Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

Should I even sit for the bar exam?

I finished up my credits in August 2017, and my JD was confe mazatec09/19/18
Do you want to practice law? nycatt09/19/18
Ideally yes, but I’m very anxious about character and fitn mazatec09/19/18
There is only one way to find out. Take the bar. I have a nycatt09/19/18
Thanks for your confidence in my abilities. Most people on mazatec09/19/18
You are definitely not nearly as insane as the law school st nycatt09/19/18
I see a psychiatrist for meds and a therapist as well, thoug mazatec09/19/18
is the psychiatrist your mother, opal? or is it a neutral th blackholelaw09/21/18
No. mazatec09/26/18
Be very careful with Themis. I failed first time with them. boredgirl110/01/18
Weren't you heading off to Alaska? kappel09/19/18
No, I was asked to clerk for a second year. mazatec09/19/18
If you're never going to practice law there's no need to tak massivemissive09/19/18
The MSW program is accredited. mazatec09/19/18
Yep, There are tons of CSWE accredited online MSWs. The onehell09/19/18
How about the MLIS? I can finish that in a year, and once I mazatec09/19/18
Law librarian seems like an awesome job indeed, especially f onehell09/19/18
I know someone who works at a big law firm and she got the d downwardslope09/19/18
I'm not sure if the BigLaw environment would be healthy for mazatec09/19/18
Did your character and fitness issues came into being befor ternarydaemon09/19/18
Issues arose during law school mazatec09/19/18
One of my largest regrets is the amount of time I spent worr jd4hire09/19/18
What did you do with your life while you were waiting out th mazatec09/19/18
Hey Mazatec, haven't I seen this "What do I do in life?" SAM catwoman33309/19/18
" I would assume that a SERIOUS character issue (hx of viole wutwutwut09/19/18
The bar takes mental instability VERY seriously. mazatec09/19/18
Actually, I think a lot of people won't think that. It is c nycatt09/19/18
Scare tactics. And who is the BAR to talk? Look at how many esquirewalletsmatter09/19/18
Tbh, I'm more scared of failing character and fitness than t mazatec09/19/18
Here’s the thing, I get it. It’s a BS standard of hoops esquirewalletsmatter09/19/18
Who is "wolfman"? mazatec09/19/18
A person that poasts. You do not want to emulate him. Do you esquirewalletsmatter09/19/18
Part of me wants to give it a shot. I sunk many years and $ mazatec09/19/18
"IMO online "degrees"--even if from the Ivy League--are of l mazatec09/19/18
For the love of God, opal/dharsama/mazatec/whoeveryouare , wh lazlo09/19/18
I do want to become an attorney. I'm pessimistic at best wh mazatec09/20/18
"For the love of God, opal/dharsama/mazatec/whoeveryouare ," wutwutwut09/20/18
You keep asking for advice, and whatever answers people give caj11109/19/18
Misconduct is extremely serious. I screwed up so badly that mazatec09/20/18
So, you were somewhat obnoxious to a few authority figures. caj11109/20/18
I was 25-28 when I committed these offenses. Not exactly an mazatec09/20/18
If you haven't gotten treatment, get treatment. If you are nycatt09/20/18
Yeah I've been in treatment and do volunteer work. mazatec09/20/18
Yeah, you should see how attorneys talk IRL. You basically esquirewalletsmatter09/20/18
So then what’s the point of taking the exam? mazatec09/20/18
I agree that the shmearing the lipstick is the only conduct loser1209/21/18
I think the issue is that given your history, you may find t massivemissive09/20/18
Somehow I feel like you are either messing with us or you ar redemptionsong09/29/18
I'm not a troll. mazatec09/29/18
On a personal level, why would anyone want to deal with your gforce8810/02/18
Lots of people with bad pasts (felonies, drug addiction, etc mazatec10/03/18
"Just look at Tarra Simmons in WA." Funny given the cur wutwutwut10/03/18
Lots of people with bad pasts (felonies, drug addiction, etc mazatec10/03/18
She kind of strikes me as Dwight Schrute. loser1210/03/18
Opal, you’ve asked this site the same question over and ov trickydick09/20/18
Not to mention... http://www.jdunderground.com/law/th read wutwutwut09/20/18
But c'mon, TD. We're coming up on 5 years of it now. She's wutwutwut09/20/18
Seriously the bar exam is nowhere near as hard as people mak thirdtierlaw09/20/18
How about the MA program? (btw I haven't yet applied to the mazatec09/20/18
"As for what you do in the meantime, you do what you're doin mazatec09/20/18
I started my job months before getting sworn in. Almost ever thirdtierlaw09/20/18
"You also a blatantly ignoring my other advice of taking the mazatec09/20/18
I can say that C&F is much less intense than I thought. Like loser1209/20/18
This is gold, thanks. mazatec09/20/18
I'd just add that presentation is big also. Most social deci loser1209/20/18
What do you mean by "presentation"? Like wearing a suit, no mazatec09/20/18
I mean lawyers are particularly superficial. There's a reaso loser1209/21/18
The answer to OP is No. End thread. Stop the madness. esquirewalletsmatter09/21/18
My current psych doesn’t think I have bipolar. I brought i mazatec09/21/18
It seems hard to misdiagnose bipolar. I have only known wome loser1209/21/18
Will they even care what diagnosis I had in the past? mazatec09/25/18
My thought is that they ordinarily don't, but that they do w loser1209/25/18
*I'm* not claiming that I don't have it. My current psych i mazatec09/25/18
I think you can play it off as having it, but that it's in s loser1209/25/18
Yes to the abuse question. But that does not explain why th mazatec09/25/18
IDK I'm not a therapist, but maybe law school was a differen loser1209/25/18
I already sent in my first deposit for the Columbia grad pro mazatec09/25/18
Not if you want to be a lawyer. Showing you can complete a n loser1209/25/18
I know, but it's an Ivy. I was super on top of the moon whe mazatec09/25/18
Do you have to sit for the bar before C&F or afterwards? I d loser1209/20/18
In NJ, you sit for the bar first, and if you pass, they star mazatec09/20/18
With all due respect, your posting habits fit a bipolar tone loser1209/20/18
I think this probably helps you. My gut feeling is it’s ha loser1209/20/18
I'm not sure whether talking to the deans is a good idea. I mazatec09/20/18
It seems like the relationship is too strained for this to b loser1209/21/18
Yes. Absolutely. 100% Whatever issues you’re worried ab hotshot09/21/18
Are you addicted to these kinds of posts? I have seen this e ohboy09/25/18
When I applied with major C&F issues, I was paranoid about i loser1209/26/18
What did you do with your life while you awaited the adjudic mazatec09/26/18
I worked, but didn't perform or bill as much as I would have loser1209/26/18
A legal employer hired you even though you were not sworn in mazatec09/26/18
I had good grades despite not giving good faith effort due t loser1209/26/18
What kind of work did your supervisor give you while awaitin mazatec09/26/18
In jurisdictions where C&F is after the bar exam, very few a loser1209/27/18
"You don't want to apply to C&F before you have all your doc mazatec09/27/18
I forget the name of the law, but I'm pretty sure there is a loser1209/27/18
The campus police explicitly refused to submit police report mazatec09/27/18
Yeah, but unless the world is conspiring against you, I doub loser1209/27/18
Dude, I think campus police are exempt from FERPA. mazatec09/27/18
People with deep rooted mental health issues who pursue a ca trickydick09/26/18
Dont take the bar, use a dozen more usernames, ask a bunch o trollfeeder09/26/18
I'm not "doing nothing with your life"; I'm gainfully employ mazatec09/26/18
A distinction without a difference. trickydick09/27/18
What do you mean without a difference? There's a world of a mazatec09/27/18
No there isn’t. trickydick09/29/18
Explain. mazatec09/29/18

