Final version, I think. Thanks for the feedback. I fleshed out the misconduct para and broke the narrative into multiple paras for easier reading
_____________________________ _____________________________ _____________________________ ________________________
Before I begin, I would like for you to know that I formally requested official disciplinary records from [School] in order to aid me in fully and accurately writing this disclosure to you. Mr. [Dean], the Associate Dean for Student Conduct, however, has outright refused to mail me the documentation that I required. Therefore, this account is solely based on my imperfect memory of the events as they transpired. Any mentions of dates are mere approximations, as my recollection of what occurred is quite hazy given the fact that I was under the influence of untreated mental illness at the time. As follows is a general account of my regrettable, sordid, and ignominious disciplinary history at [School].
In fall 2013, I suffered a manic episode. In my manic state, I harassed various community members through transmitting repeated aggressive, hostile, belligerent, and verbally abusive communications. As a result of the disruptive behaviors I exhibited during my manic episode, I was placed on University Probation. In addition, the aggrieved individuals lodged a University Stay Away Order against me. The University Probation was lifted sometime in spring 2014. The University Stay Away Order has since been lifted for all but two individuals. In fall 2014, I suffered another manic episode. In my manic state, I committed acts of vandalism and harassed various members of the community through transmitting repeated aggressive, hostile, belligerent, and verbally abusive communications. As a result of the disruptive behaviors I exhibited during my manic episode, [School] charged me with disorderly conduct, community disturbance, failure to comply, and property damage. Furthermore, the [School] Police trespassed me from campus. In addition, while the investigation was pending, I was placed on Interim Suspension. Subsequently, I was given the option of withdrawing voluntarily for medical reasons in lieu of going through the student conduct process and receiving a sanction. I chose to withdraw. I was given the option of reapplying for the fall 2015 semester under the condition that I undergo mental health treatment to address the underlying causes of my obvious poor impulse control. Although my misconduct was heinous, [School] had mercy on me and as a result I thankfully did not incur a criminal record.
During the intervening period, I have received intensive outpatient treatment for my recently diagnosed bipolar disorder. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, “ipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out daily tasks. Symptoms of bipolar disorder can be severe. They are different from the normal ups and downs that everyone goes through from time to time. Bipolar disorder symptoms can result in damaged relationships, poor job or school performance, and even suicide. But bipolar disorder can be treated, and people with this illness can lead full and productive lives.” Until December 2014, I received frequent individual psychotherapy from Julie P., LPC at [Practice] in [City, State], who especially worked with me on anger management techniques that I have implemented into my daily life. Julie P., LPC retired at the end of 2014. In February 2015, I received weekly individual psychotherapy from Ann P, LCSW MSW at [Practice] in [City, State], who assisted me with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). From March 2015 to the present I have received individual psychotherapy from Ruth D., MGPGP, whom I see on a weekly basis at her private practice in [City, State] for sessions of up to two hours each. Ruth D., MGPGP, who herself suffered from bipolar disorder for 20 years, has provided me invaluable insight into the underlying causes behind the disruptive behaviors I exhibited while at [School]. Furthermore, until January 2015 I was under the regular care of a psychiatrist, Dr. Ketankumar P., M.D. at [Practice] in [City, State]. He prescribed me 40 milligrams of Latuda (lurasidone HCl), an atypical antipsychotic and a mood-stabilizer, to treat my bipolar disorder. In the beginning of 2015, Dr. Ketankumar P., M.D. went on a medical leave of absence. Accordingly, from February 2015 to the present I have been under the care of another psychiatrist, Dr. Stephan M., M.D., whom I see once a month at [Practice] in [City, State]. He increased my dose of Latuda from 40 milligrams to 80 milligrams to fully ensure that no further manic episodes would derail my life and daily functioning. In addition to the individual psychotherapy and the psychiatric care, I also am an active participant in [Support Group] for people diagnosed with bipolar disorder, depression, and their loved ones. I attend [Support Group] meetings on a weekly basis and have volunteered to take on a leadership role in the organization, planning initiatives and events for the group that help empower individuals with mood disorders to lead productive lives. For instance, I organized hikes, excursions, a yoga class, and a Zumba session for members of [Support Group]. I am now doing very stably thanks to a robust combination of daily medication, weekly individual/group psychotherapy, and monthly psychiatric visits. My treatment providers can wholeheartedly attest to that. Over the past year, I have been so single-mindedly dedicated to my mental health treatment that I declined to go on a family vacation to India, a family vacation to Florida, a family vacation to Ohio, and a friend’s wedding in California because I did not want to miss a single session of individual or group psychotherapy. Given my intensive outpatient mental health treatment, my past manic episodes are far behind me and highly unlikely to manifest themselves again. I am proud to say that I am firmly on the road to recovery. During my hiatus from law school, I took the March 2015 administration of the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE) and received a 128, which is a passing score by a wide margin in every jurisdiction. This is further evidence that I am able to function at a high level despite my disability.
Although my past disruptive behaviors directly and proximately stemmed from my then-untreated bipolar disorder, I accept 100% responsibility for my actions and harbor no malice and ill will toward those who disclosed the misconduct or initiated proceedings against me. I wholly deserved what I got. My bipolar disorder does not in any way excuse my past misconduct. I feel a great deal of remorse for my abhorrent, intemperate behavior and apologize deeply to those that I have offended. Not a day goes by that I don’t regret my past transgressions—at times I am so ashamed that I can hardly look at myself in the mirror. As mentioned earlier, I am currently under aggressive treatment by a psychiatrist, psychotherapist, and support group, all of whom are assisting me in coping successfully with bipolar disorder and addressing the underlying causes of the disruptive behaviors that led to the disciplinary sanctions at [School].
In addition, to further rehabilitate myself, I have made productive use of my time for the benefit of society through volunteering at legal aid agencies serving indigent clients in [State]. In spring 2015, I volunteered for the [Organization 1], a non-profit affiliated with [School]. The [Organization 1] works to secure exonerations for wrongfully convicted inmates. As a Stage 2 case screener, I was responsible for determining whether inmates’ cases involved plausible claims of innocence and gauging whether there may be avenues for obtaining new exculpatory evidence through examining inmates’ questionnaires, docket sheets and appellate records. In addition, I wrote evaluative memoranda assessing whether inmates’ cases presented plausible claims of factual innocence. Starting June 1, 2015, I will be volunteering full-time at [Organization 2], a non-profit public interest organization dedicated to meeting the legal and advocacy needs of homeless individuals and families in [City]. As a volunteer, I will assist [Organization 2's] staff attorneys in conducting legal clinics in shelters and soup kitchens throughout the city of [City]. If I were admitted to a [City]-area school as a visiting student for my final year of law school, I hope to continue serving [Organization 2] on a part-time basis while taking classes and seamlessly continuing my treatment with the same mental health providers.
I would like to visit away at a [City]-area law school for the third year of my Juris Doctor program principally for medical reasons. I am unable to return to [School] because all of my treatment providers are located in the greater [City] region. If I were not accepted as a visiting student at a [City]-area law school, I would have no choice but to be forced to abandon my Juris Doctor program. I would be absolutely heartbroken if I lost out on my dream of becoming an attorney and zealously advocating for people with mental health disabilities. As you can tell from my other personal statements, I passionately desire to work in a career in the public interest. Many of the indigent clients served by [City's] legal aid agencies have suffered from debilitating mental illness—who better to represent them than a future lawyer who overcame her own mental health issues to became a success? As I have done everything I possibly can to atone for my past misconduct, I would appreciate it from the bottom of my heart if you would give me another chance. I deserve to be happy and successful despite my disability.