C&F Addendum Help

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Anonymous User
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Re: C&F Addendum Help

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 27, 2015 7:55 pm

I've already consulted with C&F attorneys, and have found a firm that is willing to represent me in C&F for a $3,500 flat fee. People have passed C&F with worse records (multiple DUIs, bar fights, restraining orders, etc.) My state does not even ask about mental health. In the long run, I will be fine. Just have to get over this hurdle.

Again, if you're not here to critique my addendum, GTFO. Let's keep this on topic.

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Holly Golightly
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Re: C&F Addendum Help

Postby Holly Golightly » Wed May 27, 2015 8:04 pm

Serious comment: you should take most of the adjectives out.

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Re: C&F Addendum Help

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 27, 2015 8:18 pm

Lol, is "sordid" and "ignominious" too overdramatic?

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dresden doll
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Re: C&F Addendum Help

Postby dresden doll » Wed May 27, 2015 8:31 pm

You need to hit the delete button for the vast majority of that addendum. EP's edits are pretty spot-on, so I'd suggest incorporating them. There is no way that what you've written would alleviate my concerns if I were the admissions officer at the law school you're planning to apply to.

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Re: C&F Addendum Help

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 27, 2015 8:38 pm

What in particular is concerning? I admit my misconduct, expressed remorse, discussed rehabilitative efforts, etc.

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dresden doll
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Re: C&F Addendum Help

Postby dresden doll » Wed May 27, 2015 8:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What in particular is concerning? I admit my misconduct, expressed remorse, discussed rehabilitative efforts, etc.


The level of detail you provide is way overboard and comes across as incredibly defensive. You need to streamline massively. Exhibiting candor doesn't require writing a tome about your past.

BearLaw
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Re: C&F Addendum Help

Postby BearLaw » Wed May 27, 2015 8:50 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What in particular is concerning? I admit my misconduct, expressed remorse, discussed rehabilitative efforts, etc.


This is what I mean. Several people have pointed out why you should shorten your statement. The additional details and language add nothing, and, in fact, detract from what could be a concise statement demonstrating maturity, contrition, and that you are committed to moving forward. Instead, you obsess over the minutia and ask for full documented support as to why someone thinks you should do something.

No one needs a novella about your issues. They need a concise statement outlining what happened (you lost it on some people), why it happened (you had an undiagnosed medical condition), and what you are doing about it (seeking treatment, working in law related areas). The rest come across as needlessly defensive, and, at certain points, accusatory against those who took action against you prior to your diagnosis.

Once again, you lose the forest for the trees.

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rpupkin
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Re: C&F Addendum Help

Postby rpupkin » Wed May 27, 2015 8:51 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What in particular is concerning? I admit my misconduct, expressed remorse, discussed rehabilitative efforts, etc.

Two problems with your statement in the OP:

1. You don't write particularly well. Although this isn't a writing test, you don't want to give the school another reason to reject your request to visit.

2. I'm going to be blunt: the amount of detail you provide, and the manner in which you express it, makes you seem ungrounded. I am not a mental health professional. And the folks reading your statement probably won't be mental health professionals. But given your past, you want to do everything possible to avoid the impression that you have lingering mental health issues that will create problems at the school. Frankly, the heavily edited rewrites offered in this thread come off as more sane than what you wrote.

blsingindisguise
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Re: C&F Addendum Help

Postby blsingindisguise » Wed May 27, 2015 8:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I've already consulted with C&F attorneys, and have found a firm that is willing to represent me in C&F for a $3,500 flat fee. People have passed C&F with worse records (multiple DUIs, bar fights, restraining orders, etc.) My state does not even ask about mental health. In the long run, I will be fine. Just have to get over this hurdle.

Again, if you're not here to critique my addendum, GTFO. Let's keep this on topic.


Presumably you're only looking to retain them if you get rejected the first time and need to appeal, right?

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Re: C&F Addendum Help

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 27, 2015 8:58 pm

Thanks for the feedback. I'll see if I can streamline things a bit, although it will be difficult to do so. I'm just worried that C&F will ding me if there is anything deficient in my disclosure, which is why I started out very detailed.

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Re: C&F Addendum Help

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 27, 2015 9:02 pm

blsingindisguise, no, I am hiring C&F attorneys to help prepare my application and represent me before the committee in case I get a hearing.

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dresden doll
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Re: C&F Addendum Help

Postby dresden doll » Wed May 27, 2015 9:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thanks for the feedback. I'll see if I can streamline things a bit, although it will be difficult to do so. I'm just worried that C&F will ding me if there is anything deficient in my disclosure, which is why I started out very detailed.


