Law School Discussion

Law Students => Current Law Students => Topic started by: scrobin on September 24, 2009, 08:57:55 PM

Title: Psychiatric Disability Right in Law School
Post by: scrobin on September 24, 2009, 08:57:55 PM
In a lot of higher education institution, they ignore disability rights laws regarding psychiatric disabilities.  They think students are just going to use it to slack off.  The truth is that psychiatric disabilities, are illnesses just like asthma or diabetes, and people with psychiatric disabilities are just as sane, capable, and intelligent as anyone else. 

I was wondering,if anyone here with a psychiatric disability who is in law school, can tell me; which law schools are psychiatric disability friendly, how to deal with a psychiatric disability in law school,what kind of accomdinations law schools will give students with psychiatric disabilities, how to deal with the psychiatric disability in the admissions process, and are disabilities concerned a minority in the law school admissions process?
Title: Re: Psychiatric Disability Right in Law School
Post by: Advocate on September 25, 2009, 07:44:19 AM
What kind of psychiatric disabilities are you talking about?  I know that persons with documented (serious) learning disabilities can get extra (sometimes double) time on exams. Accommodations in law school are tricky though because there is no law that will ever make an employer give an associate extra time to finish a memo -- regardless of whether the associate has a learning disability. So I am a little cynical about the value of accommodations that could lull a person into spending lots of money on school and then being unable to actually work with the degree after graduation. It seems like a "bait and switch."
Title: Re: Psychiatric Disability Right in Law School
Post by: scrobin on September 25, 2009, 12:25:48 PM
What kind of psychiatric disabilities are you talking about?  I know that persons with documented (serious) learning disabilities can get extra (sometimes double) time on exams. Accommodations in law school are tricky though because there is no law that will ever make an employer give an associate extra time to finish a memo -- regardless of whether the associate has a learning disability. So I am a little cynical about the value of accommodations that could lull a person into spending lots of money on school and then being unable to actually work with the degree after graduation. It seems like a "bait and switch."

I'm taking about unipolar and bipolar depression.  I'm taking about extended time for tests and assignments if need be. 

People with disabilities are just as intelligent and capable as anyone else, and they are entitled to their civil rights.
Title: Re: Psychiatric Disability Right in Law School
Post by: elle-y on September 25, 2009, 12:40:36 PM
Why would someone with bipolar depression need extra time for tests and assignments? That's an emotional disability, not learning, like ADD or Dyslexia.

I can understand how a "breakdown" may impact the need for extra time on assignments on an as-needed basis, but I believe to request consistent additional time may be using the disability to your advantage when that disability does not require extra time.
Title: Re: Psychiatric Disability Right in Law School
Post by: Matthies on September 25, 2009, 04:20:49 PM
What kind of psychiatric disabilities are you talking about?  I know that persons with documented (serious) learning disabilities can get extra (sometimes double) time on exams. Accommodations in law school are tricky though because there is no law that will ever make an employer give an associate extra time to finish a memo -- regardless of whether the associate has a learning disability. So I am a little cynical about the value of accommodations that could lull a person into spending lots of money on school and then being unable to actually work with the degree after graduation. It seems like a "bait and switch."

The ADA applies to businesses too. But the main thing is there are avenues that are open to you in work that are not in law schools exams. For example Iím dyslexic I type very slowly and misspell most everything, but at work I can use speech to text, proofreading or dictation that make me just as fast as anyone else (if not faster). But I canít use those in exam soft so I have to type and correct my spelling by hand (no spell check) which takes much longer.
Title: Re: Psychiatric Disability Right in Law School
Post by: disabilitylaw on September 25, 2009, 04:56:00 PM
Why would someone with bipolar depression need extra time for tests and assignments? That's an emotional disability, not learning, like ADD or Dyslexia.

I can understand how a "breakdown" may impact the need for extra time on assignments on an as-needed basis, but I believe to request consistent additional time may be using the disability to your advantage when that disability does not require extra time.

