C&F Addendum Help

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Re: C&F Addendum Help

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 28, 2015 5:25 pm

Again, the purpose of this thread is to critique the addendum, not debate whether bipolar people can handle stressful jobs. Let's stay on topic.

My psychiatrists, psychotherapist, and support group heartily recommend that I continue my JD program, and it is their advice that matters most, as they are the ones actually treating me. I want to go back to law school this fall and I can't imagine doing anything else (except an MSW, but that is Plan B). I'm not going to relegate myself to stress-free, responsibility-free jobs just because I have a disability.

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rpupkin
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Re: C&F Addendum Help

Postby rpupkin » Thu May 28, 2015 5:35 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Again, the purpose of this thread is to critique the addendum, not debate whether bipolar people can handle stressful jobs. Let's stay on topic.

My psychiatrists, psychotherapist, and support group heartily recommend that I continue my JD program, and it is their advice that matters most, as they are the ones actually treating me. I want to go back to law school this fall and I can't imagine doing anything else (except an MSW, but that is Plan B). I'm not going to relegate myself to stress-free, responsibility-free jobs just because I have a disability.

It's your thread and I respect that, but I'm going to defend the herd here. I don't think anyone is saying that you must relegate yourself to stress-free, responsibility-free jobs. They're just pointing out that the practice of law is particularly stressful. There are many jobs that fall in between "stress-free" and "lawyer" on the stress continuum.

You are right, of course, that your treating physicians are in a better position to assess your mental state than a group of anonymous posters on the internet. However, your psychiatrists and psychotherapist aren't necessarily in a good position to understand the stresses of the practice of law. Many of us are working lawyers, and we're just trying to offer some additional perspective. Ignore it if you wish.

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Re: C&F Addendum Help

Postby Anonymous User » Thu May 28, 2015 5:51 pm

The point of this thread is to critique the addendum in the OP. Not to debate whether bipolar people can undertake stressful jobs. I'll just say this: people with mood disorders can and do become attorneys. There's a successful solo practitioner in my support group in fact.

I'll be just fine as an attorney. Before law school I worked in one of the most underperforming inner-city high schools in the country (there were metal detectors and bars on the windows) and later as a domestic violence crisis advocate. Both very stressful and emotionally-taxing jobs that I ably handled while managing undiagnosed bipolar disorder.

Besides, it's not like I am going into Big Law. I want to do civil legal aid, which is usually 9-5ish and very respectful of work-life balance. I hope my summer 2015 employers agrees to be my postgrad fellowship sponsor.

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Re: C&F Addendum Help

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 29, 2015 8:20 am

There are over 200 posts on the same addendum at: http://jdunderground.com/ot/thread.php?threadId=90325. The discussion is the same. It doesn't matter how many people say shorten it, or even if people edit the whole thing as someone on here was kind enough to do. I'm sure OP was smart and sensible at one point, but she's not as lucid as she once was even compared to her own posts from 2013, which though sympathetic, is what it is. The only way this will reach a conclusion is to validate OP. Let's be honest. If any of you provide feedback and some of it gets followed, the underlying critique (it being way too long) won't be followed, and they inevitably get denied, you're liable to be blamed for it.

In addition, if OP was suffering from mental illness that culminated in them being out of school for over a year after a prior incident a year prior and has the judgment to submit this novella despite 50+ lawyers/law students at all different stages of their lives in different areas of society saying the opposite (students, small law attorneys, big law attorneys): maybe the ethical obligation is to let the school make their own determination.

The issue that everyone's mentioned is that OP goes way too detailed in the level of mental health treatment they've received. If you did rewrite it for her as a normal 1-page addendum that suggested she was rational and a student gets hurt, it wouldn't be fair to that student to have prevented the admissions office from making an informed decision. It's one thing to rewrite an addendum describing one's prior drug addiction or shoplifting conviction for an uninformed applicant. It's another thing to rewrite an addendum related to one's mental health when the mental health has caused recent outbursts, and the writer makes it evident they're not in a good place. It's always hard to write about your least flattering self, and many people would focus on non-critical details. But once informed they've gone off the deep end, most people would adjust their addendum accordingly. The fact OP won't suggests they're mentally distinct from others and the school shouldn't be shielded from this distinction so that they may properly assess risk.

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Re: C&F Addendum Help

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 29, 2015 9:12 am

^Brave use of anon.

I thank people who gave their constructive advice, especially CanadianWolf. Really appreciate it. I have modified my statement accordingly.

