Mental health--C&F, perceptions, school attitude?

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Mental health--C&F, perceptions, school attitude?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 19, 2013 4:12 am

I graduated from college a few years ago and am planning to start law school this fall. Since the last few years of college, I've gone through several periods of instability.

While I have been able to make decent grades and more recently to hold down a stressful job, these periods have sometimes landed me in hot water. For instance, I was hospitalized by my college and almost expelled my senior year after describing past suicidal thoughts to one of their counselors. Most of my peers also steered clear of me after I started acting out several years before that. Since graduation, I have mostly been able to keep a lid on my issues, and as far as I can tell, no one here knows that I have problems.

I've been thinking about a few questions. If anyone can shed some light, it would be much appreciated.

- Could my past hospitalization be an issue for C&F down the road?
- What are law students' attitudes toward depression and other mental health issues? Relatively understanding, or not so much?
- What about law school administration? Is it okay to see school-affiliated counselors and to be open with them, or should you be careful about discussing some things?
- And the same with firms--if my history came out in firm gossip somehow, would that affect my prospects?

As context, I will likely be going to law school with a few classmates from UG who know my history in broad outline. Not that they care all that much about me, but bits and pieces could come out casually, as they sometimes do.

Thanks very much in advance.

If this isn't the right place for this post, I apologize. Please feel free to move it to where it belongs.

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Re: Mental health--C&F, perceptions, school attitude?

Postby Rootbeer » Tue Feb 19, 2013 5:04 am

Very likely this will get moved, but here are my thoughts anyway:

- I'm no expert on the subject, but I would be surprised if any of kept you from passing C&F. You'll probably have to disclose any mental health problems if they will interfere with practicing law. If it's in the past, I can't imagine it being a big deal. Regardless, you'll have to check whatever state you want to be barred in and see what they want to know. If you've been terminated from employment, been subject to discipline by your school, or you have gotten into legal trouble as a result of everything, then it could be a problem. However, I get the impression you could be convicted of homicide and pass C&F as long as you disclosed it. Barring anything super crazy, if you disclose everything I don't think you'll have an issue.
- Law school is pretty dang depressing. Considering law school causes a lot of people mental issues, I would think plenty of students would be kind about it. That being said, you probably shouldn't go to law school if you want to avoid more mental health problems.
- Counselors and Deans are your friends. You should definitely let them help you if they can.
- Firms may not be so understanding or friendly. From what I've heard, there's a good chance it will affect your prospects. That being said, you probably shouldn't work for a firm if you want to avoid more mental health issues.
Last edited by Rootbeer on Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

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northwood
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Re: Mental health--C&F, perceptions, school attitude?

Postby northwood » Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:14 am

Having a mental illness may not cause you to fail C&F (at least thats what ive been told). However, acting out as a result, depending of course in the conduct youve done, may be another story.

As for othter students perceptions, you will find friends that you wil feel comfortable confiding in, and there will be other students that you avoid. I will tell you this though, dont say anything to one student that you dont want the rest of your section to know. Regarding seeing school counselors, its okay, but if you feel more comfortable talking to an outside counselor, then do that. The main thing is, if you think or feel you need to talk to someone, then talk to that person.

Once you are in a firm setting, I would not disclose medical information with them, unless absolutely necessary ( like heaven forbid you were diagnosed with cancer or something). Mental illness, unfortunately is an invisible disease. There may be no physical symptoms that can be easily recognized ( like vomiting if you have the stomach flu, or a nasty hacking cough), and it does have a negative perception in some people's minds.

For what its worth, I would make sure that you have your illness in check, and that you take the time before school starts up to get your safety network installed. Meet with the counselor periodically, and listen to yourself. If you need to take time off, take it. ( even if its a few hours a day). Make sure to build in some down time so you can recharge, and step away from law school.

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Re: Mental health--C&F, perceptions, school attitude?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:08 am

- C&F usually does not require disclosure of mental health issues unless they would impair your ability to practice law. Do you know which state you'll be applying to? If there were any actual disciplinary proceedings against you in college or things like that, you'll have to disclose it. Whether this would actually affect your admission is hard to predict without knowing the state or the actual events you'd be disclosing. I know several people who had to disclose disciplinary proceedings or misdemeanors and were still admitted (so my impression is much like Rootbeer's), but you'd need to look at the state you'll be applying to in more detail.