Being streamlined doesn't mean being "deficient in disclosure." You don't need to name every single doctor and every single medication you have been prescribed in order to avoid being seen as "deficient." If you're that worried, now might be a good time to contact the C and F atty you have found and have him read what you have written so that you can have an official confirmation that you've needlessly drowned your answer in excessive level of detail.

You should also, as people have already noted, cut out the adjectives; they make you sound histrionic/overtly dramatic, which I don't think is the impression you want to convey.

blsingindisguise
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Re: C&F Addendum Help

Postby blsingindisguise » Wed May 27, 2015 9:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:blsingindisguise, no, I am hiring C&F attorneys to help prepare my application and represent me before the committee in case I get a hearing.


That's ridiculous. Don't preemptively spend $3500 to get admitted to the bar, only do it if you have a problem -- at least wait until you actually have a hearing.

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Re: C&F Addendum Help

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 27, 2015 10:13 pm

No, I will need the help of a C&F attorney to prepare my bar application. For the bar I need to write a disclosure similar to this, and an attorney can help me phrase it the right way. Also, my school, in flagrant violation of FERPA, has withheld from me educational records concerning the disciplinary actions against me. In order to apply for the bar, I need to submit these records to the bar. My attorney will help me obtain them.

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Holly Golightly
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Re: C&F Addendum Help

Postby Holly Golightly » Wed May 27, 2015 10:20 pm

Anonymous User wrote:No, I will need the help of a C&F attorney to prepare my bar application. For the bar I need to write a disclosure similar to this, and an attorney can help me phrase it the right way. Also, my school, in flagrant violation of FERPA, has withheld from me educational records concerning the disciplinary actions against me. In order to apply for the bar, I need to submit these records to the bar. My attorney will help me obtain them.

Don't include stuff like this in your statement. If something like this must be included, phrase it as "I was unable to obtain the disciplinary records from [school]."

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dresden doll
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Re: C&F Addendum Help

Postby dresden doll » Wed May 27, 2015 10:23 pm

Holly Golightly wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:No, I will need the help of a C&F attorney to prepare my bar application. For the bar I need to write a disclosure similar to this, and an attorney can help me phrase it the right way. Also, my school, in flagrant violation of FERPA, has withheld from me educational records concerning the disciplinary actions against me. In order to apply for the bar, I need to submit these records to the bar. My attorney will help me obtain them.

Don't include stuff like this in your statement. If something like this must be included, phrase it as "I was unable to obtain the disciplinary records from [school]."


Right. Whatever you do, you should not come across as accusatory in any way. You're meant to be sincerely contrite, not seething with passive aggression.

Anonymous User
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Re: C&F Addendum Help

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 27, 2015 10:26 pm

Of course I won't talk about FERPA in the C&F statement. My C&F attorney will help with the FERPA issue. I consulted an attorney from the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law and she said that the school violated my rights by denying me access to my educational records. I will try requesting them again with this template she gave me. If they still don't release the records to me, I'll have my C&F attorney take action against the school.

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El Pollito
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Re: C&F Addendum Help

Postby El Pollito » Wed May 27, 2015 10:29 pm

Have a third party write it.

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Re: C&F Addendum Help

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 27, 2015 10:31 pm

Write what? My disclosure statement for C&F? I'm hiring an attorney to do that.

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Holly Golightly
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Re: C&F Addendum Help

Postby Holly Golightly » Wed May 27, 2015 10:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Of course I won't talk about FERPA in the C&F statement. My C&F attorney will help with the FERPA issue. I consulted an attorney from the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law and she said that the school violated my rights by denying me access to my educational records. I will try requesting them again with this template she gave me. If they still don't release the records to me, I'll have my C&F attorney take action against the school.

Well you have this in your first draft: "Before I begin, I would like for you to know that I formally requested official disciplinary records from [Law School] in order to aid me in fully and accurately writing this disclosure to you. [Law School], however, has outright refused to send me the documentation that I required. Therefore, this account is solely based on my imperfect memory of the events as they transpired."

No no no.

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Re: C&F Addendum Help

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 27, 2015 10:40 pm

That's just to explain why I don't have dates/specifics in my account. If I had access to the records, I could have fleshed out the details. But when I asked the school for the records, they declined to send them to me.

On the new draft I changed it from "outright refused" to "declined". I have to explain why I have no records of what happened.

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dresden doll
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Re: C&F Addendum Help

Postby dresden doll » Wed May 27, 2015 10:50 pm

You should not talk about, or even allude to, FERPA problems in this addendum either. The draft you posted in your OP is awash in passive aggression, among other things, and references to your inability to obtain disciplinary records aren't helping.

