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Author Topic: Should I mention Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder on my PS?  (Read 895 times)

snikrep

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Re: Should I mention Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder on my PS?
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2005, 06:15:56 PM »
Well, I was looking through the bar exam application, and you have to specifically fill out a form authorizing your law school to release your information in the purpose of evaluating your character.  So it's not like there are organizations that can just swarm in and get your info willy nilly, you have to give express authorization.

I imagine they could be forced by a court to divulge the information, but they would have to have a good reason - and at that point there's nothing to say they couldn't go after your medical records as well.  I would think this through (and perhaps check with the law schools), but I really think this is kept extremely private.

KayakAnyone

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Re: Should I mention Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder on my PS?
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2005, 10:23:38 PM »
Well, I was looking through the bar exam application, and you have to specifically fill out a form authorizing your law school to release your information in the purpose of evaluating your character.  So it's not like there are organizations that can just swarm in and get your info willy nilly, you have to give express authorization.

I imagine they could be forced by a court to divulge the information, but they would have to have a good reason - and at that point there's nothing to say they couldn't go after your medical records as well.  I would think this through (and perhaps check with the law schools), but I really think this is kept extremely private.

No but the Bar can... and thats the only real issue.  is how is it viewed by the bar.. and unfortunately i cant find a 100% answer.  I've heard people say its a problem it kept out so and so or I've heard people say its not a problem.  I'd warn someone especially this OP to err on the side of caution and keep his illness undisclosed.  If he doesnt admit it now -- there is no paper trail and the bar has no right to request dr records.. so he wouldnt have to disclose the OCD later on where it may affect his chances of bar approval.  besides as far as the OP is concerned I think its an unwise decision as well given his age etc...

snikrep

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Re: Should I mention Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder on my PS?
« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2005, 11:00:44 PM »
Good article on the subject:

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3975/is_200010/ai_n8922118

From what I can tell - the bar can demand medical history and such, so not putting things on your law school application isn't going to protect you.

SolarysBlue

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Re: Should I mention Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder on my PS?
« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2005, 11:20:34 PM »
"As of 1995, only seven states had no mental health inquiries for bar applicants, ten states and the District of Columbia asked applicants only about hospitalization due to mental health problems, and thirty-two states still had broad mental health inquiries"

I wonder which 7 states?

mifimo

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Re: Should I mention Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder on my PS?
« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2005, 11:31:44 PM »
to the OP: I say include it. If you're successfully dealing with it, they should see it as an obstacle you've overcome, and that's exactly the kind of *&^% they love.

nogokai

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Re: Should I mention Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder on my PS?
« Reply #15 on: October 23, 2005, 11:57:43 PM »
Hi All,

Thanks for the great replies!  I never thought into future about the Bar repurcussions - it's very interesting.  Personally, I do not think that any illness is their business (hope I don't open a can of worms here).  Something that I forgot to add - this statement will only be used as a PS at one school.  I have another PS which discusses my human rights activities in another country- it's a very strong PS.  However, this ADHD/OCD statement will be used as either an LSAT Addendum or Disadvantage Statement.  Sorry to confuse.

As my LSAT scores stink and my GPA from undergrad has no great trends (2.88), I think that mentioning the OCD might just give them another good reason to say, "NO".  It would take too many words to counter the stigma and misinformation surrounding OCD.  I'm going with "ADHD w/related anxiety issues" (or something like that).

As far as older applicants- there is a misconception that adcomms focus on our experiences and not undergraduate work.  I talked to some of the deans from last year's applications- and they seemed very focused on the undergraduate work from over 15 years ago!  I was shocked!  I came out of last year's application cycle feeling that older applicants are held to the same standards as applicants fresh out of college.  Remember- time doesn't (seem to) heal anything with the adcoms!

Lastly, as I live in a foreign country, my psychiatric records probably would not make it to the States.  However, he will be sending a letter to the LSAC to get me another chance for the LSAT (combined with a letter from an assistant dean), because I attempted the LSAT three times in two years.  With these new meds, I think I can do much better.  However, I am only asking for another chance at the LSAT (under the same testing conditions as everyone else).

Again, thanks everyone- you guys are great!

N.

nogokai

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Re: Should I mention Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder on my PS?
« Reply #16 on: October 24, 2005, 12:08:29 AM »
Oh- one more thing.  If I may give some advice in return- if anyone is reapplying this year, make sure that you call the deans!  Often, they WILL discuss the weaknesses in your application from the year before- this information is absolutely invaluable.  One dean actually sounded like she was reading the comments from the adcomm (as if they were written in the margins).  The best time to call them is in the summer when they're less busy.

Don't be shy- call!

KayakAnyone

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Re: Should I mention Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder on my PS?
« Reply #17 on: October 24, 2005, 12:11:52 AM »
If your illness is on file with LSAC, I imagine it's a moot point.  The bar will have access to any letter written by your psychiatrist since the schools will.


Hi All,

Thanks for the great replies!  I never thought into future about the Bar repurcussions - it's very interesting.  Personally, I do not think that any illness is their business (hope I don't open a can of worms here).  Something that I forgot to add - this statement will only be used as a PS at one school.  I have another PS which discusses my human rights activities in another country- it's a very strong PS.  However, this ADHD/OCD statement will be used as either an LSAT Addendum or Disadvantage Statement.  Sorry to confuse.

As my LSAT scores stink and my GPA from undergrad has no great trends (2.88), I think that mentioning the OCD might just give them another good reason to say, "NO".  It would take too many words to counter the stigma and misinformation surrounding OCD.  I'm going with "ADHD w/related anxiety issues" (or something like that).

As far as older applicants- there is a misconception that adcomms focus on our experiences and not undergraduate work.  I talked to some of the deans from last year's applications- and they seemed very focused on the undergraduate work from over 15 years ago!  I was shocked!  I came out of last year's application cycle feeling that older applicants are held to the same standards as applicants fresh out of college.  Remember- time doesn't (seem to) heal anything with the adcoms!

Lastly, as I live in a foreign country, my psychiatric records probably would not make it to the States.  However, he will be sending a letter to the LSAC to get me another chance for the LSAT (combined with a letter from an assistant dean), because I attempted the LSAT three times in two years.  With these new meds, I think I can do much better.  However, I am only asking for another chance at the LSAT (under the same testing conditions as everyone else).

Again, thanks everyone- you guys are great!

N.