mazatec (Sep 19, 2018 - 10:44 am)

I finished up my credits in August 2017, and my JD was conferred on September 1, 2017. From August 2017 until August 2019, I'll be clerking for a judge full-time.

I registered to take the February 2018 UBE and signed up for Themis, but I found that with my full-time job I had very little time to devote to studying. I was falling behind badly in the course and doing poorly on practice MBEs. I felt extremely exhausted after a day of work, could hardly focus, and my sleep/health in general suffered. I deferred to July 2018 without having to pay the fees again, but the same issues were cropping up, so I sat out again. I would prefer to study when I don't have the distraction of a FT job-most first-time bar takers sit for the exam the summer following 3L and are not employed during bar prep so they can devote 100% to it.

Furthermore, I have very serious character and fitness issues (I won't get into the sob story here, most regulars know the deal), and was told by numerous attorneys online and IRL that passing this hurdle would be a "lost cause", which is discouraging to say the least after spending 6 years and $88,000 in this ordeal. I've applied and gotten into a Master of Arts program at an Ivy for fall 2019, and I'm also in the process of filling applications for an online MLIS program (to pursue law librarianship) and online MSW for fall 2019 as back-up plans since the prospect of a law license seems all but hopeless at this point. I just feel defeated.

I'm definitely at a crossroads at this point and wondering whether the headache and expense-not only exam fees and Themis, but also hiring a character and fitness attorney for such a Hail Mary case-are even worth it. What would you suggest?

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nycatt (Sep 19, 2018 - 12:15 pm)

Do you want to practice law?

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mazatec (Sep 19, 2018 - 12:38 pm)

Ideally yes, but I’m very anxious about character and fitness.

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nycatt (Sep 19, 2018 - 5:10 pm)

There is only one way to find out. Take the bar. I have a kid and a full time job and just passed Florida, after passing California and New York a while ago without a kid. I think I am good at bars. Some people will always fail bars. Some people need one or two tries and can do it. Your performance anxiety is irrational; some CBT therapy would help you. Practice as much as possible and do your very best; you will pass or fail. All you can do is your best. That is it. Worrying, especially without a single data point as to how you will do is a total waste of energy. If your score is near passing, you will know you can do it. If your score is in stupid-town, well, maybe give up the dream.