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Re: C&F Addendum Help

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 27, 2015 10:54 pm

What's passive aggressive about it? Can you cite particular lines?

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Re: C&F Addendum Help

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 27, 2015 11:03 pm

Not OP, but having seen previous threads both here and on JDUnderground where there's a repeat post, I hope OP is capable of understanding that the amended addendum is much better.

OP: If literally 50 different people all say something is way too long, aren't you able to recognize the odds of them all being wrong and you being right are very low? This isn't a shirt or painting where it's all personal taste.
'
Also, it's obvious you hold resentment against your former school. That's fine. I'm sure most would, just keep it bottled up especially in light of the fact that there's probably not many people that are on medical leave from law school at the present time due to a manic episode. Anything on here can be evidence, which is not to make you paranoid but just aware so you could behave intelligently. You could have voo doo dolls of the dean in your home off the interwebs.

Good luck to you! One of having a late onset mental illness, c&f issues and searching for a job would be super hard for most people to deal with. 3 would take super woman, and a lot of drugs and not the prescription kind. Actually that depends. Which are the relaxing ones? Would it be safe to use them if you're always between bleh, eh and meh?
Last edited by Anonymous User on Wed May 27, 2015 11:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: C&F Addendum Help

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 27, 2015 11:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What's passive aggressive about it? Can you cite particular lines?


This part:

Before I begin, I would like for you to know that I formally requested official disciplinary records from [Law School] in order to aid me in fully and accurately writing this disclosure to you. [Law School], however, has outright refused to send me the documentation that I required. Therefore, this account is solely based on my imperfect memory of the events as they transpired. Any mentions of dates are mere approximations, as my recollection of what occurred is quite hazy given the fact that I was under the influence of untreated mental illness at the time. As follows is a general account of my regrettable, sordid, and ignominious disciplinary history at [Law School].

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. In fall 2014, I suffered another manic episode. In my manic state, I committed acts of vandalism and harassed various members of the community through transmitting repeated aggressive, hostile, belligerent, and verbally abusive communications. As a result of the disruptive behaviors I exhibited during my manic episode, [Law School] charged me with disorderly conduct, community disturbance, failure to comply, and property damage. Furthermore, the [Law School] Police trespassed me from campus. In addition, while the investigation was pending, I was placed on Interim Suspension. Subsequently, after a mandated evaluation from University Counseling Services I was given the opportunity to withdraw voluntarily for medical reasons in lieu of going through the student conduct process and receiving a sanction. I chose to withdraw. I was provided the option of reapplying for the fall 2015 semester under the condition that I undergo mental health treatment to address the underlying causes of my obvious poor impulse control. Although my mania-induced misconduct was heinous, [Law School] had mercy on me and as a result I thankfully did not incur a criminal record.

During the intervening period, I have received intensive outpatient treatment for my recently diagnosed bipolar disorder. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, “[b]ipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out daily tasks. Symptoms of bipolar disorder can be severe. They are different from the normal ups and downs that everyone goes through from time to time. Bipolar disorder symptoms can result in damaged relationships, poor job or school performance, and even suicide. But bipolar disorder can be treated, and people with this illness can lead full and productive lives.” Until December 2014, I received frequent individual psychotherapy from Julie P., LPC at [Practice] in [City, State], who especially worked with me on anger management techniques that I have implemented into my daily life. Julie P., LPC retired at the end of 2014. In February 2015, I received weekly individual psychotherapy from Ann P., LCSW MSW at [Practice] in [City, State], who assisted me with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). From March 2015 to the present I have received individual psychotherapy from Ruth D, MGPGP, whom I see on a weekly basis at her private practice in [City, State] for sessions of up to two hours each. Ruth D., MGPGP has provided me invaluable insight into the underlying causes behind the out-of-character behaviors I exhibited while at [Law School]. 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. Furthermore, until January 2015 I was under the regular care of a psychiatrist, Dr. Ketankumar P., M.D. at [Practice] in [City, State]. He prescribed me 40 milligrams of Latuda (lurasidone HCl), an atypical antipsychotic and a mood-stabilizer, to treat my bipolar disorder. In the beginning of 2015, Dr. Ketankumar P., M.D. went on a medical leave of absence. Accordingly, from February 2015 to the present I have been under the care of another psychiatrist, Dr. Stephan M., M.D., whom I see once a month at [Practice] in [City, State]. He increased my dose of Latuda from 40 milligrams to 80 milligrams to fully ensure that no further manic episodes would derail my life and daily functioning. Furthermore, I have been under the daily care of my mother, Dr. [Asha] S., M.D., who is also psychiatrist. In addition to the individual psychotherapy and the psychiatric care, I also am an active participant in [Support Group], an award-winning non-profit organization founded in 1986 for people diagnosed with bipolar disorder, depression, and their loved ones. I attend [Support Group] meetings on a weekly basis and have volunteered to take on a leadership role in the organization, planning initiatives and events for the group that help empower individuals with mood disorders to lead productive lives. For instance, I organized hikes, excursions, a yoga class, and a Zumba session for members of [Support Group]. I am now doing very stably thanks to a robust combination of daily medication, weekly individual/group psychotherapy, and monthly psychiatric visits. My treatment providers can wholeheartedly attest to that, and you are more than welcome to contact them for corroboration of anything I have said. Over the past year, I have been so single-mindedly dedicated to my mental health treatment that I declined to go on a family vacation to India, a family vacation to Florida, a family vacation to Ohio, and a close friend’s wedding in California because I did not want to miss a single session of individual or group psychotherapy. Given my intensive outpatient mental health treatment, my past manic episodes are far behind me and highly unlikely to manifest themselves again. My hiatus from law school has been a transformative one and I can say with full certainty that I am a changed person. I am proud to proclaim that I am firmly on the road to recovery. During my time off from law school, I took the March 2015 administration of the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE) and received a 128, which is a passing score by a wide margin in every jurisdiction. This is further evidence that I am able to function at a high level despite my disability.

