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Author Topic: Psychiatric Disability Right in Law School  (Read 4255 times)

disabilitylaw

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Re: Psychiatric Disability Right in Law School
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2009, 03:39:31 AM »
Why would someone with bipolar depression need extra time for tests and assignments? That's an emotional disability, not learning, like ADD or Dyslexia.

I can understand how a "breakdown" may impact the need for extra time on assignments on an as-needed basis, but I believe to request consistent additional time may be using the disability to your advantage when that disability does not require extra time.

It depends upon how the disability affects the specific individual. A person applying for accommodations needs to explain the connect between his/her disability and the need for the specific accomodation. A person cannot just say "I have depression, therefore I need time and a half" - but if a person can establish that for whatever reason the depression translates into a need for accommodated time, then the person is entitled to the accomodation.


Please explain the possible connect between an emotional disorder (as opposed to learning disorder) and the need for accommodations.  I'm having trouble even thinking of a plausible connection that would justify getting extra time on an exam.

Well, I am not a psychiatrist but I do work with law students who have a vast range of disabilities.  A bipolar student cannot get accommodated time unless that person has a psychiatrist or psychologist document how that person's mental illness affects his/her ability to take tests in a standard format.

It could be because that person takes medication that extreme side effects that slow down a person's thinking.  It could be that the person has panic attacks every time that person sits down to take an exam - so that person may need more time than most students to "compose" himself/herself before taking the exam.  Keep in mind that a lot of people have learning disabilities AND mental health disabilities (e.g. dyslexia and severe anxiety). Therefore, when a person receives exam accommodations it may not be specifically because of a mental health issue.




Matthies

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Re: Psychiatric Disability Right in Law School
« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2009, 02:57:34 PM »
What kind of psychiatric disabilities are you talking about?  I know that persons with documented (serious) learning disabilities can get extra (sometimes double) time on exams. Accommodations in law school are tricky though because there is no law that will ever make an employer give an associate extra time to finish a memo -- regardless of whether the associate has a learning disability. So I am a little cynical about the value of accommodations that could lull a person into spending lots of money on school and then being unable to actually work with the degree after graduation. It seems like a "bait and switch."

The ADA applies to businesses too. But the main thing is there are avenues that are open to you in work that are not in law schools exams. For example Iím dyslexic I type very slowly and misspell most everything, but at work I can use speech to text, proofreading or dictation that make me just as fast as anyone else (if not faster). But I canít use those in exam soft so I have to type and correct my spelling by hand (no spell check) which takes much longer.

Some schools allow students to use dictation software as an accomodation. The school I work at does.

How do they work that?

That would have really helped me, but anyone who has used speech to text software knows you really have to train with it for an awhile (several weeks using it) before its even marginally accurate and adjusted to your voice, style and diction.

Hence for it to work for me they would have to let me use my own computer and software that I had trained to my voice and thus could not lock it down with exam soft then. While I would never cheat on anything, I also would not want to be in the position of being the only guy in the class whoís computer was not locked down for exams, too many people might assume you might cheat. Espically given that if your talking out loud to type your test your likely in a room by yourself so you donít bother anyone else or give away answers.

Just giving me a computer with speech to text on it would not work because like I said, you have to train the software for it to be remotely accurate. Without training it just garble sup everything you say and come out like gibberish.

Iím wondering how they deal with this at your school?

*In clinical studies, Matthies was well tolerated, but women who are pregnant, nursing or might become pregnant should not take or handle Matthies due to a rare, but serious side effect called him having to make child support payments.

Dxion

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Re: Psychiatric Disability Right in Law School
« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2009, 05:20:34 PM »
You sound like a perfectly reasonable person.

Good luck in law school.

scrobin

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Re: Psychiatric Disability Right in Law School
« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2009, 09:35:41 PM »
You sound like a perfectly reasonable person.

Good luck in law school.

Thank you very much!

elle-y

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Re: Psychiatric Disability Right in Law School
« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2009, 09:57:49 PM »
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HippieLawChick

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Re: Psychiatric Disability Right in Law School
« Reply #15 on: September 30, 2009, 11:47:47 PM »
I can tell you this: Many students at my law school with a wide variety of disabilities were permitted special accommodations in testing.  The disabilities ranged from dyslexia and severe ADD to other "unknown" disabilities.  My guess is that those who didn't discuss why they weren't taking exams with the rest of us (they got to take them later in an interview room alone) had anxiety problems or other psychiatric issues. 

If you are concerned about it, make an inquiry with the admissions office anonymously, and they should be able to give you some information.