- You may or may not be shocked to know that a lot (A LOT) of law students and lawyers suffer from depression and/or anxiety. I had friends in law school who openly discussed their antidepressant/antianxiety medications (in relevant contexts, not just in general, obviously). Also, while law students are a very gossipy bunch, they are also adults and I'd be surprised if they felt the need to ridicule someone for a mental health issue. For all that my law school classmates gossiped, I can't imagine, "did you hear so-and-so is clinically depressed?" would have been a conversation topic, if only because it is a pretty common situation. You may or may not find people you are comfortable sharing these details with but, unless you make friends with awful people (in which case you should ditch them), I wouldn't worry about a lack of understanding if for some reason it comes out otherwise.

- Similarly, I don't think you have to worry about talking to law school administrators or school counselors about this. In most cases, it would probably be best to talk to your Dean of Students (or whoever) about your mental health if it becomes an issue or starts to become overwhelming for you with law school stress. They are good resources and, again, this is a very common issue. With counselors, aside from it being something they see often, they'll keep it confidential unless they are really bad at their jobs. I really wish I had taken advantage of free/cheap university counseling while I was in law school.

- With firms, it gets to be a bit more of the general societal stigma of mental illness. It is sort of ridiculous given that so many of the people working at firms have mental health issues. There is no reason you should have to disclose this to a firm, though. If your symptoms got worse after starting worse, I think the issue would more so be if it affected your availability. I suppose it is possible that it could also come out via gossip from your past, but people are busy and probably will not bother gossiping about something like this unless it becomes an issue at work. That said, I have more than one friend who has taken time off from work for treatment of depression/other mental conditions and recall that when they returned people either didn't know, didn't seem to care either way, or were understanding (eg. if they had been through something similar).

This all assumes your condition is being treated and you are comfortable with the success of the treatment. If not, I would definitely want to be in that place before starting law school or at least firm work (which is mentally taxing even without a predisposition to depression).

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Re: Mental health--C&F, perceptions, school attitude?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:11 am

Also, your college almost expelled you for discussing past suicidal thoughts with a school counselor? What? Are you planning to go to law school at the same university? (you mentioned people from your UG likely going to law school with you)

(To clarify, the "What?" was meant as, "it would be ridiculous to expel a student for having a mental illness so were they just awful or..?")

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Re: Mental health--C&F, perceptions, school attitude?

Postby reasonable_man » Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:54 am

Op:

I would consider sitting down with a mental health professional who is fully aware of your background and discussing whether the law is the correct path for you (not from the perspective of whether you will be admitted - from the perspective of whether it is the right thing for your mental health).

As a practicing attorney, I can tell you that this can be an extremely stressful endeavor. And I am not just talking about the process of school - which in retrospect was fairly easy comparatively speaking, but more specifically the actual practice of law. Law can be all encompassing and depression/alcoholism runs rampant in the profession. Further, some of the bosses you will be exposed to as an attorney (not to mention other attorneys, judges and angry clients) can be very hard to deal with and can be a huge source of stress. All of this stress tends to be worse than the stress that you would feel in MANY other jobs. Also realize that the profession can be unforgiving and if you are having trouble at work as a result of your prior mental health issues, most attorney-bosses will not hesitate to fire you if they become concerned that your disorder will impact your work or, more importantly, client relations.

Have a talk with counselor and make sure this is the right path for you and good luck to you regardless.

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Re: Mental health--C&F, perceptions, school attitude?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:49 pm

OP here. Thanks for the responses--this has been very helpful and reassuring.

I have been so set on this path, especially because I have been admitted to some great programs, and these opportunities seem too good to turn down. However, perhaps I should think more carefully before going down this road.

Anonymous User wrote:Also, your college almost expelled you for discussing past suicidal thoughts with a school counselor? What? Are you planning to go to law school at the same university? (you mentioned people from your UG likely going to law school with you)

(To clarify, the "What?" was meant as, "it would be ridiculous to expel a student for having a mental illness so were they just awful or..?")