It depends upon how the disability affects the specific individual. A person applying for accomodations needs to explain the connect between his/her disability and the need for the specific accomodation. A person cannot just say "I have depression, therefore I need time and a half" - but if a person can establish that for whatever reason the depression translates into a need for accomodated time, then the person is entitled to the accomodation.
Title: Re: Psychiatric Disability Right in Law School
Post by: disabilitylaw on September 25, 2009, 05:14:46 PM
What kind of psychiatric disabilities are you talking about?  I know that persons with documented (serious) learning disabilities can get extra (sometimes double) time on exams. Accommodations in law school are tricky though because there is no law that will ever make an employer give an associate extra time to finish a memo -- regardless of whether the associate has a learning disability. So I am a little cynical about the value of accommodations that could lull a person into spending lots of money on school and then being unable to actually work with the degree after graduation. It seems like a "bait and switch."

The ADA applies to businesses too. But the main thing is there are avenues that are open to you in work that are not in law schools exams. For example Iím dyslexic I type very slowly and misspell most everything, but at work I can use speech to text, proofreading or dictation that make me just as fast as anyone else (if not faster). But I canít use those in exam soft so I have to type and correct my spelling by hand (no spell check) which takes much longer.

Some schools allow students to use dictation software as an accomodation. The school I work at does.
Title: Re: Psychiatric Disability Right in Law School
Post by: jacy85 on September 25, 2009, 09:39:45 PM
Why would someone with bipolar depression need extra time for tests and assignments? That's an emotional disability, not learning, like ADD or Dyslexia.

I can understand how a "breakdown" may impact the need for extra time on assignments on an as-needed basis, but I believe to request consistent additional time may be using the disability to your advantage when that disability does not require extra time.

It depends upon how the disability affects the specific individual. A person applying for accomodations needs to explain the connect between his/her disability and the need for the specific accomodation. A person cannot just say "I have depression, therefore I need time and a half" - but if a person can establish that for whatever reason the depression translates into a need for accomodated time, then the person is entitled to the accomodation.


Please explain the possible connect between an emotional disorder (as opposed to learning disorder) and the need for accommodations.  I'm having trouble even thinking of a plausible connection that would justify getting extra time on an exam.
Title: Re: Psychiatric Disability Right in Law School
Post by: scrobin on September 28, 2009, 08:36:51 PM
You all want to know, I'll tell you.  I have ADD and Bipolar II. I was diagnosed with ADD at 12 and Bipolar II at 19.  I know what you all are thinking.  Youíre thinking Iím stupid, unintelligent, insane, and incapable of leading a full life.  Guess again! I am smart and intelligent, and perfectly sane. I am a straight A student, who is a Phi Theta Kappa member.  I do the same work and take the same tests, as everyone else in my class.    I go to college full time.  Live on my own, and I am planning on getting an academic scholarship to a school I want to transfer to.  I plan to go into public interest law, doing civil rights and litigation work.  One of my areas will be disability rights, and I will make sure that one no disabled person has their rights denied, especially people with psychiatric disabilities. Nothing and no one will keep me from being an attorney.  If anyone tries to deny me my civil rights, I will sue the pants off of them. 

On a personal note, I can tell you that there is nothing worse than being sick, alone and scared and having people ridicule and stigmatize you for it.  No one deserves that type of treatment. 

I find it really sad that people in this day and age continue to stigmatize people with psychiatric disabilities and deny them their civil rights.  They think we're lazy, weak, insane, stupid, violent, etc.  However, people with psychiatric disabilities are just as capable and competent as anyone else.  They have an illness, just like any other.  Like asthma or diabetes.  To treat people with psychiatric disabilities this way, is the same as discriminating against someone because of their race, gender, and sexual orientation.  You wouldn't make fun of someone with cancer, you wouldn't deny someone with cancer disability accommodations if need be.  Then why do the same to someone with a psychiatric disability. 

I also find it really sad that people in this day and age, can't see people with psychiatric disabilities for the gifts and abilities they have. Abraham Lincoln suffered from depression.  He was a lawyer and the president of the United States.  If Lincoln were alive today, and he was a student and had depression, who you deny him his civil rights and a chance to succeed in school? If someone did, they would have never have known one of the greatest presidents who ever lived.

The rehabilitation act of 1973, section 504, grants student with psychiatric disabilities the right to their civil rights and academic accommodations.  However, higher education institutions continually ignore the laws regarding student with psychiatric disabilities and itís a disgrace.  Not to mention that suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students, and the age for most mental illnesses are in ones late teens and twenties.   Even with this information, higher education institutions still do nothing to address the problem.  Still colleges continue to do nothing about it.  Student insurance doesnít even cover mental health parity, and there is a lack of awareness on campus.  This is all a result of ignorance and bigotry. 

