I do not know which direction to take.

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isogirly30

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I do not know which direction to take.

Post by isogirly30 » Thu Sep 03, 2020 11:59 pm

Hello. I am 26 years old and a junior at university. My major is political science with a minor in international studies. My current GPA is 3.05 due to undiagnosed psychiatric symptoms, but I only expect it to go up to a 3.4 by graduation since I want to get cum laude. URM (Black) I also speak Spanish and Japanese. I have worked on and off since I was 16, but due to my mental impairments, I have made unethical mistakes getting hired then fired/quitting. I don’t know if that would impact my admittance, but I worry about that. I also had a misdemeanor class A charge dismissed.
I am worried that these things, including my credit, will affect me getting a job in M&A. I keep reading and watching that you won’t get a high paying job if you go to a school with no weight to its name, and it’s freaking me out. I have been looking into LSAT/GMAT prep, following tutors on social media, and reading a few books on deciding if law school would be right for me. I have been researching law firms, law schools, requirements for admission, and I am just overwhelmed. I spoke with my career advisor and expressed my concern, but it’s not alleviating my anxiety. I have recently looked into a JD/MBA program for M&A and considered the cost and if I am even good enough to get in. I have searched internships that could give me some insight if I want to do both or just one of them. A lot require a pursuant BA in finance, accounting, etc. I’m trying to be realistic about my career desires, but I honestly just don’t know if I am worthy of it. :(

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cavalier1138

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Re: I do not know which direction to take.

Post by cavalier1138 » Fri Sep 04, 2020 7:47 am

It's not a matter of being "worthy" of this career; it's a matter of whether your Character & Fitness issues are going to get in the way of admission to a T13 school. If you end up with a 3.4, then that won't bar you from getting in to a T13, but you'll need a strong LSAT to make up for the lower GPA.

Without going into too much detail, can you list out each individual issue related to the C&F problems you mentioned? For example, when were you diagnosed with a mental illness? Are you on medication, etc.? How many employment issues are there, when did they occur, and what was the nature of each "unethical mistake?" And when was your misdemeanor charge?

isogirly30

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Re: I do not know which direction to take.

Post by isogirly30 » Fri Sep 04, 2020 9:50 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
Fri Sep 04, 2020 7:47 am
It's not a matter of being "worthy" of this career; it's a matter of whether your Character & Fitness issues are going to get in the way of admission to a T13 school. If you end up with a 3.4, then that won't bar you from getting into a T13, but you'll need a strong LSAT to make up for the lower GPA.

Without going into too much detail, can you list out each individual issue related to the C&F problems you mentioned? For example, when were you diagnosed with a mental illness? Are you on medication, etc.? How many employment issues are there, when did they occur, and what was the nature of each "unethical mistake?" And when was your misdemeanor charge?
I was diagnosed with depression when I was 15, then diagnosed with manic depression and anxiety at age 22. Now, my psychiatrist is saying I may have c-PTSD. I am getting the proper treatment that helps me cope with getting me through school. I had a lot of jobs in the past. I think I had 7 W-2 forms one year. I would get hired and then never show up. I would get fired for calling in a lot when I just didn’t have the energy or constanty breakdown at work. There were instances I would write my resignation letter but didn’t fulfill my commitment to stay the two weeks. It was a lack of communication on my part. I have noticed when you disclose to an employer you have a mental illness, they hold it against you, and I didn’t want that. I have been in survival mode for about 6 years now which resulted in this impulsive behavior. I did not make any plans for my life this far ahead because I didn’t think I would be here. The charge was in 2018 and dismissed in 2019. The county doesn’t allow for expungement when you complete a pre-trial diversion program.

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cavalier1138

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Re: I do not know which direction to take.

Post by cavalier1138 » Sat Sep 05, 2020 10:47 am

So that's a lot. And those issues are almost certainly going to impact your law school apps.

The criminal charge is a problem. On its own, you could probably explain it away, but there are two issues that make it more serious than the average "I got a drunken-disorderly while in college" story: First, you said this was a charge for a Class A misdemeanor, which generally means you were one step shy of felony charges. Depending on the state, that could indicate a fairly serious set of facts. And second, the charge was dismissed after completing pretrial diversion. There's a massive difference between a charge dismissed for lack of evidence (what most people assume when they hear dismissed) and a charge dismissed because of PTD. Law school admissions officers will understand the difference.

But your employment history is going to be the bigger challenge. When you apply to law school (and later, the bar), you need to provide a complete employment history. To be blunt, your employment history is bad. I could see it preventing you from entering law school at all, because I seriously question whether any state bar would admit you given the number of adverse employment decisions you're talking about. It sounds like anyone looking at your employment record would see a deeply concerning pattern.

Although your mental illness explains the past issues, these are still going be big hurdles for you. And a diagnosis of manic depression is, unfortunately, likely going to be stigmatized during the admissions process.

Long story short, I think you need to seriously consider why you want to apply to law school. If your goal is (as your first post suggests) to make lots of money, then don't go. There are faster and more reliable ways to get a decent-paying job, most of which will not require you to jump through the licensing hoops required by law schools and state bars.

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Re: I do not know which direction to take.

Post by nixy » Sat Sep 05, 2020 11:17 am

If you are super committed to law school, it's all you want to do, I think you *might* be able to put the work stuff behind you, *if* you can show that your work issues were all while you didn't have your mental health stuff under control, and that once you got the mental health stuff truly under control, your work life straightened out, *and* that there's been some consistent work success since then. I don't know your timeline so I don't know to what extent you can actually show that, or to what extent you'd need to work for a while longer to put that history properly behind you.

I think it could make a lot of sense to work for a while, get work experience (for law school it really doesn't matter what it is) and get everything under control, and apply later if it's still something you want to do.

Conversely, if you want to apply, it's not going to be held against you in the future or anything like that, the issue is just whether it's a waste of time/money/energy right now. LORs will likely be important here in that if you can find people to write for you who can discuss your issues and how you've put them behind you, that might make a difference.

Re the Class A misdemeanor/pretrial diversion - I think the impact of this will still depend somewhat on what it was, which I'm not asking you to reveal. A drug charge or DUI in which you had to complete substance abuse treatment, especially if put in the context of uncontrolled mental health/self-medication, may have a different impact than a DV charge that required you to go through anger management classes, or some kind of theft/fraud where you did community service. And again, the more time you can put between this and your application, the better.

I also think you're someone who might benefit from talking to a good admissions consultant service? I think the good, ethical ones will be very honest about your chances and what they can do to help you.

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isogirly30

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Re: I do not know which direction to take.

Post by isogirly30 » Sat Sep 05, 2020 3:09 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
Sat Sep 05, 2020 10:47 am
So that's a lot. And those issues are almost certainly going to impact your law school apps.

The criminal charge is a problem. On its own, you could probably explain it away, but there are two issues that make it more serious than the average "I got a drunken-disorderly while in college" story: First, you said this was a charge for a Class A misdemeanor, which generally means you were one step shy of felony charges. Depending on the state, that could indicate a fairly serious set of facts. And second, the charge was dismissed after completing pretrial diversion. There's a massive difference between a charge dismissed for lack of evidence (what most people assume when they hear dismissed) and a charge dismissed because of PTD. Law school admissions officers will understand the difference.

But your employment history is going to be the bigger challenge. When you apply to law school (and later, the bar), you need to provide a complete employment history. To be blunt, your employment history is bad. I could see it preventing you from entering law school at all, because I seriously question whether any state bar would admit you given the number of adverse employment decisions you're talking about. It sounds like anyone looking at your employment record would see a deeply concerning pattern.

Although your mental illness explains the past issues, these are still going be big hurdles for you. And a diagnosis of manic depression is, unfortunately, likely going to be stigmatized during the admissions process.

Long story short, I think you need to seriously consider why you want to apply to law school. If your goal is (as your first post suggests) to make lots of money, then don't go. There are faster and more reliable ways to get a decent-paying job, most of which will not require you to jump through the licensing hoops required by law schools and state bars.
The reason it is class A is that I was two times over the limit. My attorney wasn’t beneficial and tried to get me to take a plea. I had to research for myself to see what the best option would be for me. The PTD route was less expensive and less time, so I opted for it. I had read and saw videos of admissions personnel saying that it would not affect the admissions process for school and the bar if you disclose everything upfront.

I had a background check done after having multiple jobs and still got hired. I put on my resume the majority of the jobs that I had and state in my cover letter why I had many jobs. In the future, I will disclose my impairments for legal reason and ADA representation.

I have considered this since my arrest, and I am pretty adamant about it. If I weren’t serious, I wouldn’t be doing so much research and asking questions. I earned my Associate’s degree in government with a 3.5, and I enjoyed it. The support from some of my teachers helped me make that decision. I will not settle for a decent paying job, though. Money plays a significant factor in my judgment, but that is not the only goal. I have way too much potential, and I have worked hard to prove that I want this.

isogirly30

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Re: I do not know which direction to take.

Post by isogirly30 » Sat Sep 05, 2020 3:34 pm

nixy wrote:
Sat Sep 05, 2020 11:17 am
If you are super committed to law school, it's all you want to do, I think you *might* be able to put the work stuff behind you, *if* you can show that your work issues were all while you didn't have your mental health stuff under control, and that once you got the mental health stuff truly under control, your work life straightened out, *and* that there's been some consistent work success since then. I don't know your timeline so I don't know to what extent you can actually show that, or to what extent you'd need to work for a while longer to put that history properly behind you.

I think it could make a lot of sense to work for a while, get work experience (for law school it really doesn't matter what it is) and get everything under control, and apply later if it's still something you want to do.

Conversely, if you want to apply, it's not going to be held against you in the future or anything like that, the issue is just whether it's a waste of time/money/energy right now. LORs will likely be important here in that if you can find people to write for you who can discuss your issues and how you've put them behind you, that might make a difference.

Re the Class A misdemeanor/pretrial diversion - I think the impact of this will still depend somewhat on what it was, which I'm not asking you to reveal. A drug charge or DUI in which you had to complete substance abuse treatment, especially if put in the context of uncontrolled mental health/self-medication, may have a different impact than a DV charge that required you to go through anger management classes, or some kind of theft/fraud where you did community service. And again, the more time you can put between this and your application, the better.

I also think you're someone who might benefit from talking to a good admissions consultant service? I think the good, ethical ones will be very honest about your chances and what they can do to help you.
I have already taken on leadership roles at school and followed through without quitting. I will most likely being taking the LSAT and GMAT in 2022. I am looking into internships, but my location really caters to STEM students more. I might still apply anyway. I have held a job before, but I began showing symptoms in my early 20’s and I didn’t have the necessary support to get help. Before I turned 22, I was working two part time jobs and going to school full time. I know I have the drive and ability to do it.

It was a dui. It will be 4 years since the arrest and I stopped working January 2019. The most recent job is permenantly closed due to covid. Someone will have faith in me say yes. I have a few meetings set up with potential schools I want to apply so I will ask them about it.

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cavalier1138

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Re: I do not know which direction to take.

Post by cavalier1138 » Sat Sep 05, 2020 4:20 pm

isogirly30 wrote:
Sat Sep 05, 2020 3:09 pm
I had a background check done after having multiple jobs and still got hired. I put on my resume the majority of the jobs that I had and state in my cover letter why I had many jobs. In the future, I will disclose my impairments for legal reason and ADA representation.
I agree with Nixy that a DUI is less likely to be an issue in the admissions process. But passing a background check for employment isn't the same as C&F for the bar. The bar is much more stringent, and Nixy's suggestion to put more distance between you and these jobs is a good one. You'll have to demonstrate that you've changed, and that's going to take some time, given how serious your prior employment issues were.
isogirly30 wrote:
Sat Sep 05, 2020 3:09 pm
I have considered this since my arrest, and I am pretty adamant about it. If I weren’t serious, I wouldn’t be doing so much research and asking questions. I earned my Associate’s degree in government with a 3.5, and I enjoyed it. The support from some of my teachers helped me make that decision. I will not settle for a decent paying job, though. Money plays a significant factor in my judgment, but that is not the only goal. I have way too much potential, and I have worked hard to prove that I want this.
I'm not questioning your potential or any of the work you've put into this so far. But you started out this thread by saying you were interested in M&A work and a JD/MBA (as well as a "high-paying job"). It sounded like you might be more interested in your income than in practicing law. If you're dead-set on a career in law, then you have some extra hurdles in your way. Not everyone wants to/needs to be a lawyer, so that's why I raised the question.

ALCA1920

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Re: I do not know which direction to take.

Post by ALCA1920 » Sun Sep 06, 2020 11:56 am

isogirly30 wrote:
Thu Sep 03, 2020 11:59 pm
Hello. I am 26 years old and a junior at university. My major is political science with a minor in international studies. My current GPA is 3.05 due to undiagnosed psychiatric symptoms, but I only expect it to go up to a 3.4 by graduation since I want to get cum laude. URM (Black) I also speak Spanish and Japanese. I have worked on and off since I was 16, but due to my mental impairments, I have made unethical mistakes getting hired then fired/quitting. I don’t know if that would impact my admittance, but I worry about that. I also had a misdemeanor class A charge dismissed.
I am worried that these things, including my credit, will affect me getting a job in M&A. I keep reading and watching that you won’t get a high paying job if you go to a school with no weight to its name, and it’s freaking me out. I have been looking into LSAT/GMAT prep, following tutors on social media, and reading a few books on deciding if law school would be right for me. I have been researching law firms, law schools, requirements for admission, and I am just overwhelmed. I spoke with my career advisor and expressed my concern, but it’s not alleviating my anxiety. I have recently looked into a JD/MBA program for M&A and considered the cost and if I am even good enough to get in. I have searched internships that could give me some insight if I want to do both or just one of them. A lot require a pursuant BA in finance, accounting, etc. I’m trying to be realistic about my career desires, but I honestly just don’t know if I am worthy of it. :(
I recommend switching gears for a little bit, maybe getting some work experience and thinking about which direction you'll take in life. If the mere act of researching law schools and admissions requirements is stressing you out, just think about all the reading and writing and exams you'll have to do while you're in law school (not to mention the bar exam and job search). You mentioned two different career paths in your post, so it tells me you're sure what you want to do.

It can be hard to settle on a career with so many available options, but know that being a lawyer is only one of them. Going into law can be very expensive, time-consuming and stressful, even for the most dedicated students. If you just want a high-paying position, there are more feasible ways of getting that (i.e. through an MBA, or maybe something in international business if you have connections. You have the advantage of knowing three languages, English being one of them).

For now, don't think about all of that. You're still a junior in college, so focus on getting your GPA up. Some people don't start professional school until well after they're done with undergrad. I think for MBAs, they need at least 2 or 3 years of full-time work experience before even taking the GMAT and applying. For law schools, you'll help yourself A LOT if you find a decent position after undergrad and stick with it for a year or two, and you use that time for LSAT prep or law school research. You have a lot of time to figure things out. Stay strong!

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