Attend T-14 With Disability or Defer

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Attend T-14 With Disability or Defer

Postby hamiltoniana » Fri Jul 29, 2016 12:07 pm

Hey all, I was recently diagnosed with dysautonomia, a disorder of the autonomic nervous system which presents with symptoms like dizziness, fatigue, GI problems, heat intolerance, and nausea. I just started treatment, but the treatment process can be unpredictable and the condition often gets worse before it gets better. I am currently deciding whether to accept a deferral for a year in order to better evaluate my treatment plan and learn to better live with the disease before putting my 1L grades on the line. There's not really any accommodation a school could offer that would be helpful: it's just a matter of deciding whether I can succeed while coping with this. Spending a lot of time going out with classmates and even networking at outdoor events is probably out the window for a while, at the very least. That being said, my primary interest is state-level PI, so my grades in the short term won't be as important as my summers, and I have no interest in DOJ Honors or clerking right now.

Does any one know of a person who has gone through law school with a similar situation? Any general thoughts or advice on attending with a disability like this? Appreciate anything any one can offer!

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Re: Attend T-14 With Disability or Defer

Postby Yea All Right » Fri Jul 29, 2016 5:09 pm

I don't have such a disability or know of anyone who does. But I do know that doing well in law school (1L especially) can be tough and stressful even if you aren't going for the top grades, and your academic performance might suffer if you have to learn to deal with your illness at the same time. Friendships with your classmates can make law school more enjoyable, but it seems that the social aspects of your law school experience would be negatively affected by your illness as well.

I think it's best if you defer until your health improves or after you can better handle your illness. Do you have a compelling reason to start law school this year?

Hope you get well soon, good luck!


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Re: Attend T-14 With Disability or Defer

Postby jdmonkey » Fri Jul 29, 2016 5:54 pm

Yeah I'd defer. Why do 1L with one hand tied around your back. Plus if you are moving to a new city that means new doctors, which means waiting 3 months for any kind of specialist.

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Re: Attend T-14 With Disability or Defer

Postby bmathers » Sun Jul 31, 2016 3:02 pm

I would defer.

I was in an incident during high school that resulted in a cognitive disability (I have since recovered cognitively). I ended up going year-round and graduating on time(even with a 3 month absence), despite being told by numerous doctors to take a year off.

During the first year especially, my grades suffered and I was going in and out of new medications to try to find the right one. At the end of the day, I did end up getting into my top-choice college, but would have definitely had a better GPA if I had initially took a year off.

It's a very different story than yours, but I tend to think you may go through the medication trial period during your first year, and I certainly wouldn't want to be doing that as a 1L. Whatever you decide, best wishes.


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Re: Attend T-14 With Disability or Defer

Postby Tracy_T20 » Wed Aug 10, 2016 11:15 pm

Dear Hamiltoniana:

I do not know anyone with a similar situation, but I do know many students who attended law school with disabilities. I remember one person in my class who was schizophrenic. I remember seeing him have a psychotic break in the middle of class. I believe this was in part due to the fact that because I was in school in Minnesota, every winter he had to have his meds readjusted due to the weather and long hours of darkness and he wasn't taking the proper dosage. But, the other side of his break was a result of the amount of pressure he was dealing with regarding classes, job search, and school as a whole.

That said,if you decide you still want to go, Law Schools tend to be quite accommodating and understanding of these issues. However, if you are unsure of how your body will function during this time, it is probably best for your own health, to be able to manage your needs first and then deal with law school. Honestly, law school will be there for another hundred years, so don't stress out about this, focus on getting better and being able to manage your condition. Your health is the most important part. Be mindful that the first year of law school tends to have a toll on most people.


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