I was surprised, too. I assume it was about reducing their liability. They framed it as my potentially needing to leave school for my mental health, but never explained why I would need to leave permanently or asked whether I would have access to treatment if I left, so...less than convinced. In their defense, I had acted out several years earlier (had a breakdown, nobody felt that I was a danger to myself or others), so they had more to go on than just my comments to the counselor.

I learned after it happened that this is pretty common at private UGs.

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Re: Mental health--C&F, perceptions, school attitude?

Postby reasonable_man » Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:57 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here. Thanks for the responses--this has been very helpful and reassuring.

I have been so set on this path, especially because I have been admitted to some great programs, and these opportunities seem too good to turn down. However, perhaps I should think more carefully before going down this road.

Anonymous User wrote:Also, your college almost expelled you for discussing past suicidal thoughts with a school counselor? What? Are you planning to go to law school at the same university? (you mentioned people from your UG likely going to law school with you)

(To clarify, the "What?" was meant as, "it would be ridiculous to expel a student for having a mental illness so were they just awful or..?")

I was surprised, too. I assume it was about reducing their liability. They framed it as my potentially needing to leave school for my mental health, but never explained why I would need to leave permanently or asked whether I would have access to treatment if I left, so...less than convinced. In their defense, I had acted out several years earlier (had a breakdown, nobody felt that I was a danger to myself or others), so they had more to go on than just my comments to the counselor.

I learned after it happened that this is pretty common at private UGs.



Op. I don't want to come off as saying that you shouldn't go to LS or be a lawyer because of mental health issues. Most lawyers are clinically insane ;) But seriously, just talk to someone that knows your current health issues and see what they think before you jump right in; that's all. Again, best of luck to you.

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Re: Mental health--C&F, perceptions, school attitude?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 20, 2013 12:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Also, your college almost expelled you for discussing past suicidal thoughts with a school counselor? What? Are you planning to go to law school at the same university? (you mentioned people from your UG likely going to law school with you)

(To clarify, the "What?" was meant as, "it would be ridiculous to expel a student for having a mental illness so were they just awful or..?")

I was surprised, too. I assume it was about reducing their liability. They framed it as my potentially needing to leave school for my mental health, but never explained why I would need to leave permanently or asked whether I would have access to treatment if I left, so...less than convinced. In their defense, I had acted out several years earlier (had a breakdown, nobody felt that I was a danger to myself or others), so they had more to go on than just my comments to the counselor.

I learned after it happened that this is pretty common at private UGs.

Ah, okay. That is pretty ridiculous of them, particularly if there was no reason to suggest you were a danger to the school community or something. I guess I can't know anything for sure about the school you will go to for law school, but I know that the counselors at the university that housed my law school certainly worked with a lot of depressed (to varying degrees) law students.

Also, I would echo what reasonable_man said about talking it out with a mental health professional who knows your background. Also agree that law school is not necessarily a problem so much as the actual practice of law. Obviously, if it's what you really want to do, do it, and you certainly will not be the first person with mental health issues to enter the field. Personally, I don't regret going to law school but also had never really considered beforehand the extent to which the dynamics of practice would affect me given my fairly severe (but treated) depression. If nothing else, as you're going through law school, it's a worthwhile thing to keep in mind - at least at some schools, everyone races to really stressful jobs and, for many, it is really mentally damaging. Looking back, I might have accepted earlier on that certain work styles are not great for someone who is already depressed.

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Re: Mental health--C&F, perceptions, school attitude?

Postby Void » Wed Feb 20, 2013 3:59 pm

Many bar applications include questions about mental health history, and it absolutely can and has been an issue for bar applicants in several jurisdictions. After all, if it werent grounds for consideration, why would they ask about it?


My understanding is that state bars are putting less emphasis on this or trending towards axing the inquiry altogether, but you should be aware that a prior hospitalization actual could be an issue for you, depending upon the state.

Random example: see p.10 of this doc from the Oregon Bar: http://www.osbar.org/_docs/admissions/Q&A.pdf

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Re: Mental health--C&F, perceptions, school attitude?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 21, 2013 1:10 am

^^ Good to know, thanks (I'm the OP).

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Re: Mental health--C&F, perceptions, school attitude?