For those who don't understand how having these issues could cause issues in taking exams, you should look on wikipedia for information about how these illnesses can affect people.

disabilitylaw

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Re: Psychiatric Disability Right in Law School
« Reply #16 on: October 03, 2009, 02:23:18 PM »
I can tell you this: Many students at my law school with a wide variety of disabilities were permitted special accommodations in testing.  The disabilities ranged from dyslexia and severe ADD to other "unknown" disabilities.  My guess is that those who didn't discuss why they weren't taking exams with the rest of us (they got to take them later in an interview room alone) had anxiety problems or other psychiatric issues. 

If you are concerned about it, make an inquiry with the admissions office anonymously, and they should be able to give you some information.

For those who don't understand how having these issues could cause issues in taking exams, you should look on wikipedia for information about how these illnesses can affect people.

A lot of people who have disabilities look just fine to everyone else.  I know people who are almost completely blind and you can't tell by looking at them.  I know people who have had strokes, cancer, or chronic life-threatening illnesses that look great. They are in law school and trying to get through the best they can, despite these issues.

It's natural in a competitive environment like law school to assume people are using disabilities for "gain." The truth is that if you knew what most of these people were going through you wouldn't want to change places with them just to get an additional hour or a special chair or private room for an exam. 

Matthies

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Re: Psychiatric Disability Right in Law School
« Reply #17 on: October 05, 2009, 09:09:47 AM »
I can tell you this: Many students at my law school with a wide variety of disabilities were permitted special accommodations in testing.  The disabilities ranged from dyslexia and severe ADD to other "unknown" disabilities.  My guess is that those who didn't discuss why they weren't taking exams with the rest of us (they got to take them later in an interview room alone) had anxiety problems or other psychiatric issues. 

If you are concerned about it, make an inquiry with the admissions office anonymously, and they should be able to give you some information.

For those who don't understand how having these issues could cause issues in taking exams, you should look on wikipedia for information about how these illnesses can affect people.


It's natural in a competitive environment like law school to assume people are using disabilities for "gain." The truth is that if you knew what most of these people were going through you wouldn't want to change places with them just to get an additional hour or a special chair or private room for an exam. 

This is so true, if I could give away my deslexia to someone else I would take all my exams with 1/2 LESS time thwen everyone else just to be rid of that. Hell I had to do that on the bar anyway. my desylexia does not come and go on exam day, I have to deal with it everyday if I could take a pill and make it disapear I would in s econd, but there is no such thing so everytime I read wor write anything I have to deal with it. 
*In clinical studies, Matthies was well tolerated, but women who are pregnant, nursing or might become pregnant should not take or handle Matthies due to a rare, but serious side effect called him having to make child support payments.

Mitchell

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Re: Psychiatric Disability Right in Law School
« Reply #18 on: October 05, 2009, 10:39:26 AM »
I'm taking about unipolar and bipolar depression.  I'm taking about extended time for tests and assignments if need be. 

People with disabilities are just as intelligent and capable as anyone else, and they are entitled to their civil rights.


I'm just as capable as everyone else.  I need accommodations.
Mmmmmmmitchell

bipolarporch

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Re: Psychiatric Disability Right in Law School
« Reply #19 on: October 07, 2009, 05:03:08 PM »
Some porch talk needed...

You definitely are thinking into what other's may be thinking a bit too much.  That is okay for someone with bipolar.  It is caused by anxiety and you are clearly anxious.  It may also be caused by an inability to understand other people's reality (aka TOM or Theory of Mind).  Also common for bipolar.

For the rest of you, accommodations would be needed by the bipolar disorder sufferer because along with the highs and lows come attached a bunch of cognitive deficits in memory, attention, organization, impulsiveness, and the like.  Stress can really activate any one or a combination of the symptoms of bipolar and can aggravate these impairments.

The poster is right however, in that bipolars tend to be more intelligent on average and very creative.  My concern, however, would be that when you become a practicing attorney, you are a fiduciary and it is my view that being bipolar breaches that fiduciary duty.  Just like if you were managing someone's money as an investment advisor(also a fiduciary), bipolar would be wholly incompatible due to the episodic nature of when certain manifestations(mania, depression, or cognitive difficulties) appear.If you are in mid-trial or someone is really relying on you, then you could really screw them up to to impaired judgement and cognition.

Being a corporate lawyer would likely be better.

Dont think these impairments do not exist.  Check out my site to learn more on bipolar.  It is the Drudge of Bipolar Disorder! 

By the way, I have Bipolar I. Probably ADD as well.
Andrew
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