As to your character thing, I don't know what you did, but I am sure things like drug use and maybe even drunk driving deaths, are forgiven all the time. They key would be to show that you owned your mistake, and you made amends. If you did drug stuff, volunteer with drug addicted people. If you killed someone accidentally, volunteer like crazy also. Just show that you recognize what you did sucked, you changed yourself, and you tried to make big time amends. If you get a character and fitness interview, they want to see that.

Dude, just do it!!!!

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mazatec (Sep 19, 2018 - 5:30 pm)

Thanks for your confidence in my abilities. Most people on this forum think I'm batsh*t insane and beyond unfit to be an attorney.

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nycatt (Sep 19, 2018 - 5:42 pm)

You are definitely not nearly as insane as the law school student poster that wanted business cards. The majority of people pass bar exams. You have been in the real world for 2 years working for a judge, so you have some extra leg up against law school students there. There is no reason to believe you won't pass. Unless you don't pass - but we aren't there yet. You have some serious anxiety though, and that you can treat. CBT works really well. If you have any mental illness, have that treated too. (anxiety is not necessarily mental illness, but more like survival mechanism that can get out of wack, which is why CBT can be very helpful, but mental illness can figure in there and exacerbate it). Also, see my comment below re mental issues.

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mazatec (Sep 19, 2018 - 6:25 pm)

I see a psychiatrist for meds and a therapist as well, though I'm not sure if she uses CBT techniques. Like I mentioned elsewhere in this thread, I'm smart and hardworking enough to be able to pass the bar; my primary concern is character and fitness.

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blackholelaw (Sep 21, 2018 - 9:14 am)

is the psychiatrist your mother, opal? or is it a neutral third party?

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mazatec (Sep 26, 2018 - 4:12 pm)

No.

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boredgirl1 (Oct 1, 2018 - 8:02 pm)

Be very careful with Themis. I failed first time with them. Just found out. Don't spend too much time on the lectures. While their lectures may be a bit shorter than say Barbri, they still take up a lot of time!!!!

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kappel (Sep 19, 2018 - 11:12 am)

Weren't you heading off to Alaska?

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mazatec (Sep 19, 2018 - 11:37 am)

No, I was asked to clerk for a second year.

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massivemissive (Sep 19, 2018 - 12:05 pm)

If you're never going to practice law there's no need to take the bar.

I would be careful getting an online MSW. Ensure you can get licensed with that sort of degree.

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mazatec (Sep 19, 2018 - 12:38 pm)

The MSW program is accredited.

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onehell (Sep 19, 2018 - 2:42 pm)

Yep, There are tons of CSWE accredited online MSWs.

The way it usually works is that all the classes are online, but the required "field" component is one you will have to physically show up for. Online MSW programs usually have arrangements with various hospitals/clinics/homeless shelters/etc all over the country and if they don't have one near you, they'll find some and call them; they're usually happy for the free labor.

So you don't have to physically go to the school, but you do have to physically go to your field placement. That's significant, usually around 20 hours/wk for a year and it could be 50-100 miles away, depending on where in the country you are and who they can make arrangements with.

Then, if you want an independent clinical license, you have to get another like 2000-3000 hours postgraduate with about 100 hours of that being these special supervision sessions with someone specifically certified to supervise. Most agencies don't have anyone on staff certified to supervise so a lot of people pay around $10k out of pocket to retain a supervisor from the outside. They also have to pass an exam and go through state licensing boards, but getting the hours is by far the most difficult thing. Especially since you're paid a real pittance, think like $12/hr, while getting those hours. And it has to be real hours, like doing psychotherapy. A lot of agencies advertise for people already licensed but don't want to deal with the hassle of people still getting their hours who can't bill insurance yet.

So every LCSW you will ever meet has, at a minimum, around 3 years of experience - two postgraduate and one during school. It's harder to get licensed as a social worker than as a lawyer. That's why so many social workers never get licensed. They end up doing nonclinical work in homeless shelters and stuff because clinical licensure puts them in a bit of a catch-22: Can't get a clinical job without a license, can't get a license without a clinical job.

But when you do get licensed, those hours serve as a bottleneck that is a real control on supply. So there will always be a shortage and the opiod crisis is only drawing more attention and money to mental health. LCSWs don't get rich but they're never unemployed involuntarily. I don't think I've ever heard of a fully-licensed social worker having much trouble finding a job paying 60k-ish, plus they always have the option of hanging a shingle. They can even bill Medicare and most private insurance. Unlike an NP though, they can't prescribe the psych meds, so the salaries rarely get into the six figs.

Still, given OPs situation, I might consider social work and just leaving the law behind. It's much more fulfilling and once licensed, much easier to find work.

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mazatec (Sep 19, 2018 - 4:05 pm)

How about the MLIS? I can finish that in a year, and once I have it under my belt I can apply for law librarian jobs, where I can utilize my JD but not have to be licensed. Seems like a chill, low stress job from the looks of it.

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onehell (Sep 19, 2018 - 5:31 pm)

Law librarian seems like an awesome job indeed, especially for the highly introverted sort, but the caveat to me is that the accreditor for those degrees (American Library Association) does not appear to mandate much in the way of outcomes disclosure.