Itís time for people to get a clue about mental illnesses and stop the bigotry. >:(
Title: Re: Psychiatric Disability Right in Law School
Post by: elle-y on September 29, 2009, 12:32:26 AM
You all want to know, I'll tell you.  I have ADD and Bipolar II. I was diagnosed with ADD at 12 and Bipolar II at 19.  I know what you all are thinking.  Youíre thinking Iím stupid, unintelligent, insane, and incapable of leading a full life.  Guess again! I am smart and intelligent, and perfectly sane. I am a straight A student, who is a Phi Theta Kappa member.  I do the same work and take the same tests, as everyone else in my class.    I go to college full time.  Live on my own, and I am planning on getting an academic scholarship to a school I want to transfer to.  I plan to go into public interest law, doing civil rights and litigation work.  One of my areas will be disability rights, and I will make sure that one no disabled person has their rights denied, especially people with psychiatric disabilities. Nothing and no one will keep me from being an attorney.  If anyone tries to deny me my civil rights, I will sue the pants off of them. 

On a personal note, I can tell you that there is nothing worse than being sick, alone and scared and having people ridicule and stigmatize you for it.  No one deserves that type of treatment. 

I find it really sad that people in this day and age continue to stigmatize people with psychiatric disabilities and deny them their civil rights.  They think we're lazy, weak, insane, stupid, violent, etc.  However, people with psychiatric disabilities are just as capable and competent as anyone else.  They have an illness, just like any other.  Like asthma or diabetes.  To treat people with psychiatric disabilities this way, is the same as discriminating against someone because of their race, gender, and sexual orientation.  You wouldn't make fun of someone with cancer, you wouldn't deny someone with cancer disability accommodations if need be.  Then why do the same to someone with a psychiatric disability. 

I also find it really sad that people in this day and age, can't see people with psychiatric disabilities for the gifts and abilities they have. Abraham Lincoln suffered from depression.  He was a lawyer and the president of the United States.  If Lincoln were alive today, and he was a student and had depression, who you deny him his civil rights and a chance to succeed in school? If someone did, they would have never have known one of the greatest presidents who ever lived.

The rehabilitation act of 1973, section 504, grants student with psychiatric disabilities the right to their civil rights and academic accommodations.  However, higher education institutions continually ignore the laws regarding student with psychiatric disabilities and itís a disgrace.  Not to mention that suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students, and the age for most mental illnesses are in ones late teens and twenties.   Even with this information, higher education institutions still do nothing to address the problem.  Still colleges continue to do nothing about it.  Student insurance doesnít even cover mental health parity, and there is a lack of awareness on campus.  This is all a result of ignorance and bigotry. 

Itís time for people to get a clue about mental illnesses and stop the bigotry. >:(


breathe. in. out.

and then realize you're the only one creating a stigma here. also, you are not the only one here with bipolar and add. you cannot use it as a crutch. you want to live a life to your fullest capability? then don't give reason to doubt you. you must win your challenges on your own merits, not on your hinderances and what you "deserve".

That said, please consider the type of law you want to practice. Passion is one thing. Vengeance will not win you any cases...or clients.
Title: Re: Psychiatric Disability Right in Law School
Post by: disabilitylaw on September 29, 2009, 01:39:31 AM
Why would someone with bipolar depression need extra time for tests and assignments? That's an emotional disability, not learning, like ADD or Dyslexia.

I can understand how a "breakdown" may impact the need for extra time on assignments on an as-needed basis, but I believe to request consistent additional time may be using the disability to your advantage when that disability does not require extra time.

It depends upon how the disability affects the specific individual. A person applying for accommodations needs to explain the connect between his/her disability and the need for the specific accomodation. A person cannot just say "I have depression, therefore I need time and a half" - but if a person can establish that for whatever reason the depression translates into a need for accommodated time, then the person is entitled to the accomodation.


Please explain the possible connect between an emotional disorder (as opposed to learning disorder) and the need for accommodations.  I'm having trouble even thinking of a plausible connection that would justify getting extra time on an exam.

