Law School Discussion

Disciplinary Action in Law School--C&F?

Re: Disciplinary Action in Law School--C&F?
« Reply #30 on: May 19, 2015, 12:36:02 PM »
If I contact them, even politely, they will accuse me of harassment and file criminal charges against me.  Believe me, it's that serious.  I am walking on thin ice.  I can't afford to have any more blemishes on my C&F record.  Therefore, best to have a third party (treatment provider, parent) intervene on my behalf.

I can understand your concerns. If things were left on such a bad note that ANY contact is likely to be interpreted as threatening, then having a third party mediator is not a bad idea. 

Typically it would be difficult for a school to claim harassment simply because someone is seeking to access an approved path to readmission after complying with the terms of their medical leave. (Assuming the communications were cordial and appropriate). I think this is sort of what Loki was referencing. If there was a TRO, RO, no contact order, etc, then that's a different story.

If your situation is so tense that even cordial contact for the purposes of readmission is going to result in someone calling the police, then I think you have an uphill battle regardless.

I really do wish you the best of luck. It may be that your school simply wants more time to pass without incident since the last episode was only a year ago.

opal

Re: Disciplinary Action in Law School--C&F?
« Reply #31 on: May 19, 2015, 12:50:39 PM »
opal,

I will try and explain this to you nicely. There is no monolithic "they." I have worked with my law school's administration. It is made up of people. Not "they." Real people.

So, building from that, either you have an actual, court-imposed injunction against you (which you claim you didn't), or you don't. If you don't, then you can contact the administration, which you would have to be able to do anyway in order to get re-admitted. You noted that you aren't allowed back on campus pursuant to an agreement- that's what letters are for. There's also phone calls and emails- but you might prefer the letter option first, since you can write everything out and have someone look at it.

If you can't trust yourself to be civil and professional, it's too soon. But there is no such thing as "harassment and ... criminal charges" for someone contacting the school to apply for re-admission. Unless there's a whole heck of a lot that you didn't say (but then ... that would also impact all the question you were asking, so why bother?).

If you don't want to do this yourself, don't. But don't think that this doesn't reflect badly on you, and that decision makers won't consider it, you're fooling yourself. I will point out, one last time, that you asked for advice, and three different people (attorneys) noted this. Again, if you have your own attorney IRL, ask them! Maximize your chance for success.

Anyway, I'll sign off here. Good luck.

I trust myself to be civil and professional.  I don't trust the school administration to be likewise, however.  I know their power and I am f-ing terrified of them.  They have the power to destroy my career in an instant.  They will perceive ANY contact from me, no matter how polite and meek, as threatening and harassing.  I can't afford any more C&F blemishes at this point.   

Re: Disciplinary Action in Law School--C&F?
« Reply #32 on: May 19, 2015, 01:25:30 PM »
Blaming everyone else is not the best course of action.

They don't actually have the power to press charges I suppose they could seek a TRO, but I find it very unlikely they would do that and even if they did a school being contacted by a student would probably not be successful.

A law school is not a D.A's office it cannot impose a criminal charge on you.

If you want to say the school is out to get you and blame them for everything that is your choice. If they have really done horrible things to you and handled everything terribly then you could hire your own attorney, but I imagine you had issues. Things went bad maybe the school could have handled the situation better, but at the end of the day an attorney is accountable for their own actions.

I have had numerous assistant and secretaries make mistake and not handle things correctly, but as an attorney it's my job to take responsibility for their actions.

Clients lie to you and opposing counsel will try to put you in a bad situation. This is not a profession for someone that wants to say my shortcomings are X's person or entities fault.

When your in the actual practice of law you are accountable for everything. When you represent a client it is not the Judge's fault, opposing counsel, your secretary blah blah. Bad sh*t some of it out of your control and no fault of your own will happen, but it is on you to deal with it.

Again, if your up to that then pursue a masters in religious studies or something. This is not a profession for passing the buck.

I am trying to be honest with to save you time, money and frustration.  If personal accountability even when it isn't your fault  is something you can't handle find another profession. If it is something you can handle then I wish you the best of luck.



opal

Re: Disciplinary Action in Law School--C&F?
« Reply #33 on: May 19, 2015, 02:35:05 PM »
Blaming everyone else is not the best course of action.

They don't actually have the power to press charges I suppose they could seek a TRO, but I find it very unlikely they would do that and even if they did a school being contacted by a student would probably not be successful.

A law school is not a D.A's office it cannot impose a criminal charge on you.

If you want to say the school is out to get you and blame them for everything that is your choice. If they have really done horrible things to you and handled everything terribly then you could hire your own attorney, but I imagine you had issues. Things went bad maybe the school could have handled the situation better, but at the end of the day an attorney is accountable for their own actions.