Postby 84weeks » Sat Mar 16, 2013 10:08 pm

This might be of interest: http://www.bazelon.org/In-Court/Current ... sions.aspx

In January 2011, the Bazelon Center filed an administrative complaint with the Disability Rights Section of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Civil Rights Division on behalf of a young attorney granted a “conditional admission” to practice law in Louisiana because of her mental health diagnosis.

Less than a full license to practice, conditional admissions have been justified as a means of expanding opportunities for practicing law for people with mental illnesses. In practice, however, conditional admissions have become a vehicle for imposing onerous and discriminatory conditions on people with mental illnesses who seek admission to the Bar. See our comments on Tennessee's conditional Bar admission proposal in 2009.

The Louisiana Bar requires applicants to disclose on its “character and fitness” questionnaire any diagnosis or treatment for bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, paranoia, or any other psychotic disorder in the five years prior to application. Our client sought treatment during law school for relatively mild bipolar disorder. The Louisiana Bar imposed her conditional admission without any evidence or medical opinion that her condition was likely to interfere with her practice of law.

Our client was required, among other things, to submit for a period of five years to regular “check-ins” by a court-appointed monitor and have a psychiatrist submit quarterly reports to Louisiana’s Office of Disciplinary Counsel. Further, her monitor may make inquiries of her employer or supervising attorney concerning her work. These stigmatizing and intrusive conditions, we claim, violate Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

The complaint requests that DOJ secure for our client an unconditional license to practice law and an end to Louisiana’s discriminatory pattern and practice of subjecting people with mental illnesses to conditional admissions based solely on their diagnosis and without just cause.

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Re: Mental health--C&F, perceptions, school attitude?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 16, 2013 10:29 pm

Partially related, but a big reason I was late applying to many schools was that my ex girlfriend (we had been together for about two years, practically living together for much of that and who I was very much still in love with, committed suicide. I was likely clinically depressed and spent several months straight completely wasted, barely sobering up enough to go to work. I still think about her daily.

This obviously affected my admissions cycle, but I did not mention it at all on any of my applications.
1) It is not something I really like talking about
2) I don't want pity, and even moreso, I didn't want it to come off as something I am trying to use or capitalize on. If I incorporated that, I probably could have had a better, or at least more moving personal statement, but it was not worth it for me.


Like I said, only tangentially related. She was hospitalized too, OP. Her experience there made her reluctant to get additional help. Please, if at any point you need professional help, seek it.

Also, someone was asking about nearly being expelled from UG, what happened to my gf (did not know here at this point) was that she was going to be Baker Acted, so she went on her own. That caused her to fail classes (how much of those F's are her fault is debatable), which caused her to lose her financial aid, which caused her to drop out.

Edit: Also, I do not plan to disclose any of this on the Bar, unless specifically asked.

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Re: Mental health--C&F, perceptions, school attitude?

Postby Rootbeer » Sat Mar 16, 2013 11:04 pm

^--- That's terrible. As I'm working through bar exam app stuff now, I can at least say that the mental health questions I've seen make sure to note that they only want to know if you feel it will substantially impair your ability to practice, if you're a pedophile, pyromaniac, etc., or if you've been hospitalized. I did see questions about alcohol issues, though.

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Re: Mental health--C&F, perceptions, school attitude?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 16, 2013 11:19 pm

Rootbeer wrote:^--- That's terrible. As I'm working through bar exam app stuff now, I can at least say that the mental health questions I've seen make sure to note that they only want to know if you feel it will substantially impair your ability to practice, if you're a pedophile, pyromaniac, etc., or if you've been hospitalized. I did see questions about alcohol issues, though.



Shit, that may burn me. Was an alcoholic for a few years and got a underage drinking charge when I was 18. I am better about it now and rarely drink other than weekends. I imagine unless you have been admitted to rehab, that would be fairly easy to not tell the entire truth about.

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Re: Mental health--C&F, perceptions, school attitude?

Postby Void » Sat Mar 16, 2013 11:53 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Rootbeer wrote:^--- That's terrible. As I'm working through bar exam app stuff now, I can at least say that the mental health questions I've seen make sure to note that they only want to know if you feel it will substantially impair your ability to practice, if you're a pedophile, pyromaniac, etc., or if you've been hospitalized. I did see questions about alcohol issues, though.



