Law School Discussion

Recovery from Addiction... Is this approproate to mention in a statement???


wait I'm addicted to LSD,
but I guess that's kinda traditional

LOL.. I saw this coming a mile away!

Life is about making mistakes and learning from them..   Assuming he didn't go on a killing spree, it can only help as a sign of the maturing process.

Not even Ernest Hemingway could spin this into a positive. You should be making sure the adcoms don't find out any of this instead of thinking about writing about it in your PS.


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   I want to thank every body for their posts.  I have more questions,  aren't they going to see that I was arrested for DUI in 2002?  I forgot to mention that very pertinent piece of info.  Also what's an OP?  I know I'm very green.  Where else can I go to get the ansers to these kinds of qusetions?
     Are these C&N questions answered in person or by essay? 


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I want to thank every body for their posts. I have more questions, aren't they going to see that I was arrested for DUI in 2002? I forgot to mention that very pertinent piece of info. Also what's an OP? I know I'm very green. Where else can I go to get the ansers to these kinds of qusetions?
 Are these C&N questions answered in person or by essay?

Yes, you're going to have to disclose your DUI on law school applications.  (IMO this is more reason to write positively about your recovery.)

OP = original poster

C&F = character & fitness.  it's part of the bar admission process.


i guess i would not view a hisory of addiction as an 'advantage'. that might be the chief question on which we differ.

Lord Bartha:

I think the difference may be that you are looking at the issue as a 'history of addiction', while some other people here are viewing it in terms of 'the recovery' (which is no easy process, and demonstrates a level of strength and maturity).  No, a history of addiction is not something to be proud of.  However, having the strength of character to overcome it and be sober is CERTAINLY something to be proud of, and with a well-written PS could be used as an advantage.

To the OP:

You will certainly need to disclose the DUI and any other convictions.  Especially in light of that, you really should address your recovery in your PS.  The adcomms will want to know that you are now sober.


Lord Bartha is 100% right. Don't mentions your addiction in your PS.
In recovery I am sure that you have learned a lot about yourself and the way you view others. Talk about that rather than your disease. Mention how you have grown spiritually blah blah blah. But don't give them any reason to turn you down.

What did recovery do for you? If it made you the person you are now, and you feel motivated to tell people that, write about it in the PS. But if there is something else in your life that fits the description, focus on that "something else" and make recovery secondary, or cover it in the DUI explanation only. (You should definitely address it somewhere, though.) It would be ideal if you could define yourself in some other way, and make your sobriety just another example of how you overcome problems, take responsibility, learn from mistakes, etc.


I'm still concerned about this addiction disclosure since he's been sober less than 2 years.  Stress can cause even the most committed person to fall off the wagon, and 1L is nothing but stress.  You will have to write an addendum for the DUI anyway, so you can briefly state that the DUI woke you up to what you were doing to yourself, family, friends, etc. and haven't touched alcohol/drugs since, but leave the rehab/addiction details out of it. 

Make your p.s. about something else entirely.  They'll get the picture in your addendum about the DUI/recovery.  Don't be the guy the adcoms refer to as "the drug guy."

A. don't write it in your personal statement, you want to stay postive in your PS
B. intead, write an addendum explaining your situation
C. don't call it a learning disability, because it isn't really a learning disability, and  because then they will assume that you have a cognitive disability, dyslexia or some form of ADD, which you will have to provide documentation for.

good luck! all the best :)


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Talk about your struggle with undiagnosed manic-depression in an addendum, since it provides a clear explaination of why your later grades should be considered as the best reflection upon your ability.  Bipolar is a medical condition, and it can be (somewhat) cured with medicine.  But do not mention your history of addiction (unless a court order forced to go to rehab, in which case you'd be forced to reveal your history of addiction)!  Even though you were probably self-medicating, many people believe that drug addiction indicates that the former addict has serious character flaws.

If you omit any reference to drug addiction, you should be able to explain the DUI as an isolated incident.  Plenty of average people get DUIs.