And how big can the market possibly be, what with only the law schools and a few very large law firms being the only places that seem to insist on this qualification? (There are courthouse law libraries too, but my anecdotal experience is that they don't seem to insist on or be willing to pay a salary commensurate with that degree).

I would also imagine that turnover is very, very low, so a job may only open up if someone dies or retires. Plus, there's a lot of cynicism about whether libraries of any sort are relevant in the digital age. I don't necessarily know enough about them or what they do to have an opinion on that, but I do know that if people are looking for something to cut libraries are often the low-hanging fruit. The only safe law libraries would be the ones at law schools, because there's ABA accreditation standards to meet for those. But after all, there's only about 200 law schools in the country so once again, how big could that profession possibly be and how much room for new entrants could it possibly have?

Perhaps you could broaden things via a general MLIS rather than one of those ones that is specialized to law librarianship, but that wouldn't utilize the JD. If I were going to do a law library-specific masters, I probably wouldn't go anywhere other than the top program in the country which is Univ of Washington, and while they do offer the general MLIS online, the law library MLIS is in-person only:

https://ischool.uw.edu/programs/mlis/degree-options/law-librarianship

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downwardslope (Sep 19, 2018 - 6:01 pm)

I know someone who works at a big law firm and she got the degree after she started. She basically worked part time and when she was close to finishing, she was bumped up to full time. I had a coworker who went into the job with no experience as well and I’m not aware that she ever got an MLIS. The firm was basically opening up a “support” office in a small town with no attorneys and she applied for the law librarian/researcher job and got it. Big law firms use them because they don’t want their associates to bill for the research while the researchers bill at a much lower rate or they can be in cheaper locations where they can pay less.

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mazatec (Sep 19, 2018 - 6:41 pm)

I'm not sure if the BigLaw environment would be healthy for me.

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ternarydaemon (Sep 19, 2018 - 12:05 pm)

Did your character and fitness issues came into being before you entered law school? If so, why did you pursue such expense of time and money, in lieu of the contingency such issues would eventually cause you?

If they arose after you got into the course, and after expert opinions, perhaps it would be a good idea to go into the courses you mention.

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mazatec (Sep 19, 2018 - 12:39 pm)

Issues arose during law school

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jd4hire (Sep 19, 2018 - 2:18 pm)

One of my largest regrets is the amount of time I spent worrying about C&F issues. I had a substantial rap sheet (multiple arrests and many many charges, including one during LS). Some were arguably reflective of a lack of "moral turpitude." Some issues were not related to run-ins with the law, but disciplinary issues during high school.

I'm now admitted in multiple state courts, multiple federal districts, a circuit court of appeals, and the Supreme Court. Two state courts and one federal district put me through the ringer to get in, but I did.

I'd at least try before you write off ever practicing law. I'd be more concerned about when you are going to study given the issues you have experienced trying thus far.

Good luck.

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mazatec (Sep 19, 2018 - 4:24 pm)

What did you do with your life while you were waiting out the character and fitness ordeal and unlicensed?

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catwoman333 (Sep 19, 2018 - 3:05 pm)

Hey Mazatec, haven't I seen this "What do I do in life?" SAME Q in other threads?? If not, apologies, but I thought I read something very similar in other thread references to Themis and Ivy League and online MSW..:).

Personally, if I were bombing practice tests, was a nervous and physical wreck, the FIRST priority would be just to hit the PAUSE button, try figure out why I feel like hell first before making any big, life-changing career decisions. Most important, try to learn how to take care of yourself (esp. if you have MH or addiction problems that lead to panic, indecision, and/or recent C & F issues). It could be you feel this way because of health issues or you really don't like ANY option law practice/grad school but are just trying to force yourself to defer to pressure (internal or external) to do something that really doesn't interest you. Not advisable in ANY profession. Why waste the time, $$$ on further education until you begin to deal with your underlying problems??

Also, no rule says you can't take a bar exam or attend grad. school later in life. What's the rush? Take a year off to just work while you figure out what you really want in life, then decide when you hopefully have more insight.

IMO online "degrees"--even if from the Ivy League--are of limited value in today's job market. People with grad degrees are a dime a dozen. A lot of universities--even law schools and Ivys--created evening/online degree programs with lower admission criteria after the '07/08 crash specifically to woo working/older adults and generate more $$$. Frankly, I wouldn't spend a penny to pursue an MSW degree anywhere because most SW/caseworker jobs are too low income to justify the tuition price/student loans costs.

Re: the C & F issues. I would assume (and hope) that a SERIOUS character issue (esp. if it involved a history of violence, felony charges, or jail time) WOULD trigger red flag and require a thorough investigation of an applicant. Personally, I think we already have too many people of dubious character in law practice; many were jailed during Watergate and many more are likely headed to jail in the current Mueller probe. That said, in this day and age of a proud, unrepentant sexual assailant in the WH, another accused sexual assailant being fast-tracked to the highest court in the land, who knows?


Good luck.