Shit, that may burn me. Was an alcoholic for a few years and got a underage drinking charge when I was 18. I am better about it now and rarely drink other than weekends. I imagine unless you have been admitted to rehab, that would be fairly easy to not tell the entire truth about.


It's not telling the truth, rather than alcohol issues, that will burn you on the bar app.

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Re: Mental health--C&F, perceptions, school attitude?

Postby Rootbeer » Sun Mar 17, 2013 12:51 am

^--- Agreed. With the caveat that I'm no C&F expert, I've been told time and time again that failing to disclose something material is a sure way to get in trouble. I don't think your past issues and youthful indiscretions are really going to cause you grief, especially since you're doing fine now. It's not like you did something awful. From what I understand, you really have to be doing some super shady dishonest in nature stuff to get dinged outside of non-disclosure issues and I don't think any of what you described is a big deal. Even if they do want to keep an eye on you for alcohol issues, not telling them and having them find out is probably worse than a disclosed homicide conviction (assuming you've done your time and had your rights restored) to the C&F folk.

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Re: Mental health--C&F, perceptions, school attitude?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 17, 2013 1:00 am

Void wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Rootbeer wrote:^--- That's terrible. As I'm working through bar exam app stuff now, I can at least say that the mental health questions I've seen make sure to note that they only want to know if you feel it will substantially impair your ability to practice, if you're a pedophile, pyromaniac, etc., or if you've been hospitalized. I did see questions about alcohol issues, though.



Shit, that may burn me. Was an alcoholic for a few years and got a underage drinking charge when I was 18. I am better about it now and rarely drink other than weekends. I imagine unless you have been admitted to rehab, that would be fairly easy to not tell the entire truth about.


It's not telling the truth, rather than alcohol issues, that will burn you on the bar app.


Yea, perhaps. But alcoholism can be pretty subjective, even in the academic research. I suppose it would not hurt to admit it though. Btw, do potential employers have access to our bar application or not?

Edit: I may have been unclear, I certainly disclosed my arrest and plan to do so on the bar, but a general question like have you ever been an alcoholic, sounds really subjective.

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Re: Mental health--C&F, perceptions, school attitude?

Postby Rootbeer » Sun Mar 17, 2013 1:29 am

A lot of times they do put a time limit, like "within the past 10 years." If everything happened outside of a time range the question asks for, then there's clearly no need to list it. Otherwise, it sounds like you did have a bit of a struggle with addiction and should disclose it. I can't say what your state's bar will ask, but you should look it up. When in doubt, disclose. Even if you have a decent argument about it, the bar application is not the time to play lawyer. I can't see a real benefit to not disclosing this stuff. If the info really isn't what they wanted to know, they'll ignore it. The consequences that come if the Board thinks you've been hiding something aren't worth the risk, especially when what you went through doesn't sound like it's something you should be afraid of telling them. Not to mention, your story is pretty understandable and even if someone DID care that you had a problem for a while, that explanation and your recovery seems like it would be enough to put his concerns to rest.

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Re: Mental health--C&F, perceptions, school attitude?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 17, 2013 1:45 am

Anonymous User wrote:Partially related, but a big reason I was late applying to many schools was that my ex girlfriend (we had been together for about two years, practically living together for much of that and who I was very much still in love with, committed suicide. I was likely clinically depressed and spent several months straight completely wasted, barely sobering up enough to go to work. I still think about her daily.

This obviously affected my admissions cycle, but I did not mention it at all on any of my applications.
1) It is not something I really like talking about
2) I don't want pity, and even moreso, I didn't want it to come off as something I am trying to use or capitalize on. If I incorporated that, I probably could have had a better, or at least more moving personal statement, but it was not worth it for me.


Like I said, only tangentially related. She was hospitalized too, OP. Her experience there made her reluctant to get additional help. Please, if at any point you need professional help, seek it.

Also, someone was asking about nearly being expelled from UG, what happened to my gf (did not know here at this point) was that she was going to be Baker Acted, so she went on her own. That caused her to fail classes (how much of those F's are her fault is debatable), which caused her to lose her financial aid, which caused her to drop out.

Edit: Also, I do not plan to disclose any of this on the Bar, unless specifically asked.


