...

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
AustinJim
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2010 2:50 pm

...

Postby AustinJim » Wed Mar 31, 2010 7:00 pm

...
Last edited by AustinJim on Thu Apr 01, 2010 8:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
redsox
Posts: 612
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 1:40 pm

Re: Addiction as a soft/disability/obstacle

Postby redsox » Wed Mar 31, 2010 7:02 pm

AustinJim wrote:I'd like to think that adcomms would recognize it as a legitimate disease to have overcome, or at the very least to see it as a unique background that many applicants done have.


They might, but they might also see it as a legitimate concern going forward.

User avatar
The Pen Is Mightier
Posts: 140
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2009 1:18 pm

Re: Addiction as a soft/disability/obstacle

Postby The Pen Is Mightier » Wed Mar 31, 2010 7:06 pm

You just rack a-disciprine.

But seriously, based on what I've read here, your gpa will still be your gpa, but a good addendum will make your past not matter very much.

User avatar
Sangiovese
Posts: 206
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 2:38 pm

Re: Addiction as a soft/disability/obstacle

Postby Sangiovese » Wed Mar 31, 2010 8:23 pm

Congratulations on getting a handle on your addiction and taking control of your life back.

How long have you been sober? It sounds like you have at least 2 years between the old you and the new you. If so then I think it's a good topic to go into in your PS. Especially with the dramatic difference in GPA. (2.2 before getting sober vs 3.8 after shows a clear change in your life.)

With a related arrest, you're going to have to disclose it anyway... so I don't see a downside to tackling it head on. Getting your life back after serious addiction can be a powerful story if told correctly. The related volunteer work that you mention fits nicely as well.

Adcoms will have concerns due to the addiction... but they are going to have those concerns whether you talk about it or not. You might as well take the opportunity to tell them about how you transformed your life and what you want to do with the rest of it.

AustinJim
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2010 2:50 pm

Re: Addiction as a soft/disability/obstacle

Postby AustinJim » Wed Mar 31, 2010 8:28 pm

redsox wrote:
AustinJim wrote:I'd like to think that adcomms would recognize it as a legitimate disease to have overcome, or at the very least to see it as a unique background that many applicants done have.


They might, but they might also see it as a legitimate concern going forward.


I guess I don't really see this as a possibility, but that's why I'd like to hear from someone who has some firsthand experience with this topic. Having been sober for three years and being able to show that I have effectively put the past behind me, I don't see why this would warrant concern.

And hopefully I won't have to disclose my arrest record. It will be getting expunged soon, and it's my understanding that after that I can comfortably not mention it in any circumstance.

User avatar
UrbanAchievers
Posts: 132
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2010 4:02 pm

Re: Addiction as a soft/disability/obstacle

Postby UrbanAchievers » Wed Mar 31, 2010 8:35 pm

AustinJim wrote:I guess I don't really see this as a possibility, but that's why I'd like to hear from someone who has some firsthand experience with this topic. Having been sober for three years and being able to show that I have effectively put the past behind me, I don't see why this would warrant concern.

Sorry, but it's definitely a possibility. People struggle with addiction their entire lives. The possibility of a relapse is always present, no matter how long you've been sober.

AustinJim wrote:And hopefully I won't have to disclose my arrest record. It will be getting expunged soon, and it's my understanding that after that I can comfortably not mention it in any circumstance.

I don't know where you got this understanding from, but it's incorrect. Your law school applicaitons will ask if you have ever been convicted of a crime. If you answer "no", you'd be lying and it will come out in your C&F review.

User avatar
Sangiovese
Posts: 206
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 2:38 pm

Re: Addiction as a soft/disability/obstacle

Postby Sangiovese » Wed Mar 31, 2010 8:46 pm

AustinJim wrote:
And hopefully I won't have to disclose my arrest record. It will be getting expunged soon, and it's my understanding that after that I can comfortably not mention it in any circumstance.


The following is from a website ran by a Rhode island lawyer who specializes in expungement issues ( --LinkRemoved-- )

When Am I Required to Disclose my Expunged Conviction?

Everyone makes poor decisions; for some otherwise law-abiding citizens, these decisions result in a misdemeanor conviction. Fortunately there is a way of clearing minor criminal convictions from your record: expungement. A conviction leaves a mark on your record that can deny you job opportunities. Ordinarily, after you have expunged something from your record, you are legally able to say you have never been convicted of a crime.

However, there are a handful of situations where it is necessary to admit your conviction. When a record is expunged, it is not completely destroyed. Although it is illegal to reveal information from an expunged record without a good reason, there are certain circumstances where the court may order the records released. The two most common situations are when someone with an expunged conviction applies to sensitive jobs, and when that person is convicted of another crime.

Anyone applying for a sensitive position, such as law enforcement or education, is subject to a rigorous background check. They are required to reveal any prior convictions, even expunged ones. An expunged conviction is not a guarantee you will be denied a job, but it is relevant for the purposes of selecting candidates for law enforcement. People who apply to be teachers are also subject to the release of their expunged records, as are law students who are applying to the bar.