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Re: C&F Addendum Help

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 29, 2015 10:53 am

I tried to give constructive advice. I said it was too long, and what you could cut out. I'm using anon, because my account is traceable to my name, and this thread has already degenerated into melodrama. I'll repeat my constructive advice. I have no idea whether your mental issues will make c&f difficult, or suggest you can't be a competent attorney. But I do know that when c&f doesn't want you to be vague, they are speaking about vagueness in disclosing what you did.

In that regard, this addendum is vague in that regard by not going into specifics about who the individuals were (i.e. students, professors, administrators), and not mentioning a similar episode a year earlier. They do not mean vague in your explanation of why you did what you did, and your psychotherapy. If I were an adcom, I'd know literally everything about your therapy routine, but wouldn't be able to ascertain what you did even in a vague sense or what set you off. To put it another way, if I disclose my DWI in thorough detail and then only list my involvement in AA and therapy for two sentences, C&F isn't going to ding me for being too vague. They would ding me for being vague if I say I had a driving violation, and then go on ad nauseum about my driving classes and driving instructors. This is objective advice and criticism, and what everyone else has mentioned.

The concerning fact isn't what you did before you were diagnosed. You were sick and weren't getting the help you need. I don't think that should bar you from being a lawyer. The concerning fact is that you can't/are unwilling to understand what c&f vagueness in, and to internalize that into your work product. My concern would be that if you were drafting a complaint for a client and trying to follow the Twiqbal standard, you would focus on things of questionable relevancy, and a good case would be dismissed.

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Re: C&F Addendum Help

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 29, 2015 11:05 am

"and not mentioning a similar episode a year earlier."

WTF? I clearly mentioned the similar episode that happened in 2013. ("In fall 2013, I suffered a manic episode. In my manic state, I harassed various community members through transmitting repeated aggressive, hostile, belligerent, and verbally abusive communications. As a result of the disruptive behaviors I exhibited during my manic episode, I was placed on University Probation. In addition, the aggrieved individuals lodged a University Stay Away Order against me. The University Probation was lifted sometime in spring 2014. The University Stay Away Order has since been lifted for almost all the individuals.) Remember, there were just two manic episodes: one in fall 2013 and one in fall 2014. I haven't left out anything relevant, and in fact went into painstaking, perhaps too much, detail at every step (in both disclosing the misconduct and discussing rehab). Are you actually suggesting that I make my addendum even longer than it already is?

You're abusing anon because you're not posting any sensitive employment information.

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Re: C&F Addendum Help

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 29, 2015 12:06 pm

sorry i didnt see you had added that. good luck to you. i would encourage you to have a trusted professor read it, and heed their advice.

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Re: C&F Addendum Help

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 29, 2015 2:19 pm

I've thought about that. I am afraid that if I show it to the trusted professor, she will refuse to write a LOR for me. I need an LOR from said professor in order to apply as a visiting student. The professor knows that I am on hiatus for mental health reasons, but she does not know about the disciplinary history unless some administrative person breached FERPA and told her about it.

So far I will have shown it to you guys, JDU, my parents, and a friend who is a Ph.D. candidate in sociology (with a research focus on mental health). I appreciate the advice and have incorporated it into my final draft.

CanadianWolf, I called William Mitchell College of Law Office of Admissions, and unfortunately the hybrid online JD program is not available to visiting students in fall 2015 because it's only in its first year. :( If my original school doesn't let me in this fall, I'll definitely apply there, though. Thanks for telling me about it!

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Re: C&F Addendum Help

Postby DELG » Fri May 29, 2015 3:45 pm

Anonymous User wrote: As a part of my treatment, Ruth D., MGPGP also requires me to complete a weekly mood chart, where I assess my emotional state from 1 (worst) to 5 (best). I have consistently rated my mood at an optimal level.

Considering that you had your dose changed, and your school accused you of harassing them and threatened to send a cease & desist letter in this period, this really makes it sound like you haven't embraced treatment and acknowledged your ongoing struggle, but are trying to pull one over on your care providers and get green lighted ASAP.

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Re: C&F Addendum Help

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 29, 2015 3:49 pm

What do you mean I haven't embraced my treatment? I skipped out on four family vacations just to avoid missing a single session of group/individual psychotherapy. I have complied with my treatment providers' recommendations exactly.

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Re: C&F Addendum Help

Postby DELG » Fri May 29, 2015 3:54 pm

I mean, you are obviously jumping through all the hoops, but if you never admitted you were having an off-the-rails week, when you obviously were, it seems like you're lying to get your rubber stamps.