OP here. Wow, I'm sorry you had to go through that. For me, it's made a huge difference when there was someone around to remind me daily that I was loved, when it was part of my routine to interact with people who saw the best in me and cared about me. Obviously, I don't know either of you--but while it sounds like she was going through hell, (de facto) living with you probably made her life a lot less painful.

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Re: Mental health--C&F, perceptions, school attitude?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 17, 2013 2:46 am

Anonymous User wrote:
OP here. Wow, I'm sorry you had to go through that. For me, it's made a huge difference when there was someone around to remind me daily that I was loved, when it was part of my routine to interact with people who saw the best in me and cared about me. Obviously, I don't know either of you--but while it sounds like she was going through hell, (de facto) living with you probably made her life a lot less painful.



Thanks, I truly do appreciate it. And I certainly hope that I made it better and not worse, but it is hard to know for sure. And part of the pain is that I will never know what she (or you) are going through. And I could play the what if game forever, what if we didn't break up, what if she held onto that job, what if she didn't drop out of school, what if we found therapy or readmitted her. She always told me that her mental issues weren't my fault and that I can't "fix" her, no matter what I tried, but it is still something that I have to live with.

What I am mainly saying, is if you need help, get help. Law school be damned. I don't know you or know the extent of what is going on with you, and am certainly not accusing you of being suicidal, but i would urge you to err on the side of caution with that stuff. best of luck, with everything.

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Re: Mental health--C&F, perceptions, school attitude?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 17, 2013 6:14 am

A lot of times they do put a time limit, like "within the past 10 years." If everything happened outside of a time range the question asks for, then there's clearly no need to list it. Otherwise, it sounds like you did have a bit of a struggle with addiction and should disclose it. I can't say what your state's bar will ask, but you should look it up. When in doubt, disclose. Even if you have a decent argument about it, the bar application is not the time to play lawyer. I can't see a real benefit to not disclosing this stuff. If the info really isn't what they wanted to know, they'll ignore it. The consequences that come if the Board thinks you've been hiding something aren't worth the risk, especially when what you went through doesn't sound like it's something you should be afraid of telling them. Not to mention, your story is pretty understandable and even if someone DID care that you had a problem for a while, that explanation and your recovery seems like it would be enough to put his concerns to rest.

Meh. No c&f officer here either, but I disagree entirely. Ridiculous. Guys, I know the purpose of this "disclose, disclose, disclose" business is to strike fear into your heart and clearly its working, but use some common sense. Sure, disclose the arrest. But is your past drinking problem something they're gonna be able to prove? If not then how the fuck does the fact th at you think you ma y have been an alkie anyone's problem? Do you have a medical diagnostic? Were you in rehab? If not then shut up about it and move on with your life. Your goal is to pass c&f, not to endure a catholic confession. P

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Re: Mental health--C&F, perceptions, school attitude?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 17, 2013 6:27 am

Anonymous User wrote:
A lot of times they do put a time limit, like "within the past 10 years." If everything happened outside of a time range the question asks for, then there's clearly no need to list it. Otherwise, it sounds like you did have a bit of a struggle with addiction and should disclose it. I can't say what your state's bar will ask, but you should look it up. When in doubt, disclose. Even if you have a decent argument about it, the bar application is not the time to play lawyer. I can't see a real benefit to not disclosing this stuff. If the info really isn't what they wanted to know, they'll ignore it. The consequences that come if the Board thinks you've been hiding something aren't worth the risk, especially when what you went through doesn't sound like it's something you should be afraid of telling them. Not to mention, your story is pretty understandable and even if someone DID care that you had a problem for a while, that explanation and your recovery seems like it would be enough to put his concerns to rest.

Meh. No c&f officer here either, but I disagree entirely. Ridiculous. Guys, I know the purpose of this "disclose, disclose, disclose" business is to strike fear into your heart and clearly its working, but use some common sense. Sure, disclose the arrest. But is your past drinking problem something they're gonna be able to prove? If not then how the fuck does the fact th at you think you ma y have been an alkie anyone's problem? Do you have a medical diagnostic? Were you in rehab? If not then shut up about it and move on with your life. Your goal is to pass c&f, not to endure a catholic confession. P



And that is the other side of it, I respect both opinions as omitting it is low reward, high risk but I don't think my father, bartender, best friend, or cats are going to rat me out.

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Re: Mental health--C&F, perceptions, school attitude?