AustinJim
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2010 2:50 pm

...

Postby AustinJim » Wed Mar 31, 2010 8:50 pm

...
Last edited by AustinJim on Thu Apr 01, 2010 8:29 am, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Sangiovese
Posts: 206
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 2:38 pm

Re: Addiction as a soft/disability/obstacle

Postby Sangiovese » Wed Mar 31, 2010 8:56 pm

AustinJim wrote:I realize that I am getting contentious based mostly on the fact that I'm not really getting the answer I want. However, that's why I want to hear from someone with first hand knowledge of a similar situation, and not just speculation based on what for most people is a pretty limited knowledge of addiction and recovery.


Sorry that you're not hearing what you want to hear... but this is a forum for law school applicants. Even if you find someone who had circumstances 99% similar to yours, they STILL won't be able to tell you what you want to know.... because adcoms don't tell us why they accepted us or denied us.

And you should really not make generalized statements about people's level of knowledge regarding addiction issues when you have no idea what our backgrounds are.

And about the expungement... it doesn't matter if you were convicted. The applications for school (and the bar) are going to ask about arrests. You need to disclose it.

User avatar
UrbanAchievers
Posts: 132
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2010 4:02 pm

Re: Addiction as a soft/disability/obstacle

Postby UrbanAchievers » Wed Mar 31, 2010 9:00 pm

My point is not that you are a risk, Jim. My point is that you need to approach this situation without assuming that people will understand your condition. You will encounter people that have judgmental views on your addiction, and you need to be able to confront those views in a constructive manner.

AustinJim
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2010 2:50 pm

Re: Addiction as a soft/disability/obstacle

Postby AustinJim » Wed Mar 31, 2010 9:07 pm

...
Last edited by AustinJim on Thu Apr 01, 2010 8:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Trifles
Posts: 159
Joined: Thu Oct 22, 2009 10:55 pm

Re: Addiction as a soft/disability/obstacle

Postby Trifles » Wed Mar 31, 2010 9:10 pm

I'm pretty sure being a law student who hasn't suffered from addiction makes you URM, so I doubt this counts as a soft.
Last edited by Trifles on Wed Mar 31, 2010 9:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

AustinJim
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2010 2:50 pm

Re: Addiction as a soft/disability/obstacle

Postby AustinJim » Wed Mar 31, 2010 9:52 pm

...
Last edited by AustinJim on Thu Apr 01, 2010 8:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
MURPH
Posts: 854
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 12:20 am

Re: Addiction as a soft/disability/obstacle

Postby MURPH » Wed Mar 31, 2010 11:18 pm

I read a lot of PS this cycle, while writing my own. I did not see a single addiction essay that did more good than harm. I would not mention it. Just write the standard "Why Law" bullshit and a short addendum that you were immature. Mention the record when they ask about it. Answer it honestly with as few details as possible.

User avatar
redsox
Posts: 612
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2009 1:40 pm

Re: Addiction as a soft/disability/obstacle

Postby redsox » Wed Mar 31, 2010 11:21 pm

AustinJim wrote:And I get the idea that some people "struggle their entire lives" with addiction, but many people don't. I don't struggle. And while relapse is "always a possibility", I don't see how this should be perceived differently that someone whose cancer is in remission, which could possibly come back. Also, relapse is only a possibility or likelihood for those who don't do what's necessary to maintain their recovery.


If you were choosing between candidates for a task that required that they be fit for an extended period of time, would you choose the one who had a clean medical history or the one with cancer in remission, all else being equal?

evergirl23
Posts: 113
Joined: Wed Nov 04, 2009 1:13 pm

Re: Addiction as a soft/disability/obstacle

Postby evergirl23 » Wed Mar 31, 2010 11:28 pm

MURPH wrote:I read a lot of PS this cycle, while writing my own. I did not see a single addiction essay that did more good than harm. I would not mention it. Just write the standard "Why Law" bullshit and a short addendum that you were immature. Mention the record when they ask about it. Answer it honestly with as few details as possible.


I think it depends on how you discuss it. I have been sober for several years, and this part of my story was certainly woven into my PS. I don't think mentioning my struggles with alcohol hurt me at all. In fact, I had several Admissions reps tell me that they found my PS exceptionally strong, and I have gotten into a number of really great schools. I wouldn't focus strictly on your addiction, but I don't think that it will cause more harm than good. Like it or not, for those of us who have struggled with addictions, that struggle and the subsequent recovery are huge parts of our lives. Don't run away from it. Just don't make it seem like a recovering addict is all that you are.

If you want more details about my cycle this year, or want to read my PS, you can PM me.

AustinJim
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2010 2:50 pm

Re: Addiction as a soft/disability/obstacle

Postby AustinJim » Wed Mar 31, 2010 11:39 pm

...
Last edited by AustinJim on Thu Apr 01, 2010 8:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

AustinJim
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2010 2:50 pm

...

Postby AustinJim » Thu Apr 01, 2010 8:28 am

...




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests