Am I too narcissistic to be a lawyer?
January 4, 2011 7:02 AM Subscribe
Character & Fitness District Committee: How serious is this?
posted by anonymous to law & government (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I have read similar questions about whether to disclose mental health issues on bar applications. I did not write those questions, and this one pertains to post-application procedures.
I did disclose on my bar application 1 year in therapy (DBT) and the nervous breakdown that necessitated it. The nervous breakdown came during my second summer of law school right after a pretty crappy divorce. I stayed for one week in a voluntary in-patient mental health center.
I sent the releases to character & fitness when they were requested. Then I was told that I was being called before a district committee to answer the question of whether I suffer from a mental disability that prevents me from practising law! Up to that point, based on my discharge papers from the ward, I believed I had only been diagnosed with major depression (duh, divorce!).
Now that I've read the records myself, I discover that the doctors there diagnosed me with borderline personality disorder and even mentioned bipolar! I knew that DBT is for borderline patients, but the doctor at the ward specifically said that she hadn't seen me long enough to diagnose me. I'm kind of freaked out, which is spawning more freaking out.
The DBT therapist that I saw for a year (I recently stopped because I reached a really great place) wrote a letter to the bar giving her opinion that I was suffering PTSD that summer due to an emotionally abusive relationship and the break-up fallout. Do I need to go back to therapy to look good?
So, how serious of impediments might these diagnoses be? (I'm in Michigan.) I have hired a lawyer and he is scheduling a psychiatric assessment. I have a hard time believing that I have a mental "disability" if it wasn't apparent enough for the doctor to tell me to my face, or to graduate from law school cum laude! I've also been working as a law clerk very happily and productively since I graduated in May.
Also, if you have been through this process, please tell me how to proceed as sanely as possible. If I'm not already crazy, dealing with these bureacrats is sure to get me there!
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