Postby Void » Sun Mar 17, 2013 10:52 am

Anonymous User wrote:Meh. No c&f officer here either, but I disagree entirely. Ridiculous. Guys, I know the purpose of this "disclose, disclose, disclose" business is to strike fear into your heart and clearly its working, but use some common sense. Sure, disclose the arrest. But is your past drinking problem something they're gonna be able to prove? If not then how the fuck does the fact th at you think you ma y have been an alkie anyone's problem? Do you have a medical diagnostic? Were you in rehab? If not then shut up about it and move on with your life. Your goal is to pass c&f, not to endure a catholic confession. P


So common sense is to willfully lie on a document that will be scrutinized primarily for truthfulness, and will be grounds for removal of your law license for the remainder of your career, just so you can avoid the awkwardness of acknowledging that you once had a problem but you're on top of it now? I don't think you get it. These questions aren't designed to weed out the former alcoholics- they're designed to weed out people like you who believe that you can lie as long as you won't get caught.

The "disclose, disclose, disclose" rule is common sense. What happens 20 years from now when some asshole remembers that OP used to have a serious drinking problem, and alerts the bar about it with the hope that he failed to disclose? It might sound ridiculous now, but lying on the bar app is a bad idea that will forever jeopardize your license.

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Re: Mental health--C&F, perceptions, school attitude?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:43 am

Void wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Meh. No c&f officer here either, but I disagree entirely. Ridiculous. Guys, I know the purpose of this "disclose, disclose, disclose" business is to strike fear into your heart and clearly its working, but use some common sense. Sure, disclose the arrest. But is your past drinking problem something they're gonna be able to prove? If not then how the fuck does the fact th at you think you ma y have been an alkie anyone's problem? Do you have a medical diagnostic? Were you in rehab? If not then shut up about it and move on with your life. Your goal is to pass c&f, not to endure a catholic confession. P


So common sense is to willfully lie on a document that will be scrutinized primarily for truthfulness, and will be grounds for removal of your law license for the remainder of your career, just so you can avoid the awkwardness of acknowledging that you once had a problem but you're on top of it now? I don't think you get it. These questions aren't designed to weed out the former alcoholics- they're designed to weed out people like you who believe that you can lie as long as you won't get caught.

The "disclose, disclose, disclose" rule is common sense. What happens 20 years from now when some asshole remembers that OP used to have a serious drinking problem, and alerts the bar about it with the hope that he failed to disclose? It might sound ridiculous now, but lying on the bar app is a bad idea that will forever jeopardize your license.

Please. I did not mention medical diagnostic or rehab for shits and giggles. The implication is that if it's provable then disclose it. If all it takes to ruin one's career is for some asshole to allege that the lawyer in question was a drunk 20 years ago, none of us would be safe, ex-drunk or not. I'd like to think that the standard of evidence in disciplinary hearings is high enough that unsubstantiated accusations about a personal issue that never produced a paper trail would be summarily dismissed.

Look: I don't believe that there is any real privacy nowadays (pretty ironic given that I am relying on this board's anon provisions to post highly damaging opinions). If your alcohol issues were never the subject of any sort of paper trail, you are CREATING that paper trail by disclosing. Even if C&F hearings are confidential (I have no idea), anyone determined enough to find out the content of your application will do so and find out about my past. I refuse to make some bar committee the custodian of my personal demons.

Bottom line: I deeply resent having to reveal personal matters so that some faceless board can determine my "character & fitness." If it hasn't resulted in paper work, it's not worth disclosing. They are not my conscience. Fuck them.

(And in case you are wondering, yes, I have a huge problem with the whole idea of C&F in general. It just another way to close the gated community of privilege to those of us who didn't have a smooth ride in life. I have several items of concerns that are the result of socio-economic hardship, and have absolutely NOTHING to do with my moral character. I deeply deeply deeply resent that a bunch of ivory tower-dwelling old white men who have never experienced anything close to what I've been through are going to use those items borne out of periods of extreme poverty as a proxy for my moral character and fitness to practice law. I should be praised for having overcome all this shit and making it to the bar exam with decent grades and probably a job lined up. Instead, there are good chances I will be prodded and judged. For my "moral character." Fuck them all the way to hell.)




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