AspiringLawyer8818 wrote: ↑
Sun Mar 17, 2019 6:54 pm
I am currently going through the character and fitness process and was hoping to get some advice/feedback from those that were in a similar position.
To summarize, I have a series of alcohol-related incidents in my past. Specifically, I have been charged with 4 drinking-related misdemeanors, convicted of two. I was also suspended from a university for one year as a result of a number of drinking incidents that occurred in the dorms.
The most recent of these incidents occurred 6.5 years ago. Since that time I worked for three years in a prestigious lobbying/consulting firm and have received both my JD as well as an MBA. I attribute my past transgressions to being a stereotypical "partying" college student. None of my incidents involved violence, lying, etc., simply public intoxication and similar charges.
As expected, I have received the follow-up letter requesting more information from the State Bar. I have since hired an attorney who has asked me to do the following (non-exhaustive):
- Get screened for alcohol dependence
- Enter LAP and demonstrate sobriety for roughly the next year (including marijuana - which I have never had any incident with)
- Do 20 hours of community service a week
- Retrieve as many letters of rec as possible
The whole process has sent me into a spiral of depression. I understand the purpose of the process, but feel that it has actually set me back in my own development and recovery. Ultimately, I no longer even want to be an attorney and feel that the whole process puts applicants with a past at a serious disadvantage as compared to their peers. Rather than be able to continue to represent that I have changed and progress with my career, I feel that I will forever be behind in my practice of law.
Does anyone feel the same as I do or have any words of encouragement? I frequently find myself infuriated by how arbitrary the whole process is. Why is drinking more serious than other problems the committee does not screen for (e.g., gambling addictions, domestic violence, etc.)? I have also known people with multiple DUIs who have gotten through no problem. This seriously confuses me because a DUI involves a conscious decision to put the lives of others at risk. Under this reasoning, I would have been better-suited to hop in a car and drive home after drinking, rather than drunkenly walk in public where I got cited for my misdemeanors.
THIS WHOLE PROCESS MAKES NO SENSE TO ME. It seems completely arbitrary and, in my opinion, perpetuates the problems the bar is looking to solve. Can anyone relate or give me any advice? Thanks!