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wutwutwut (Sep 19, 2018 - 3:14 pm)

" I would assume that a SERIOUS character issue (hx of violence, felony charges, jail time) would DEFINITELY be a HUGE red flag for the bar in many states"


Hers aren't anywhere near that serious. Plus the judge she's been clerking for the last 2 years really seems to think she's doing a good job (from details in other posts) so he'd likely provide character witness.

I don't think OP's C&F problems are as bad as she thinks they will be, given time has passed and she's got 2 years work as a clerk under her belt.

I do question whether going into social work is a good idea, though, given her prior descriptions of issues she's had. Watching a series of people wreck their lives over and over would be heartbreaking.

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mazatec (Sep 19, 2018 - 4:14 pm)

The bar takes mental instability VERY seriously.

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nycatt (Sep 19, 2018 - 5:19 pm)

Actually, I think a lot of people won't think that. It is common. My wife has bi-bolar disorder and dropped out of college (twice) and had some episodes. She has had problems. But she got the right medication and did serious work to figure it out, and is doing pretty well. She made about 700k this year when her company got bought - with another 500k to 1M coming over the next year. She paid off my student loans in cash. Mental instability is very common and is very common in successful people. Just show you got treatment and worked hard at it. Volunteer with kids with same diagnosis. Present mental instability is bad. Past mental instability is an obstacle overcome showing good character.

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esquirewalletsmatter (Sep 19, 2018 - 6:01 pm)

Scare tactics. And who is the BAR to talk? Look at how many “esteemed” PA Judges and lawyers have been locked up for serious offenses in recent years. It’s a game you have to play if you want to do this. In any event, your anxiety is your own worst enemy.

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mazatec (Sep 19, 2018 - 6:23 pm)

Tbh, I'm more scared of failing character and fitness than the exam itself. I'm pretty secure in my ability to pass the bar exam with sustained and dedicated full-time study.

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esquirewalletsmatter (Sep 19, 2018 - 6:29 pm)

Here’s the thing, I get it. It’s a BS standard of hoops you’re going to have to go through. But if you don’t try, you may become wolfman. And look at how that experience shaped that guy. What’s the worst that can happen, they say no. Waste some change in the process but at least you tried, if that is what you want to do, of course.

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mazatec (Sep 19, 2018 - 6:37 pm)

Who is "wolfman"?

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esquirewalletsmatter (Sep 19, 2018 - 7:25 pm)

A person that poasts. You do not want to emulate him. Do you really want to practice though? The fighting every day. The constant bickering. One upmanship. Sleazy sales and backdoor handshakes. No training whatsoever and thrown under the bus by your superiors as a result. Constantly worrying about messing up and catching a malpractice case. Not sure it’s the best environment for you. There’s other ways to accomplish your social justice goals and perhaps even advise, maybe with a non profit. Up to you to find it, but it is possible. Litigation sucks, especially at what you’ll be paid and doing the cases you will do coming out. Need to look at reality of it all. Forget all the law BS from law school, prestige, your own feelings in re perceived failure. Who cares what a bunch of pampered white rich kids think? Ain’t like they earned it themselves. Can’t compare yourself to them. They go to daddy’s firm or a friend of daddy. Come to terms with it all. Find your peace and then hit your path.

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mazatec (Sep 19, 2018 - 7:29 pm)

Part of me wants to give it a shot. I sunk many years and $88K in this endeavor. I'm just concerned that I screwed up so badly in law school that I'd be deemed beyond redemption. Also there's the question of what I'd be doing with my life while the committee on character is adjudicating my case, which could take YEARS.

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mazatec (Sep 19, 2018 - 4:36 pm)

"IMO online "degrees"--even if from the Ivy League--are of limited value in today's job market. People with grad degrees are a dime a dozen. A lot of universities--even law schools and Ivys--created evening/online degree programs with lower admission criteria after the '07/08 crash specifically to woo working/older adults and generate more $$$."

The Ivy MA program is not online, it's in-person.

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lazlo (Sep 19, 2018 - 9:03 pm)

For the love of God, opal/dharsama/mazatec/whoeveryouare, why are you posting the same question over and over again? Didn't admin ban you from doing this?

Do you want the chance to become an attorney - yes or no?

If the answer is no, pursue your degree and new career, and don't look back.

If the answer is yes, register to take the bar exam and start studying. Deal with C&F when it actually becomes a relevant issue.

But until you decide whether or not to try to become an attorney, you are just wasting your time.

----

EDIT: I don't know why I'm wasting my time with this, but: I understand your concerns about the costs involved in trying to become an attorney, and your unhappiness with your dismal chances of passing C&F. But that's all in the past. For better or worse, you created the predicament you're in, it's not going to change. All that's left is to decide what to do next.

If you don't take the bar exam, you have zero chances of becoming an attorney. You will have wasted the time and money you spent in law school, but life goes on. Move on and don't look back.

If you don't want that regret hanging over you for the rest of your life, then take your shot.

If you do end up being denied due to C&F, then you wasted the time and money you spent in law school, but life goes on. Move on and don't look back.

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mazatec (Sep 20, 2018 - 5:36 am)

I do want to become an attorney. I'm pessimistic at best whether I'll be able to pass character and fitness. Honestly I cry about it on a daily basis these days.

