Law School Discussion

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 71 
 on: May 20, 2015, 11:38:33 AM 
Started by CLilly18 - Last post by Maintain FL 350
Most colleges have very little in the way of meaningful prelaw advising. My prelaw advisor wasn't even a lawyer, he was a history prof. Here's the "advice" I got: "Look at your LSAT and GPA then apply to schools in your range." Wow, thanks.

Your GPA is already set, so the best thing you can do now is focus on the LSAT. The LSAT is a HUGE piece of the puzzle, probably more important than your GPA. Once you have an actual LSAT score you'll be able to get a good picture of where you have a shot at getting in. Then you need to think about location and career goals. I would check back here once you have a score (or at least a few timed practice scores).

If you want to post your GPA and intended location, that will give at least some indication as to what kind of LSAT score you may need.

As far as mental health issues, it is not an automatic barrier to law school or the bar by any means. But, it really depends on your specific situation and how it has affected your life. Without knowing more it's impossible to say.

 72 
 on: May 20, 2015, 09:00:58 AM 
Started by CLilly18 - Last post by loki13
CLilly,

First, many (if not all) pre-law advisors don't know what they're talking about. Remember that. Because I paid attention to my pre-law advisor (who, in turn, asked for advice from another pre-law advisor) I chose the completely wrong mix of schools to apply to. It ended up working out great for me, but still....

So, briefly put- educate yourself. Ask questions. Go to different sites. There are, for all practical purposes, only two things that matter for your admissions chances. Your uGPA (undergraduate GPA) and your LSAT score. You know your uGPA; if you don't already have your LSAT score, start taking practice exams to get an idea of where you will score (approximate)- this will help you understand what types of schools you will be looking at (reach, solid, safety).

Re: mental health. This should be fine. Remember to separate two things- the illness, and the actions. For example:
1. I have bipolar disorder, and I am receiving treatment for it.
2. I have bipolar disorder, and because of that, I killed a guy in Reno just to watch him die.
3. I have bipolar disorder, and because of that, I have a massive and untreated cocaine addiction.

Illness alone (1) is never disqualifying. But actions can be (2). What can cause you problems is a lack of candor (this is the fancy lawyer-speak for telling the truth). If, for whatever reason, your law school application asks you a question that requires disclosure of something, make sure you disclose.

 73 
 on: May 19, 2015, 10:03:45 PM 
Started by opal - Last post by opal
I also think you might want to sum up your statement.

Really the facts are that due to mental health issues a series of unfortunate events occurred that you take full responsibility for. You are currently under psychiatric care from several mental health professionals and doing much better. Due to the incidents that occurred at X school you believe it is best that you and X school part ways. However, you want to pursue your dream of becoming an attorney and would like the appropriate paperwork/etc from X school to assist with a transfer. You apologize for the situation and wish things could have turned out differently, but your mental health issues created an unfortunate situation, but now that you have it under your control you would like the school's assistance with transferring.

It really doesn't need to be four paragraphs long.

Bad things occurred and mistakes were made. Ask for what you want, which is the ability to transfer schools and be over apologetic to the school. Even if you don't mean it and the school screwed everything up, just get what you need from them move on do well in the legal profession.

Thanks. Should I submit a letter of recommendation to the local schools from my psychotherapist?

 74 
 on: May 19, 2015, 10:03:24 PM 
Started by CLilly18 - Last post by CLilly18
So I'm a recent grad of a college with basically zero pre-law advising/programs. I just recently decided to go to law school and don't really have anyone to ask questions about applying-or-more importantly-if my past-mental health treatment will affect my ability to pass the bar so is law school even really an option for me.
Does anyone know of any resources that could help me?
Thanks!
-CL

 75 
 on: May 19, 2015, 07:31:15 PM 
Started by philly13 - Last post by Groundhog
Congratulations!

It's worth noting that Georgetown's early action is somewhat unusual in that it doesn't require two semesters of transcripts, but if you killed it first semester seems like a good option, unless it's contingent on grades your 2nd 1L semester.

 76 
 on: May 19, 2015, 07:20:06 PM 
Started by opal - Last post by Citylaw
I also think you might want to sum up your statement.

Really the facts are that due to mental health issues a series of unfortunate events occurred that you take full responsibility for. You are currently under psychiatric care from several mental health professionals and doing much better. Due to the incidents that occurred at X school you believe it is best that you and X school part ways. However, you want to pursue your dream of becoming an attorney and would like the appropriate paperwork/etc from X school to assist with a transfer. You apologize for the situation and wish things could have turned out differently, but your mental health issues created an unfortunate situation, but now that you have it under your control you would like the school's assistance with transferring.