Well, I am not a psychiatrist but I do work with law students who have a vast range of disabilities.  A bipolar student cannot get accommodated time unless that person has a psychiatrist or psychologist document how that person's mental illness affects his/her ability to take tests in a standard format.

It could be because that person takes medication that extreme side effects that slow down a person's thinking.  It could be that the person has panic attacks every time that person sits down to take an exam - so that person may need more time than most students to "compose" himself/herself before taking the exam.  Keep in mind that a lot of people have learning disabilities AND mental health disabilities (e.g. dyslexia and severe anxiety). Therefore, when a person receives exam accommodations it may not be specifically because of a mental health issue.



Title: Re: Psychiatric Disability Right in Law School
Post by: Matthies on September 30, 2009, 12:57:34 PM
What kind of psychiatric disabilities are you talking about?  I know that persons with documented (serious) learning disabilities can get extra (sometimes double) time on exams. Accommodations in law school are tricky though because there is no law that will ever make an employer give an associate extra time to finish a memo -- regardless of whether the associate has a learning disability. So I am a little cynical about the value of accommodations that could lull a person into spending lots of money on school and then being unable to actually work with the degree after graduation. It seems like a "bait and switch."

The ADA applies to businesses too. But the main thing is there are avenues that are open to you in work that are not in law schools exams. For example Iím dyslexic I type very slowly and misspell most everything, but at work I can use speech to text, proofreading or dictation that make me just as fast as anyone else (if not faster). But I canít use those in exam soft so I have to type and correct my spelling by hand (no spell check) which takes much longer.

Some schools allow students to use dictation software as an accomodation. The school I work at does.

How do they work that?

That would have really helped me, but anyone who has used speech to text software knows you really have to train with it for an awhile (several weeks using it) before its even marginally accurate and adjusted to your voice, style and diction.

Hence for it to work for me they would have to let me use my own computer and software that I had trained to my voice and thus could not lock it down with exam soft then. While I would never cheat on anything, I also would not want to be in the position of being the only guy in the class whoís computer was not locked down for exams, too many people might assume you might cheat. Espically given that if your talking out loud to type your test your likely in a room by yourself so you donít bother anyone else or give away answers.

Just giving me a computer with speech to text on it would not work because like I said, you have to train the software for it to be remotely accurate. Without training it just garble sup everything you say and come out like gibberish.

Iím wondering how they deal with this at your school?

Title: Re: Psychiatric Disability Right in Law School
Post by: Dxion on September 30, 2009, 03:20:34 PM
You sound like a perfectly reasonable person.

Good luck in law school.
Title: Re: Psychiatric Disability Right in Law School
Post by: scrobin on September 30, 2009, 07:35:41 PM
You sound like a perfectly reasonable person.

Good luck in law school.

Thank you very much!
Title: Re: Psychiatric Disability Right in Law School
Post by: elle-y on September 30, 2009, 07:57:49 PM
 ::)
Title: Re: Psychiatric Disability Right in Law School
Post by: HippieLawChick on September 30, 2009, 09:47:47 PM
I can tell you this: Many students at my law school with a wide variety of disabilities were permitted special accommodations in testing.  The disabilities ranged from dyslexia and severe ADD to other "unknown" disabilities.  My guess is that those who didn't discuss why they weren't taking exams with the rest of us (they got to take them later in an interview room alone) had anxiety problems or other psychiatric issues. 

If you are concerned about it, make an inquiry with the admissions office anonymously, and they should be able to give you some information.

For those who don't understand how having these issues could cause issues in taking exams, you should look on wikipedia for information about how these illnesses can affect people.
Title: Re: Psychiatric Disability Right in Law School
Post by: disabilitylaw on October 03, 2009, 12:23:18 PM
I can tell you this: Many students at my law school with a wide variety of disabilities were permitted special accommodations in testing.  The disabilities ranged from dyslexia and severe ADD to other "unknown" disabilities.  My guess is that those who didn't discuss why they weren't taking exams with the rest of us (they got to take them later in an interview room alone) had anxiety problems or other psychiatric issues. 

If you are concerned about it, make an inquiry with the admissions office anonymously, and they should be able to give you some information.