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wutwutwut (Sep 20, 2018 - 10:42 am)

"For the love of God, opal/dharsama/mazatec/whoeveryouare,"

Think it was dharamsala. And you forgot "purrito"!

Are there other names?

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caj111 (Sep 19, 2018 - 11:21 pm)

You keep asking for advice, and whatever answers people give, you shoot it down. Take the advice or leave it.

Really, I'm more interested in hearing what gave rise to the C&F issues you may have for the bar. Did you get into a drunken brawl or something during law school? Sounds much more interesting to read about.

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mazatec (Sep 20, 2018 - 5:39 am)

Misconduct is extremely serious. I screwed up so badly that I wonder if it's even worth trying for a law license:

Boy, do I have a story for you.

In late summer/fall 2013, I was very disrespectful and combative towards several authority figures at Law School 1, mostly over email. For instance, I called a Dean an "insufferable btch" and told her to "get the fck away from me" in one email. In another email, I referred to a prof who gave me a bad grade as a "sh*thead". As a result, I was placed in University Probation. In addition, the Dean lodged a school Stay Away order between me, herself, and seven other faculty/staff. I was never in violation of said order.

In October 2013, I left annoying VMs at the offices of various deans/administrators at odd hours ("Why are you doing this to me? Why won't you have mercy?", etc.). Dean gave me a written and oral warning threatening me with suspension.

In spring 2014, the University Probation was lifted early for good behavior. In addition, all but two of the school Stay Away Orders were lifted at the request of the aggrieved parties who felt like they were no longer necessary.

In fall 2014, I was caught by a janitor smearing the walls of Law School 1 with lipstick. For many months prior, I was tagging the walls with lipstick and crayon and trashing common areas with food like marinara sauce, baking flour, sugar packets, coffee, expired eggs, etc. I wrote "Harder Better Faster Stronger" in green crayon on the wall, and also wrote a big red letter "F" elsewhere on the wall. In addition, I stuck chewed bubblegum to the door-handles of various offices. However, no one had caught me then. The janitor called the campus police, who approached me, had me write out a witness statement, and trespassed me off campus-meaning to this day I cannot step foot on campus without being arrested. I have never violated the trespass order.

The next day, I was called in to meet with a Dean. He placed me on Interim Suspension (a lower level sanction that doesn't get reported on your transcript like an expulsion or suspension). In addition, that Dean charged me with Disorderly Conduct, Creating a Community Disturbance, Property Damage and Failure to Comply.

I met with the same Dean a few days later, and he gave me the option of voluntarily withdrawing in lieu of going through student conduct protocols and potentially facing an expulsion. I availed myself of this option and withdrew and underwent treatment.

In July 2015, I reapplied to Law School 1 and they rejected my petition. I was then left scrambling to transfer to other law schools, and thankfully Law School 2 accepted me.

In late spring/early summer 2016, a Dean of Law School 2 issued a written warning against me because I sent excessive, irrelevant and irritating texts to him and others about my then boyfriend hitting me, counseling, and other things.

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caj111 (Sep 20, 2018 - 6:40 am)

So, you were somewhat obnoxious to a few authority figures. Did you ever threaten them? It doesn't seem all that serious to me.

I suppose smearing the walls with lipstick, food and other things is along the lines of vandalism and could be considered criminal, but seems to be along the lines of a
non-violent misdemeanor to me.

I've heard of people doing considerably worse and still getting admitted to their state bars. Perhaps it depends on the state.

I say take the bar exam, hopefully pass it, and if you fail on the C&F part of admission, file an appeal. I think you will be alright.

Take this as a lesson and don't screw up again in the future.

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mazatec (Sep 20, 2018 - 7:31 am)

I was 25-28 when I committed these offenses. Not exactly ancient history.

But yeah, based on the responses in this thread, I think I'll just bite the bullet and sit for the exam. I just don't know wtf do to with my life while I'm 1.) awaiting bar exam results and 2.) awaiting the adjudication of my character and fitness case. I was a social sciences major in undergrad; I have no skills.

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nycatt (Sep 20, 2018 - 10:20 am)

If you haven't gotten treatment, get treatment. If you are all better, volunteer. You can show that you are making amends and helping other with same issues.

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mazatec (Sep 20, 2018 - 11:32 am)

Yeah I've been in treatment and do volunteer work.

