Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: Severe Depression/Low grades/Need Advice Plz  (Read 4413 times)

RedRaider

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 3
    • View Profile
    • Email
Severe Depression/Low grades/Need Advice Plz
« on: April 30, 2009, 09:16:22 AM »
Ok so I have a quick question.  Is severe clinical depression worthy of mentioning in a addendum?  MY first 3 years of college bounced around from 1.7 to 2.8.  However I had (still do) really severe depression.  I never really thought of myself as someone with mental problems, you know theres a certain stigma that accompanies depression.  Anyways there were some days where I couldn't even get myself out of bed, I had some very dark thoughts, things along those lines.  It was bad and it took me a long time to realize that there was something wrong with me.  I saw no point to school, didn't think I had a future and received 11 w's (non punitive) 1 F, retaken, 3 D's, retaken, and a handful of C's, B's, and A's.  Anyways I've gotten some meds for the depression and found a good routine of exercise and eating healthy that have completely turned me around!  I'm happy, motivated, and determined to succeed in this final year of school.  I've finished my fourth year with a 4.0 each semester, and have one year left with my major, I'm on the five year plan.  I'm a history major with a minor in chemistry.  If I continue the good grades I should have a decent gpa around  3.0-3.4, not entirely sure yet.  I'm just going to keep taking things one step at a time.  I'm obviously not going to YHS but with a good lsat will I have a chance at any schools, perhaps tier 2?  Any help would be greatly appreciated!

bl825

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 693
  • There are just so many reasons to smile.
    • View Profile
Re: Severe Depression/Low grades/Need Advice Plz
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2009, 09:24:30 AM »
Ok so I have a quick question.  Is severe clinical depression worthy of mentioning in a addendum?  MY first 3 years of college bounced around from 1.7 to 2.8.  However I had (still do) really severe depression.  I never really thought of myself as someone with mental problems, you know theres a certain stigma that accompanies depression.  Anyways there were some days where I couldn't even get myself out of bed, I had some very dark thoughts, things along those lines.  It was bad and it took me a long time to realize that there was something wrong with me.  I saw no point to school, didn't think I had a future and received 11 w's (non punitive) 1 F, retaken, 3 D's, retaken, and a handful of C's, B's, and A's.  Anyways I've gotten some meds for the depression and found a good routine of exercise and eating healthy that have completely turned me around!  I'm happy, motivated, and determined to succeed in this final year of school.  I've finished my fourth year with a 4.0 each semester, and have one year left with my major, I'm on the five year plan.  I'm a history major with a minor in chemistry.  If I continue the good grades I should have a decent gpa around  3.0-3.4, not entirely sure yet.  I'm just going to keep taking things one step at a time.  I'm obviously not going to YHS but with a good lsat will I have a chance at any schools, perhaps tier 2?  Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Absolutely, especially if it's a problem that you've started to address.  It looks like you've had quite a turnaround in your academic career.  Give the admissions committees that much more reason to discount the early part.
Oh yea...you're delicious and lean, but unsustainable and not to be consumed daily.

grahamw2

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 3
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Severe Depression/Low grades/Need Advice Plz
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2009, 01:55:36 PM »
Absolutly not! dont give the admissions committee any reason to believe that you may not make it through 3 years of law school.  If you had trouble in undergrad (something they consider easy) then these problems would be sure to return under the pressure of law school, which you and I know they wont ;) but they are pesimistic readers.  What you could do though is base your statement around the underlying issue, more specifically what triggered your negative feelings and show how you concured that DO NOT mention a clinical disorder.  If you need me to proof read it just send it to me.

The Harvard Guy

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 33
    • View Profile
    • How To Get Into Harvard Law School
    • Email
Re: Severe Depression/Low grades/Need Advice Plz
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2009, 03:18:19 PM »
This is not a problem at all!!  In fact, you have the makings for a great personal statement that will set you apart from the rest.  With a GPA in the 3.0 range and a good LSAT score, you will certainly have a shot at a tier-2 school.  Throw in a unique personal statement that discusses your struggles with depression, and you're set.  If I were you, I would definately right about your depression in the personal statement.

DiscussLaw

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 12
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Severe Depression/Low grades/Need Advice Plz
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2009, 03:04:08 PM »
You will make it BIG! :)



clairel

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 981
  • UChicago 3L
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Severe Depression/Low grades/Need Advice Plz
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2009, 03:31:00 PM »
i probably would mention it briefly, but you might take a bit more time off between undergrad and law school (maybe work for a year?). then you'll have three years without an episode and law schools might be more convinced that things are really under control for you.

and trust me, PLENTY of people in law school suffer from depression/anxiety/a bazillion other mental problems. admissions committees and faculty members, for the most part, seem to understand that it's a disease that, with proper management, can be dealt with and have minimal interference on daily life (and an occasional episode, as long as you seek help from a doctor or therapist, is expected). most schools offer pretty inexpensive health care plans that will contribute to covering medication and therapy. i don't think that, even if you applied this year, any adcoms would really reject your application if you can show how you're taking steps to avoid a recurrence.

big - fat - box

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 800
    • View Profile
Re: Severe Depression/Low grades/Need Advice Plz
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2009, 04:37:17 PM »
Sounds like you are on the right track with the uptick in grades. Good job.

I wouldn't settle for tier 2 just yet. Ideally, you should think about taking a year or two off before law school. Not only to strengthen your app at better schools, but mainly for your own personal well being. Law school is very stressful and can be depressing at times. You don't want to run into any problems once you are in b/c it could affect your performance and your job prospects.

I would find something worthwhile to do for a year or two, and make sure you prepare for the LSAT as much as you can during your time off school.

Oh, and anyone who is telling you to base an entire personal statement on your depression issues is giving really, really bad advice. Your personal statement should be positive. Then you can write a 1/2 page addendum explaining the discrepancy in your college grades and why the problem has been resolved.

RobWreck

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 373
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Severe Depression/Low grades/Need Advice Plz
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2009, 11:07:38 PM »
If you already have problems with depression, you might really want to give a second thought to going to law school... the legal profession has the second highest rate of depression and alcohol/substance abuse problems, right behind the adult entertainment industry. And that's generally for people that didn't have any problems before going to law school...
St. John's University School of Law '11
Part-time PM Division
Admitted in NY

IPFreely

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 100
    • View Profile
Re: Severe Depression/Low grades/Need Advice Plz
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2009, 12:13:01 AM »
I'm glad the meds are working for you.  I'd say it's a good idea to mention it either in a supplementary statement or in your personal statement.  As long as you've addressed the problem and found something that works, my guess (and it's only a guess) is that schools would hold the stigma of depression against you far less than they would hold your pre-treatment grades against you, as long as you explained the situation.

If you have the option to take a few more chemistry classes, you might also want to take enough to be allowed to take the patent bar.  It might open up a few more doors for you, although for chemistry, law firms typically want to see a master's or Ph.D. to hire a patent prosecutor.  Here's the requirements list (see Category B Option ii, on page 5 or 7 (depending on which page number you look at), for chemistry requirements when you don't have a bachelor's degree in chemistry):
http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/dcom/olia/oed/grb.pdf