For those who don't understand how having these issues could cause issues in taking exams, you should look on wikipedia for information about how these illnesses can affect people.

A lot of people who have disabilities look just fine to everyone else.  I know people who are almost completely blind and you can't tell by looking at them.  I know people who have had strokes, cancer, or chronic life-threatening illnesses that look great. They are in law school and trying to get through the best they can, despite these issues.

It's natural in a competitive environment like law school to assume people are using disabilities for "gain." The truth is that if you knew what most of these people were going through you wouldn't want to change places with them just to get an additional hour or a special chair or private room for an exam. 
Title: Re: Psychiatric Disability Right in Law School
Post by: Matthies on October 05, 2009, 07:09:47 AM
I can tell you this: Many students at my law school with a wide variety of disabilities were permitted special accommodations in testing.  The disabilities ranged from dyslexia and severe ADD to other "unknown" disabilities.  My guess is that those who didn't discuss why they weren't taking exams with the rest of us (they got to take them later in an interview room alone) had anxiety problems or other psychiatric issues. 

If you are concerned about it, make an inquiry with the admissions office anonymously, and they should be able to give you some information.

For those who don't understand how having these issues could cause issues in taking exams, you should look on wikipedia for information about how these illnesses can affect people.


It's natural in a competitive environment like law school to assume people are using disabilities for "gain." The truth is that if you knew what most of these people were going through you wouldn't want to change places with them just to get an additional hour or a special chair or private room for an exam. 

This is so true, if I could give away my deslexia to someone else I would take all my exams with 1/2 LESS time thwen everyone else just to be rid of that. Hell I had to do that on the bar anyway. my desylexia does not come and go on exam day, I have to deal with it everyday if I could take a pill and make it disapear I would in s econd, but there is no such thing so everytime I read wor write anything I have to deal with it. 
Title: Re: Psychiatric Disability Right in Law School
Post by: Mitchell on October 05, 2009, 08:39:26 AM
I'm taking about unipolar and bipolar depression.  I'm taking about extended time for tests and assignments if need be. 

People with disabilities are just as intelligent and capable as anyone else, and they are entitled to their civil rights.


I'm just as capable as everyone else.  I need accommodations.
Title: Re: Psychiatric Disability Right in Law School
Post by: bipolarporch on October 07, 2009, 03:03:08 PM
Some porch talk needed...

You definitely are thinking into what other's may be thinking a bit too much.  That is okay for someone with bipolar.  It is caused by anxiety and you are clearly anxious.  It may also be caused by an inability to understand other people's reality (aka TOM or Theory of Mind).  Also common for bipolar.

For the rest of you, accommodations would be needed by the bipolar disorder sufferer because along with the highs and lows come attached a bunch of cognitive deficits in memory, attention, organization, impulsiveness, and the like.  Stress can really activate any one or a combination of the symptoms of bipolar and can aggravate these impairments.

The poster is right however, in that bipolars tend to be more intelligent on average and very creative.  My concern, however, would be that when you become a practicing attorney, you are a fiduciary and it is my view that being bipolar breaches that fiduciary duty.  Just like if you were managing someone's money as an investment advisor(also a fiduciary), bipolar would be wholly incompatible due to the episodic nature of when certain manifestations(mania, depression, or cognitive difficulties) appear.If you are in mid-trial or someone is really relying on you, then you could really screw them up to to impaired judgement and cognition.

Being a corporate lawyer would likely be better.

Dont think these impairments do not exist.  Check out my site to learn more on bipolar.  It is the Drudge of Bipolar Disorder! 

By the way, I have Bipolar I. Probably ADD as well.
Andrew
Bipolar Porch. The very latest on breaking Bipolar Disorder news... (http://www.bipolarporch.com)
Title: Re: Psychiatric Disability Right in Law School
Post by: StrictlyLiable on October 08, 2009, 12:44:17 PM
You all want to know, I'll tell you.  I have ADD and Bipolar II. I was diagnosed with ADD at 12 and Bipolar II at 19.  I know what you all are thinking.  Youíre thinking Iím stupid, unintelligent, insane, and incapable of leading a full life.  Guess again! I am smart and intelligent, and perfectly sane. I am a straight A student, who is a Phi Theta Kappa member.  I do the same work and take the same tests, as everyone else in my class.    I go to college full time.  Live on my own, and I am planning on getting an academic scholarship to a school I want to transfer to.  I plan to go into public interest law, doing civil rights and litigation work.  One of my areas will be disability rights, and I will make sure that one no disabled person has their rights denied, especially people with psychiatric disabilities. Nothing and no one will keep me from being an attorney.  If anyone tries to deny me my civil rights, I will sue the pants off of them. 