It really doesn't need to be four paragraphs long.

Bad things occurred and mistakes were made. Ask for what you want, which is the ability to transfer schools and be over apologetic to the school. Even if you don't mean it and the school screwed everything up, just get what you need from them move on do well in the legal profession.


 77 
 on: May 19, 2015, 06:15:42 PM 
Started by opal - Last post by opal
Opal-

First, you have six years to complete your JD. That means that you can take up to three years off. So (no offense, but) that's a dodge. Also? Starting a year (the fall) and not being able to complete is not the same as taking an entire year off.

I would be somewhat concerned given your statement. From what I see, you have one physician giving you 40mg of Latuda, then another, no earlier than February of this year, increasing it to 80mg- not exactly a hallmark of stability and time given your history. As a total aside, I help with, well, some mental health things in my jurisdiction, and I am a little shocked that they are giving you Latuda (alone) for the mania. They usually prescribe it in conjunction with another medication (or medications) and many people, over a period of time, find that it triggers mania or hypomania. But everyone is different, and if it's working for you, that's what matters.

Regarding your statement, it is way too defensive. The first paragraph (I can feel the hostility!) and the beginning of the fourth (the part with the mirror). Dude- just lay out the facts - and you realize you don't really lay them out, right? Accept responsibility, state your remedial action (taking care of your illness), and move forward.

How is my essay hostile?  I fully accept responsibility and state my remedial action in great detail (psychiatrist, psychotherapist, support group, volunteering, etc.)

I can't take more time off because then I'll have an unacceptably large gap on my resume that employers will look askance at.  I really want to finish my JD as quickly as possible and move on with my life.  Taking extra time off and deferring my career goals will just cause my mental health to deteriorate. It is in the best interest of my mental health to not be idle anymore.   

 78 
 on: May 19, 2015, 06:00:42 PM 
Started by opal - Last post by loki13
Opal-

First, you have six years to complete your JD. That means that you can take up to three years off. So (no offense, but) that's a dodge. Also? Starting a year (the fall) and not being able to complete is not the same as taking an entire year off.

I would be somewhat concerned given your statement. From what I see, you have one physician giving you 40mg of Latuda, then another, no earlier than February of this year, increasing it to 80mg- not exactly a hallmark of stability and time given your history. As a total aside, I help with, well, some mental health things in my jurisdiction, and I am a little shocked that they are giving you Latuda (alone) for the mania. They usually prescribe it in conjunction with another medication (or medications) and many people, over a period of time, find that it triggers mania or hypomania. But everyone is different, and if it's working for you, that's what matters.

Regarding your statement, it is way too defensive. The first paragraph (I can feel the hostility!) and the beginning of the fourth (the part with the mirror). Dude- just lay out the facts - and you realize you don't really lay them out, right? Accept responsibility, state your remedial action (taking care of your illness), and move forward.


 79 
 on: May 19, 2015, 05:22:39 PM 
Started by opal - Last post by opal
From your prior statements that you trust yourself to be civil etc, but not the school. However, if you can take personal accountability then great.

I hope you succeed and if you take responsibility for whatever happened then good things will likely occur.  However, it does sound like you are working on quite a few issues and perhaps taking a year off or so from school to get all your ducks in a row might be worth it.

The bar exam makes plenty of people that are not pretty disposed for psychological issues snap. Law school is not going anywhere and if you are in aggressive psychology treatment why not finish that first? Just my two cents as an anonymous internet poster.

Again, I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors, but this is not a great profession for individuals with major mental health disorders. I sincerely, hope you prove me wrong, pass the bar and have an awesome career in public service.

However, just be careful these incidents sound very, very serious and if I was you, which I am not I might consider taking a year or two off from school.

I am already taking an entire year off from law school.  (2014-2015)  I can't take any more time off because ABA rules require you to finish your JD in a set # of years. 

You don't "complete" mental health treatment.  Treatment is ongoing. Ergo, I can't wait until I "complete" my treatment, because that is a lifelong thing.

How was the addendum?  Too long perhaps?

 80 
 on: May 19, 2015, 05:02:43 PM 
Started by philly13 - Last post by Citylaw
Awesome congrats on your transfer. Good work.

Not sure if the whole thing went through or not, but you might want to see if your T-4 would offer you a full scholarship and living expenses instead of transferring.

A debt free ABA J.D. would be nice. If they offer that is be something to consider if they can't do then head to the T14.

Good luck and congrats on your accomplishment!

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