« on: May 07, 2015, 07:10:49 AM »
There's a lot to unpack here. So let me start with the basics- you failed to provide one crucial piece of information. What state? Every state has a different bar. Some states' bars are notorious for the C&F (sometimes called moral character and fitness) determinations, some states are a little more lax. So that would help.
Next, your question is whether this will impact the determination. That's easy- yes, it will. It will impact it. The type of impact it will have is the interesting question.
Then there's the issue of re-enrolling. Here's the thing- when you re-enroll, you have to be 150% honest. Go above and beyond. Disclose everything to the law school. Why? Because what kills people with "issues" isn't just the issue, it's the candor. The bar loves that word. They don't like to screw you on the actual issues (for reasons we will discuss shortly), but they will nail you every time if you haven't been candid. Partly it's because you are required to be candid as an attorney. Partly it's because that's one area where the bar can restrict membership easily, and if you've lied or failed to disclose on a law school admission, they can go after you for that.
Now, you'll have to divide the issues into two areas- the legal issues, and the medical issues. While you present them as intertwined, and they are, they present slightly different issues. The legal issues (the stay order, the campus sanctions) are the type of issues that, but for your illness, you'd have to otherwise explain away. The mental illness issue, properly treated, also would not be enough to deny you admission.
But the mental illness issue is further complicated. IIRC, in the last few years, several state bars have come under fire because denying someone solely based on a mental illness may be considered a violation of the ADA. But this is an evolving area of the law.
Arggh... so what does this all mean?
1. Many states have some type of lawyer assistance for attorneys and/or law students who have struggled with mental illness or substance abuse. See if your state has one and contact them. They may be able to help you.
2. Be candid.
3. Be healthy!!!!!!
4. Talk to someone informally in your state who is a practitioner about your issues; maybe a professor at the law school could point you in the right direction (a PR prof?)? You may want to contact an attorney who specializes in bar admissions issues.
I don't want to write any of this to discourage you. Many attorneys have struggled with substance abuse and mental illness, and have not only been accepted by their state bar, but have successful practices. Just make sure you protect yourself.