I have had numerous assistant and secretaries make mistake and not handle things correctly, but as an attorney it's my job to take responsibility for their actions.

Clients lie to you and opposing counsel will try to put you in a bad situation. This is not a profession for someone that wants to say my shortcomings are X's person or entities fault.

When your in the actual practice of law you are accountable for everything. When you represent a client it is not the Judge's fault, opposing counsel, your secretary blah blah. Bad sh*t some of it out of your control and no fault of your own will happen, but it is on you to deal with it.

Again, if your up to that then pursue a masters in religious studies or something. This is not a profession for passing the buck.

I am trying to be honest with to save you time, money and frustration.  If personal accountability even when it isn't your fault  is something you can't handle find another profession. If it is something you can handle then I wish you the best of luck.

Do you really think I should email the school administration and risk having a criminal record as a result?  What drugs are you on? No matter how polite and cordial I'll be, they will construe contact of ANY kind to = harassment.  I know the school admin better than you do. That's why it's best to leave the communicating to third parties--treatment providers, parents, etc.   

What makes you think that I am not taking responsibility for my actions? Although my past disruptive behaviors directly stem 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 misconduct.  I feel a great deal of remorse and shame for my abhorrent, intemperate behavior.  Not a day goes by that I don’t regret my past transgressions—at times 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 behavior that led to the disciplinary sanctions at law 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. 

opal

Re: Disciplinary Action in Law School--C&F?
« Reply #34 on: May 19, 2015, 02:50:27 PM »
Any feedback would be greatly appreciated on this C&F addendum. Addendum is for applying as a visiting student for my third year of law school.

_____________________________ _____________________________ ___

Before I begin, I would like for you to know that I formally requested disciplinary records from [Law School] in order to aid me in fully and accurately writing this disclosure to you. [Name of Dean], the Associate Dean for Student Conduct, however, has outright refused to send me the documentation that I required. Therefore, this account is solely based on my memory of the events as they transpired. Any mentions of dates are mere approximations, as my recollection what occurred is somewhat hazy given the fact that I was under the influence of untreated mental illness at the time. As follows is an account of my regrettable disciplinary history at [Law School].

In fall 2013, I suffered a manic episode. As a result of the disruptive behaviors I exhibited during my 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 May 2014. The University Stay Away Order has since been lifted for all but two individuals.

In fall 2014, I suffered another manic episode. As a result of the disruptive behaviors I exhibited during my episode, [Law School] charged me with disorderly conduct, community disturbance, failure to comply, and property damage. 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.

During the intervening period, I have received intensive treatment for my recently diagnosed bipolar disorder. Until December 2014, I received regular individual psychotherapy from Julie P., LPC. In February 2015, I received individual psychotherapy from Ann P., LCSW MSW. From March 2015 to the present I have received individual psychotherapy from Ruth D., MGPGP, whom I see on a weekly basis for sessions of up to two hours. Furthermore, until January 2015 I was under the care of a psychiatrist, Dr. Ketankumar P., MD. He prescribed me 40 milligrams of Latuda, an atypical antipsychotic and a mood-stabilizer, to treat my bipolar disorder. From February 2015 to the present I have been under the care of another psychiatrist, Dr. Stephan M., MD, whom I see once a month. He increased my dose of Latuda from 40 milligrams to 80 milligrams to fully ensure that no further manic episodes would disrupt 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 taken 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. I am now doing very stably with a combination of daily medication and weekly individual/group psychotherapy, and my treatment providers wholeheartedly can attest to that.

Although my past disruptive behaviors directly stem 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 misconduct. I feel a great deal of remorse and shame for my abhorrent, intemperate behavior. Not a day goes by that I don’t regret my past transgressions—at times 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 behavior that led to the disciplinary sanctions at [Law 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], a non-profit affiliated with [School]. The [Organization] 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], 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's] staff attorneys in conducting legal clinics in shelters and soup kitchens throughout the city of [City]. If I were accepted to a [City]-area school as a visiting student for my final year of law school, I hope to continue serving [Organization] on a part-time basis while taking classes. 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?

Re: Disciplinary Action in Law School--C&F?
« Reply #35 on: May 19, 2015, 03:00:48 PM »
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.

opal

Re: Disciplinary Action in Law School--C&F?
« Reply #36 on: May 19, 2015, 03:22:39 PM »
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?

loki13

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Re: Disciplinary Action in Law School--C&F?
« Reply #37 on: May 19, 2015, 04:00:42 PM »
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.


opal

Re: Disciplinary Action in Law School--C&F?
« Reply #38 on: May 19, 2015, 04:15:42 PM »
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.   

Re: Disciplinary Action in Law School--C&F?
« Reply #39 on: May 19, 2015, 05:20:06 PM »
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.