

Definitely include the documentation

tonkatruck
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2009 9:12 pm

Re: Addendum Critique-- PLEASE BE HONEST AND BRUTAL!

Postby tonkatruck » Fri Jan 08, 2010 9:25 pm

---
Last edited by tonkatruck on Tue Jan 26, 2010 5:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
loser148
Posts: 67
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 10:19 pm

Re: Addendum Critique-- PLEASE BE HONEST AND BRUTAL!

Postby loser148 » Fri Jan 08, 2010 9:28 pm

Any way to circumvent the 'few months' comment? Makes me hesitant. Like the changes, though.

User avatar
Dany
Posts: 11580
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2009 3:00 pm

Re: Addendum Critique-- PLEASE BE HONEST AND BRUTAL!

Postby Dany » Fri Jan 08, 2010 9:36 pm

MUCH better.

tonkatruck
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2009 9:12 pm

Re: Addendum Critique-- PLEASE BE HONEST AND BRUTAL!

Postby tonkatruck » Fri Jan 08, 2010 9:40 pm

My thought is that they're going to see my transcripts and when I withdrew, so doesn't it make sense to just say it get it over with?

tonkatruck
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2009 9:12 pm

Re: Addendum Critique-- PLEASE BE HONEST AND BRUTAL!

Postby tonkatruck » Fri Jan 08, 2010 9:44 pm

---
Last edited by tonkatruck on Tue Jan 26, 2010 5:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
loser148
Posts: 67
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 10:19 pm

Re: Addendum Critique-- PLEASE BE HONEST AND BRUTAL!

Postby loser148 » Fri Jan 08, 2010 9:47 pm

[strike]After going back and forth as to what I should do,[/strike] I decided


Delete this and just say that going home was your choice.

User avatar
loser148
Posts: 67
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 10:19 pm

Re: Addendum Critique-- PLEASE BE HONEST AND BRUTAL!

Postby loser148 » Fri Jan 08, 2010 9:51 pm

What about something like this?

I prioritized my health, returned home and have since learned how to manage my depression. Because of this decision, I now have the peace of mind necessary to devote myself to law school. I will be the successful, accomplished, caring lawyer that I know I am capable of being.

tonkatruck
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2009 9:12 pm

Re: Addendum Critique-- PLEASE BE HONEST AND BRUTAL!

Postby tonkatruck » Fri Jan 08, 2010 10:03 pm

---
Last edited by tonkatruck on Tue Jan 26, 2010 5:18 am, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
loser148
Posts: 67
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 10:19 pm

Re: Addendum Critique-- PLEASE BE HONEST AND BRUTAL!

Postby loser148 » Fri Jan 08, 2010 10:05 pm

much better.


medicines [strike]to help cope.[/strike]


....medications.

User avatar
Dany
Posts: 11580
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2009 3:00 pm

Re: Addendum Critique-- PLEASE BE HONEST AND BRUTAL!

Postby Dany » Fri Jan 08, 2010 10:52 pm

Actually, I really don't like that ending. This one was better:

tonkatruck wrote:[strike]After going back and forth as to what I should do,[/strike]I decided to go home, get healthy, and start school again with the clarity and peace of mind necessary to reach my full capacity both as a law student and as a law practitioner. Now, I am in a much better place to confront these new challenges. My depression is managed and I know what I need to do to keep it that way. I know I will be fully able to devote myself to getting the most out of my legal education and pursuing my career goals. I will be the successful, accomplished, caring lawyer that I know I am capable of being."

tonkatruck
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2009 9:12 pm

Re: Addendum Critique-- PLEASE BE HONEST AND BRUTAL!

Postby tonkatruck » Sat Jan 09, 2010 12:53 am

Do I need to say depression? Or can I just leave it as unspecified health problems? That would make it easier to explain without it seeming like I'm at risk of dropping out again (which I'm definitely not). There's just a stigma and misunderstanding around depression, so not going in to that would help with brevity and clarity and whatever. Is it too vague though?

User avatar
fl0w
Posts: 1404
Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2009 9:46 am

Re: Addendum Critique-- PLEASE BE HONEST AND BRUTAL!

Postby fl0w » Sat Jan 09, 2010 2:54 am

tonkatruck wrote:Do I need to say depression? Or can I just leave it as unspecified health problems? That would make it easier to explain without it seeming like I'm at risk of dropping out again (which I'm definitely not). There's just a stigma and misunderstanding around depression, so not going in to that would help with brevity and clarity and whatever. Is it too vague though?


if you are providing the medical documentation, that will likely say depression in it. so you may as well mention it in you addendum.

User avatar
DarlayBoo
Posts: 44
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2007 5:53 pm

Re: Addendum Critique-- PLEASE BE HONEST AND BRUTAL!

Postby DarlayBoo » Sat Jan 09, 2010 4:59 am

In general this addendum is shaping up really nicely. I think you really do want to say "depression" in your addendum itself, as you want to be as matter of fact and straight forward as possible about what the problem was, how you solved it, and how it's not a problem now/won't be in the future. Mental health issues do have a lot of stigma attached to them still, but since you have to bring it up to explain your ed history, best to do so in a way that doesn't seem cagey, the way not saying the diagnosis makes it. Moreover, a big part of what this addendum is aimed at is showing that you are in control of things now - letting an outside record fill in the words for you is not "on message."

In addition, I'm not so sure about advice to attach the medical records right away. One, you want to be absolutely sure that those records support 100% everything you're saying in the addendum (or you lose all credibility) and that they don't have any extraneous but distracting other info in them (if say it says your diagnosis but also relates symptoms that may have been in the picture at that moment but have since been controlled). But more over adcomms typically are pretty not comfortable receiving medical records unsolicited. Reading that sort of record isn't really their specialty, plus having other people's super confidential files plopped on their desk tends to make legal types nervous. Of course do attach them if the school has said/has a policy of wanting them, but they really will ask if they are interested. More typically though they're going to judge based on whether what you've written matches with everything else in your file and if it seems credible. It's a close judgment call, but do carefully consider the choice of attaching the records initially.

tonkatruck
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2009 9:12 pm

Re: Addendum Critique-- PLEASE BE HONEST AND BRUTAL!

Postby tonkatruck » Sat Jan 09, 2010 12:38 pm

---
Last edited by tonkatruck on Tue Jan 26, 2010 5:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Dany
Posts: 11580
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2009 3:00 pm

Re: Addendum Critique-- PLEASE BE HONEST AND BRUTAL!

Postby Dany » Sat Jan 09, 2010 2:41 pm

Best one yet, in my opinion. But cut out "So" at the beginning of the second paragraph. It sounds awful and informal. The sentence is MUCH better if you just say "I made the decision..."




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], nathjf and 6 guests