On a personal note, I can tell you that there is nothing worse than being sick, alone and scared and having people ridicule and stigmatize you for it.  No one deserves that type of treatment. 

I find it really sad that people in this day and age continue to stigmatize people with psychiatric disabilities and deny them their civil rights.  They think we're lazy, weak, insane, stupid, violent, etc.  However, people with psychiatric disabilities are just as capable and competent as anyone else.  They have an illness, just like any other.  Like asthma or diabetes.  To treat people with psychiatric disabilities this way, is the same as discriminating against someone because of their race, gender, and sexual orientation.  You wouldn't make fun of someone with cancer, you wouldn't deny someone with cancer disability accommodations if need be.  Then why do the same to someone with a psychiatric disability. 

I also find it really sad that people in this day and age, can't see people with psychiatric disabilities for the gifts and abilities they have. Abraham Lincoln suffered from depression.  He was a lawyer and the president of the United States.  If Lincoln were alive today, and he was a student and had depression, who you deny him his civil rights and a chance to succeed in school? If someone did, they would have never have known one of the greatest presidents who ever lived.

The rehabilitation act of 1973, section 504, grants student with psychiatric disabilities the right to their civil rights and academic accommodations.  However, higher education institutions continually ignore the laws regarding student with psychiatric disabilities and itís a disgrace.  Not to mention that suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students, and the age for most mental illnesses are in ones late teens and twenties.   Even with this information, higher education institutions still do nothing to address the problem.  Still colleges continue to do nothing about it.  Student insurance doesnít even cover mental health parity, and there is a lack of awareness on campus.  This is all a result of ignorance and bigotry. 

Itís time for people to get a clue about mental illnesses and stop the bigotry. >:(


First of all, you really need to work on your writing skills if you plan to be accepted, let along suceed in law school and become licensed because judging on your two samples show above, you are sorely lacking. "grants student with psychiatric disabilities the right to their civil rights". Really? What does that even mean?

Second, what in the world are "psychiatric disabilities"? There are such things as learning disabilites, problems that specifically affect how an individual learns, absorbs information, and their ability to regurgitate that information, but what you described above is an emotional disorder, something that as of yet has not been proven to hinder the learning process. Certain disorders may affect how one copes with stresses, responds to stimuli, and behaves, but it does not affect the brain in such a way as to limit or impede learning.

Finally, lose the chip. Nearly everyone who applies to law school has their own little sob story. Just do a quick search of this site and you will find out that many, many people had to deal with hardships and such. So, join the club, we have jackets.
Title: Re: Psychiatric Disability Right in Law School
Post by: scrobin on October 13, 2009, 07:47:09 PM
Some porch talk needed...

You definitely are thinking into what other's may be thinking a bit too much.  That is okay for someone with bipolar.  It is caused by anxiety and you are clearly anxious.  It may also be caused by an inability to understand other people's reality (aka TOM or Theory of Mind).  Also common for bipolar.

For the rest of you, accommodations would be needed by the bipolar disorder sufferer because along with the highs and lows come attached a bunch of cognitive deficits in memory, attention, organization, impulsiveness, and the like.  Stress can really activate any one or a combination of the symptoms of bipolar and can aggravate these impairments.

The poster is right however, in that bipolars tend to be more intelligent on average and very creative.  My concern, however, would be that when you become a practicing attorney, you are a fiduciary and it is my view that being bipolar breaches that fiduciary duty.  Just like if you were managing someone's money as an investment advisor(also a fiduciary), bipolar would be wholly incompatible due to the episodic nature of when certain manifestations(mania, depression, or cognitive difficulties) appear.If you are in mid-trial or someone is really relying on you, then you could really screw them up to to impaired judgement and cognition.

Being a corporate lawyer would likely be better.