Although my past disruptive behaviors directly and proximately stemmed from my then-untreated bipolar disorder, I accept 100% responsibility for my actions and harbor no malice and ill will toward those who disclosed the misconduct or initiated proceedings against me. I wholly deserved what I got. My bipolar disorder does not in any way excuse my past misconduct. I feel a great deal of remorse for my abhorrent, intemperate behavior and apologize deeply to those that I have offended. Not a day goes by that I don’t regret my past transgressions—at times I am so ashamed that I can hardly look at myself in the mirror. As mentioned earlier, I am currently under aggressive treatment by psychiatrists, a psychotherapist, and a support group, all of whom are assisting me in coping successfully with bipolar disorder and addressing the underlying causes of the disruptive behaviors that led to the disciplinary sanctions at [Law School]. Up until fall 2013, I had never faced disciplinary actions in education or in employment. I had an unblemished record during my K-12 schooling, my undergraduate studies, and on the job. My intermittent behavioral problems at [Law School] coincided exactly with the onset of my bipolar disorder in the last two years. Initially, it was not diagnosed. I did not engage in those disruptive behaviors in my normal state of mind, and believe me, despite my checkered past, I am a good person at heart.

In addition, to further rehabilitate myself, I have made productive use of my time for the benefit of society through volunteering at legal aid agencies serving indigent clients in [State]. In spring 2015, I volunteered for the [Organization 1], a non-profit affiliated with [Law School]. The [Organization 1] works to secure exonerations for wrongfully convicted inmates. As a Stage 2 case screener, I was responsible for determining whether inmates’ cases involved plausible claims of innocence and gauging whether there may be avenues for obtaining new exculpatory evidence through examining inmates’ questionnaires, docket sheets and appellate records. In addition, I wrote evaluative memoranda assessing whether inmates’ cases presented plausible claims of factual innocence. As of June 1, 2015, I am volunteering full-time at [Organization 2], a non-profit public interest organization dedicated to meeting the legal and advocacy needs of homeless individuals and families in [City]. As a volunteer, I assist [Organization 2's] staff attorneys in conducting legal clinics in shelters and soup kitchens throughout the city of [City]. The fact that I can function well in challenging full-time legal employment is further evidence of my stability. If I were admitted to a [City]-area school as a visiting student for my final year of law school, I hope to continue serving [Organization 2] on a part-time basis while taking classes and seamlessly continuing my treatment with the same mental health providers.

I would like to visit away at a [City]-area law school for the third year of my Juris Doctor program principally for medical reasons. I am unable to return to [Law School] because all of my treatment providers are located in the greater [City] region. If I were not accepted as a visiting student at a [City]-area law school, I would have no choice but to be forced to abandon my Juris Doctor program. I would be absolutely heartbroken if I lost out on my dream of becoming an attorney and zealously advocating for people with mental health disabilities. As you can tell from my other personal statements, I passionately desire to work in a career in the public interest. Many of the indigent clients served by [City's] legal aid agencies have suffered from debilitating mental illness—who better to represent them than a future lawyer who overcame her own mental health issues to became a success? As I have done everything I possibly can to atone for my past misconduct, I would appreciate it from the bottom of my heart if you would give me another chance. I deserve to be happy and successful despite my disability.




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