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worldtraveler
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Re: C&F Addendum Help

Postby worldtraveler » Fri May 29, 2015 3:56 pm

I'm still not exactly sure what OP did.

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Re: C&F Addendum Help

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 29, 2015 3:58 pm

I vandalized shit and harassed people.

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DELG
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Re: C&F Addendum Help

Postby DELG » Fri May 29, 2015 4:00 pm

worldtraveler wrote:I'm still not exactly sure what OP did.

In the thick of her intensive treatment, when she was claiming that her mood was optimal and everything was going super, she was contacting her school for certain records multiple times a day. Her explanation:

Also I have bipolar disorder and flurries of phone calls/emails is symptomatic of my manic episodes. I am being actively treated.


So. Either she can't assess her own mood when she's flipping the fuck out harassing administrators, or she lied, and now wants to lean on those lies to make it seem like she's been even keel for many months.

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Re: C&F Addendum Help

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 29, 2015 4:03 pm

I have consistently rated my mood on the mood chart as a 4.5/5. It's been going up over the past couple of months. In March it was just a 3.

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Re: C&F Addendum Help

Postby DELG » Fri May 29, 2015 4:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I have consistently rated my mood on the mood chart as a 4.5/5. It's been going up over the past couple of months. In March it was just a 3.

Oh, so you were lying about what you'd been rating yourself. Well, don't, because it looks worse than the truth, which is that, of course, you didn't go from manic lashing out to even keel immediately.

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Re: C&F Addendum Help

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 29, 2015 4:12 pm

I'm not lying. I'm honestly at a 4.5/5 right now. It has been consistently going up since I started seeing Ruth 1-on-1 in March. It was just a 3 in March.

Look, stop obsessing over my Mood Chart. That's not the purpose of this thread. The purpose of this thread is to critique an addendum. Folks like CanadianWolf offered helpful, constructive feedback that I have incorporated into my final draft.

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DELG
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Re: C&F Addendum Help

Postby DELG » Fri May 29, 2015 4:14 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm not lying. I'm honestly at a 4.5/5 right now. It has been consistently going up since I started seeing Ruth 1-on-1 in March. It was just a 3 in March.

Look, stop obsessing over my Mood Chart. That's not the purpose of this thread. The purpose of this thread is to critique an addendum. Folks like CanadianWolf offered helpful, constructive feedback that I have incorporated into my final draft.

You understand there is a difference between "consistently optimal" and "moving toward optimal" right?

I'm not "obsessing" I am pointing out one of the (many) weaknesses in what you posted that makes you seem like you're not doing as well in treatment as you're trying to make it seem.

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Re: C&F Addendum Help

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 29, 2015 4:17 pm

I only started seeing Ruth D. in March. Since then my mood has been consistently optimal (3+). It's been trending up since then. Now it is at a 4.5. I don't know why you are so obsessed with my mood chart. It was a relatively unimportant detail about my treatment.

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DELG
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Re: C&F Addendum Help

Postby DELG » Fri May 29, 2015 4:20 pm

Anonymous User wrote: It was a relatively unimportant detail about my treatment.

Then why in the ever loving fuck would you include it here. Pro-tip: no one with any experience dealing with bipolar people would be remotely surprised this was written by someone with bipolar. But might be a little surprised it was written by someone months into intensive treatment.

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Re: C&F Addendum Help

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 29, 2015 4:25 pm

I included it as self-reported evidence that I am doing stably and highly unlikely to repeat my misconduct. Happy people don't vandalize shit and harass people.

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Re: C&F Addendum Help

Postby DELG » Fri May 29, 2015 4:43 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I included it as self-reported evidence that I am doing stably and highly unlikely to repeat my misconduct. Happy people don't vandalize shit and harass people.

Nothing about what you have written makes you sound like you're doing stably. It's obsessively detailed. You do not come across as a person who has gotten their mental state under control.

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Re: C&F Addendum Help

Postby Anonymous User » Fri May 29, 2015 4:51 pm

If I take details out, I risk being dinged by C&F for lack of candor. My attorney told me to err on the side of full disclosure. Remember, the Bar gets access to all law school applications. If there is ANY discrepancy between your bar app and your law school app, you're screwed.

Other than the length, any other feedback? I will be submitting my applications soon.

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worldtraveler
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Re: C&F Addendum Help

Postby worldtraveler » Fri May 29, 2015 5:00 pm

It's full of extra details you don't need but doesn't actually explain what you did and what caused the whole problem.




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