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esquirewalletsmatter (Sep 20, 2018 - 8:19 am)

Yeah, you should see how attorneys talk IRL. You basically got in trouble for being uppity. It's a game. We play to win the game. But again, if it is having this much of an impact on you where you cry every day, how in the world are you going to handle the stress of someone's life in your hands? It's just not that feasible. Use your skills. Go JD Preferred or some Non-prof advisory role for SJW issues and take it from there. Even if you're healthy for a year, this sociopathic and psychopathic profession will likely eat you alive. They will sense your weakness and prey on it. Purposefully push your buttons and use it to their advantage. Sharks smell blood in the water from miles away. Maybe be a career clerk or a hearing officer somewhere even. Lancaster had a ton of those positions couple years ago. But you need to get over yourself. Failure happens. It's not about what you want. It's about what you need. Until you get this self awareness, this cyclical anxious behavior with the same questions to this board will continue. Use the skills where you benefit society. All being a lawyer is cleaning up someone else's mess. There is no prestige. One is a servant to a client. Don't let inflated salaries of a small percentage of boomers convince you otherwise. Now I know you will not listen and point out, but I want to be an attorney! Look at how these silly CF issues are impacting you presently. It only gets worse. Cut your losses and move on. Time to be your own woman and do things on your own. At least you have family to fall back on. You're far more fortunate than most. You just don't realize it bc you compare yourself to others in the bubble. You failed get over it. I failed too albeit after playing the game for a while and I'm in a far better place and far more successful than when I practiced. Comes down to the Mental at the end of the day. Until you get your mind right, history repeats itself. That's my last two cents. Good luck and Godspeed.

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mazatec (Sep 20, 2018 - 4:53 pm)

So then what’s the point of taking the exam?

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loser12 (Sep 21, 2018 - 12:23 pm)

I agree that the shmearing the lipstick is the only conduct that seems concerning to the point that bar passage would be up in the air. The other actions seem like things anyone is theoretically capable of doing, but that they have the self-control not to do, which could be chalked up to having to learn a life lesson, etc., etc.

The concerning things are (1) the combo of the bizarre vandalism, and mental illness, (2) actually being suspended/quasi-expelled from law school. The actual name of the offense isn't particularly relevant - it's how the reviewer subjectively interprets it, (3) the fact that 2 deans are going to speak against her being admitted.

The state bar isn't deciding whether OP is a good person/morally blameworthy, but whether she's fit to practice law, which is a very different inquiry. In the first, mental illness is a mitigating factor. In the second, it's potentially aggravating.

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massivemissive (Sep 20, 2018 - 9:53 am)

I think the issue is that given your history, you may find the practice of law to be deleterious to your mental health. I understand that you've clerked of a judge for a few years, but practice is different.

So the question is not whether you'll pass C&F (you don't know until you try) but whether being a lawyer is a good idea for you. It sounds as though you cannot even contemplate the mental distress that you'd experience going through C&F, or, worse yet, failing it. Those seems like red flags to me.

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redemptionsong (Sep 29, 2018 - 11:47 am)

Somehow I feel like you are either messing with us or you are an amalgamation of every girl I ever dated in law school.

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mazatec (Sep 29, 2018 - 12:11 pm)

I'm not a troll.

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gforce88 (Oct 2, 2018 - 11:26 pm)

On a personal level, why would anyone want to deal with your ass, plus you have questionable/no skills? Cut your losses and move on, sounds like you treated law school like it was 3 a.m at a bar and you had too much to drink.

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mazatec (Oct 3, 2018 - 9:32 am)

Lots of people with bad pasts (felonies, drug addiction, etc.) end up becoming lawyers. Just look at Tarra Simmons in WA.

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wutwutwut (Oct 3, 2018 - 12:30 pm)

"Just look at Tarra Simmons in WA."


Funny given the current goings-on. The chatter on Ms. Simmons last year was pretty predictably partisan, with conservatives not wanting to "forgive and forget" and progressives arguing that "character is NOT static - it can change over time".

But... Kavanaugh a wild child in HS means Kavanaugh is a wild child 35 years later...

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mazatec (Oct 3, 2018 - 9:32 am)

Lots of people with bad pasts (felonies, drug addiction, etc.) end up becoming lawyers. Just look at Tarra Simmons in WA.

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loser12 (Oct 3, 2018 - 11:51 am)

She kind of strikes me as Dwight Schrute.

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trickydick (Sep 20, 2018 - 10:27 am)

Opal, you’ve asked this site the same question over and over again. Move on.

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wutwutwut (Sep 20, 2018 - 10:39 am)

Not to mention...

http://www.jdunderground.com/law/thread.php?threadId=153320

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wutwutwut (Sep 20, 2018 - 10:43 am)

But c'mon, TD. We're coming up on 5 years of it now. She's a "staple" of JDU.

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thirdtierlaw (Sep 20, 2018 - 10:32 am)

Seriously the bar exam is nowhere near as hard as people make it out to be. I understand why schools try scaring you into studying, it's important to pass. But there is no reason to believe you can't work during the day, study in the evenings, and then study all weekends. You can get bonus study time in by downloading one of the aps that you can use on your phone and take MBE practice questions whenever you're walking somewhere throughout the day.

As for C&F, you've posted about this repeatedly on here and every single the time the answers are the same. Nobody and, I do mean nobody, can tell you what they are going to decide. The only way you'll find out is if you try. Taking out more loans to go get a masters isn't the answer if you want to be an attorney and doing that will be much more expensive than the few grand it'll cost to get through the bar and C&F.

As for what you do in the meantime, you do what you're doing now. Start applying for jobs. It can take a long time to get admitted to the bar at baseline. If an employer will hire you pre-bar passage, they'll have work for you to do that doesn't require to be admitted. If you're doing a great job for them, they won't care if there ends up being a delay in your C&F application. If they do have an issue, you've now at least got practical legal experience under your belt, on top of a clerkship, for when you apply to another firm.

