More than numbers- be real with me

Not sure where your numbers will get you? Dying to know where you stand? Come have your palms read by your fellow posters!

Can I successfully become an attorney with a documented history of mental health issues?

YA u go girl!!!
11
85%
Maybe not :(
2
15%
 
Total votes: 13

Jakedanny

New
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2018 3:06 am

More than numbers- be real with me

Postby Jakedanny » Fri Feb 23, 2018 3:40 am

Hey guys,


I’m a junior in college looking at applying to law school within the next year. Obviously I know an online forum isn’t going to give me 100% of the answers I want or that I’ll go off of, but I wanted to test the waters and see what the feedback was about the subject of my concern.

I have a 3.68 GPA and a 160 LSAT score, which for the schools I’m looking at applying to actually excels from the median values listed. I’m also a Division One athlete (I.e. 20+ hours a week) juggling 2 internships (~30-40 hours a week) with athletics and school, so I definitely know how it feels to be busy/overwhelmed at times.

However, my concerns lie in mental health issues. Due to a freak act of nature my mother passed away at the same time that my home caught on fire between my freshman and junior year of college, and I had quite a bit of a mental health fallout from those events. I’ve always felt a tendency to fall chronically on the mildly low side, but over the course of my junior year was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder and Bulimia Nervosa. I received treatment over the summer before my junior year and have been able to completely turn everything that went wrong around; I’m still on antidepressants and go to therapy weekly, but I’m actually excelling in school more than ever now with hardly any symptoms (and none that interfere with academics).

I’ve heard that the Bar exam is notorious for asking intrusive mental health questions, and I was wondering if my diagnosis would prevent me from obtaining my JD? I honestly have more faith in myself (and am more mental health conscious) now that ever overcoming what I have, but it would be all for not if I just got judged by the worst times in my life and was turned down at the finish line.

Any respectful and constructive input would be more than welcomed! Thanks and have a great weekend, folks.

albanach

Silver
Posts: 1474
Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 10:05 pm

Re: More than numbers- be real with me

Postby albanach » Fri Feb 23, 2018 11:48 am

Jakedanny wrote:Hey guys,


I’m a junior in college looking at applying to law school within the next year. Obviously I know an online forum isn’t going to give me 100% of the answers I want or that I’ll go off of, but I wanted to test the waters and see what the feedback was about the subject of my concern.

I have a 3.68 GPA and a 160 LSAT score, which for the schools I’m looking at applying to actually excels from the median values listed. I’m also a Division One athlete (I.e. 20+ hours a week) juggling 2 internships (~30-40 hours a week) with athletics and school, so I definitely know how it feels to be busy/overwhelmed at times.

However, my concerns lie in mental health issues. Due to a freak act of nature my mother passed away at the same time that my home caught on fire between my freshman and junior year of college, and I had quite a bit of a mental health fallout from those events. I’ve always felt a tendency to fall chronically on the mildly low side, but over the course of my junior year was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder and Bulimia Nervosa. I received treatment over the summer before my junior year and have been able to completely turn everything that went wrong around; I’m still on antidepressants and go to therapy weekly, but I’m actually excelling in school more than ever now with hardly any symptoms (and none that interfere with academics).

I’ve heard that the Bar exam is notorious for asking intrusive mental health questions, and I was wondering if my diagnosis would prevent me from obtaining my JD? I honestly have more faith in myself (and am more mental health conscious) now that ever overcoming what I have, but it would be all for not if I just got judged by the worst times in my life and was turned down at the finish line.

Any respectful and constructive input would be more than welcomed! Thanks and have a great weekend, folks.


You'll likely need some medical documentation. It won't be much and I doubt it would have any impact on C&F.

Also, you should retake the LSAT. And if you don't, be hesitant spending money on any law school that will admit you with a 160 unless you have a very clear idea of your future goals as a lawyer and that school's ability to deliver them for you.

totesTheGoat

Moderator
Posts: 620
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2014 1:32 pm

Re: More than numbers- be real with me

Postby totesTheGoat » Fri Feb 23, 2018 2:59 pm

Jakedanny wrote: I was wondering if my diagnosis would prevent me from obtaining my JD?


Nah. They're mostly concerned with self-destructive behaviors, including alcoholism. I'm not 100% sure, but I doubt that depression and bulimia are even going to make it on the radar, especially if your GPA shows that you're doing well.

Regarding the 160 LSAT, I agree with the suggestion to retake, but it's not dire. 165-170 gets you into decent schools with some money. 170-175 gets you into good schools with good money.

be hesitant spending money on any law school that will admit you with a 160 unless you have a very clear idea of your future goals as a lawyer and that school's ability to deliver them for you


This is good advice no matter your situation. Admittance to law school is the start line of the marathon, not the finish line. Make your plans with the finish line in mind, not the start line. Know what your prospective schools' job prospects look like, know what your true cost is going to look like after 3 years, and know how hard it is going to be to achieve your specific career goals with a top 10% GPA, a top 25% GPA, a top 50% GPA, and a below median GPA.

Jakedanny

New
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2018 3:06 am

Re: More than numbers- be real with me

Postby Jakedanny » Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:44 pm

Thank you so much, you guys have been very helpful! I obviously have some time to retake the LSAT, and will definitely play that to my advantage :D

BeeTeeZ

New
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2016 5:26 am

Re: More than numbers- be real with me

Postby BeeTeeZ » Wed Mar 07, 2018 2:25 pm

Jakedanny wrote:Hey guys,


I’m a junior in college looking at applying to law school within the next year. Obviously I know an online forum isn’t going to give me 100% of the answers I want or that I’ll go off of, but I wanted to test the waters and see what the feedback was about the subject of my concern.

I have a 3.68 GPA and a 160 LSAT score, which for the schools I’m looking at applying to actually excels from the median values listed. I’m also a Division One athlete (I.e. 20+ hours a week) juggling 2 internships (~30-40 hours a week) with athletics and school, so I definitely know how it feels to be busy/overwhelmed at times.

However, my concerns lie in mental health issues. Due to a freak act of nature my mother passed away at the same time that my home caught on fire between my freshman and junior year of college, and I had quite a bit of a mental health fallout from those events. I’ve always felt a tendency to fall chronically on the mildly low side, but over the course of my junior year was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder and Bulimia Nervosa. I received treatment over the summer before my junior year and have been able to completely turn everything that went wrong around; I’m still on antidepressants and go to therapy weekly, but I’m actually excelling in school more than ever now with hardly any symptoms (and none that interfere with academics).

I’ve heard that the Bar exam is notorious for asking intrusive mental health questions, and I was wondering if my diagnosis would prevent me from obtaining my JD? I honestly have more faith in myself (and am more mental health conscious) now that ever overcoming what I have, but it would be all for not if I just got judged by the worst times in my life and was turned down at the finish line.

Any respectful and constructive input would be more than welcomed! Thanks and have a great weekend, folks.


You have nothing to worry about. I had similar concerns before entering law school and did a lot of research into C&F, speaking with many committee members to get their input. People pass C&F in my state that get DUIs during law school and have felonies on their record. One guy served over 10 years in prison for robbing banks - he is now a professor at Georgetown.

Look up the statistics on mental health in the legal profession: the prevalence of depression, OCD, anxiety, and substance abuse is over 3x the rate of the general population. For better or worse, as someone with a history of mental health issues, you are in good company as a future lawyer. Take care of yourself, and keep moving forward with your goals.



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