Dont think these impairments do not exist.  Check out my site to learn more on bipolar.  It is the Drudge of Bipolar Disorder! 

By the way, I have Bipolar I. Probably ADD as well.
Andrew
Bipolar Porch. The very latest on breaking Bipolar Disorder news... (http://www.bipolarporch.com)


Thank you for your comments.  I really appreciate it.  Actually I have a form of bipolar known as Bipolar II, which is a more milder form.  I know how to manage it.
Title: Re: Psychiatric Disability Right in Law School
Post by: scrobin on October 13, 2009, 07:51:54 PM
You all want to know, I'll tell you.  I have ADD and Bipolar II. I was diagnosed with ADD at 12 and Bipolar II at 19.  I know what you all are thinking.  Youíre thinking Iím stupid, unintelligent, insane, and incapable of leading a full life.  Guess again! I am smart and intelligent, and perfectly sane. I am a straight A student, who is a Phi Theta Kappa member.  I do the same work and take the same tests, as everyone else in my class.    I go to college full time.  Live on my own, and I am planning on getting an academic scholarship to a school I want to transfer to.  I plan to go into public interest law, doing civil rights and litigation work.  One of my areas will be disability rights, and I will make sure that one no disabled person has their rights denied, especially people with psychiatric disabilities. Nothing and no one will keep me from being an attorney.  If anyone tries to deny me my civil rights, I will sue the pants off of them. 

On a personal note, I can tell you that there is nothing worse than being sick, alone and scared and having people ridicule and stigmatize you for it.  No one deserves that type of treatment. 

I find it really sad that people in this day and age continue to stigmatize people with psychiatric disabilities and deny them their civil rights.  They think we're lazy, weak, insane, stupid, violent, etc.  However, people with psychiatric disabilities are just as capable and competent as anyone else.  They have an illness, just like any other.  Like asthma or diabetes.  To treat people with psychiatric disabilities this way, is the same as discriminating against someone because of their race, gender, and sexual orientation.  You wouldn't make fun of someone with cancer, you wouldn't deny someone with cancer disability accommodations if need be.  Then why do the same to someone with a psychiatric disability. 

I also find it really sad that people in this day and age, can't see people with psychiatric disabilities for the gifts and abilities they have. Abraham Lincoln suffered from depression.  He was a lawyer and the president of the United States.  If Lincoln were alive today, and he was a student and had depression, who you deny him his civil rights and a chance to succeed in school? If someone did, they would have never have known one of the greatest presidents who ever lived.

The rehabilitation act of 1973, section 504, grants student with psychiatric disabilities the right to their civil rights and academic accommodations.  However, higher education institutions continually ignore the laws regarding student with psychiatric disabilities and itís a disgrace.  Not to mention that suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students, and the age for most mental illnesses are in ones late teens and twenties.   Even with this information, higher education institutions still do nothing to address the problem.  Still colleges continue to do nothing about it.  Student insurance doesnít even cover mental health parity, and there is a lack of awareness on campus.  This is all a result of ignorance and bigotry. 

Itís time for people to get a clue about mental illnesses and stop the bigotry. >:(


First of all, you really need to work on your writing skills if you plan to be accepted, let along suceed in law school and become licensed because judging on your two samples show above, you are sorely lacking. "grants student with psychiatric disabilities the right to their civil rights". Really? What does that even mean?

Second, what in the world are "psychiatric disabilities"? There are such things as learning disabilites, problems that specifically affect how an individual learns, absorbs information, and their ability to regurgitate that information, but what you described above is an emotional disorder, something that as of yet has not been proven to hinder the learning process. Certain disorders may affect how one copes with stresses, responds to stimuli, and behaves, but it does not affect the brain in such a way as to limit or impede learning.

Finally, lose the chip. Nearly everyone who applies to law school has their own little sob story. Just do a quick search of this site and you will find out that many, many people had to deal with hardships and such. So, join the club, we have jackets.

For your information, I don't have a chip.  I am just sick and tired of dealing with people's bigotry.  If this was about african-american civil rights, instead of psychiatric disability rights, you would not be saying that.

Also, I had a friend of mine whose a law student read over my statement and he said it was very good and lawyer like. 

Also I'm not planning on coming across angry in my personal statement.  I am upset with that some of the bigoted statements in this post.