If you're really worried about it taking years, go take the bar exam in a small state where the process moves a lot faster. You were looking into moving to Alaska for a job a few months ago. So you obviously aren't that picky about where you want to practice. So choose a state with a reciprocity agreement with whatever state you want to actually practice in, get admitted there, get some experience and then try to move. By then law school will be a distant memory.

The need for legal librarians, or even librarians in general, is getting smaller and smaller by the year. As another poster above said, people who get these jobs never leave. So even if you got into a top school, competition is going to be fierce.

Regarding masters of social work. Be very careful. Burn out rate for social workers is extremely high. They also do not get paid exceptionally well. With my criminal practice, I know a lot of social workers. That being said, you should explore getting an agency to pay for it. Many Child Services departments across the country will pay for you to get an MSW with a 2-3 year commitment to them after school.

Massivemissive brings up the most important point, I know you always ignore it or argue with it, being an attorney is extremely high stress and something like 1/3 of attorneys are dealing with clinical anxiety resulting from the job. Clerking and law school/law school clinics are nothing like the actual practice of law stress wise. It doesn't do you any good if you go through all the troulbe of C&F if you're going to have a mental breakdown within a year and end up in the hospital. The fact that you, "cry about this on a daily basis," is not a good sign.

I'm going to stereotype for a bit, we all know some exceptions, as a whole attorneys are not nice people. They are aggressive, demanding, many times downright rude, and not nice. Attorneys spend their day being told "no" by judges, other attorneys, and clients, many times unfairly. I know you'll just plug your ears, but if you were losing your compsure because of a bad grade from a professor in law school, what are you going to do the first time a judge denies your motion, while blatantly ignoring the law, which then leads to a client firing you?

I know you keep hoping someone on here is going to, finally, tell you that it's all going to be okay. You'll breeze through C&F then all the biglaw firms will be falling over themselves to hire you right up. But no matter how often you ask, that'll just never happen. Nobody knows what will happen for you, so if you think you can handle being an attorney, roll the dice, worst case they say no. If you can't and it's causing you to, "cry everyday" just put your dreams of being an attorney to rest and move on with your life. There is nothing wrong with that. But crying over it every day is not good for you and isn't going to help you no matter which way you choose.

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mazatec (Sep 20, 2018 - 10:43 am)

How about the MA program? (btw I haven't yet applied to the MLIS and MSW but will this fall).

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mazatec (Sep 20, 2018 - 10:48 am)

"As for what you do in the meantime, you do what you're doing now. Start applying for jobs. It can take a long time to get admitted to the bar at baseline. If an employer will hire you pre-bar passage, they'll have work for you to do that doesn't require to be admitted. If you're doing a great job for them, they won't care if there ends up being a delay in your C&F application. If they do have an issue, you've now at least got practical legal experience under your belt, on top of a clerkship, for when you apply to another firm."

I should apply to and interview for jobs that require bar passage before I'm even sworn in and not tell the employer about my incoming licensing hurdles that will most likely take 3-5 years to adjudicate? That doesn't seem like a wise idea.

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thirdtierlaw (Sep 20, 2018 - 12:21 pm)

I started my job months before getting sworn in. Almost everyone who graduates from law school with a job does the exact same thing. I am friends with a girl that got a job, failed the bar, skipped the February bar and then took it next July, passed, and then was sworn in around November. She was working for a real estate firm, so no court appearances, so they really didn't care when she got admitted.

You say it may take 3-5 years to adjudicate, but you really have no idea. The person reviewing your C&F application may know the judge you're currently working for, see his/her letter of recommendation, figure if you clerked for 2 years it can't be that bad, and push you through. Or it could take years. Why would you ever tell a prospective employer that? It's no different than getting a job before you even taken the bar when there is no way to know if you'll actually pass. It's a risk the employer needs to take.

You also a blatantly ignoring my other advice of taking the bar in a state that has a shorter C&F review window.

As for your other question, what type of MA program are you considering?

You seem to always have a million excuses about why people's suggestions are wrong. Way back when you were in school I suggested you started studying for the bar exam at the end of your 2L year because you had concerns about needing accommodations and not getting them. Your response back then was righteous indignation saying, "WHO STARTS STUDYING FOR THE BAR THEIR 2L year!?" Yet here you are, not having time to study. I'm offering a completely valid solution. If you don't want to take it, that is fine.

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mazatec (Sep 20, 2018 - 1:29 pm)

"You also a blatantly ignoring my other advice of taking the bar in a state that has a shorter C&F review window."

I plan to sit for the UBE, which means if I pass I could waive my score into 25 other states.

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loser12 (Sep 20, 2018 - 1:50 pm)

I can say that C&F is much less intense than I thought. Like you I had many C&F issues, though not mental illness related, but enough C&F issues to write a book. Although I had always been mentally healthy despite experiencing a variety of life trauma, the C&F stress drove me crazy:

I couldn't sleep well, couldn't focus and could never be fully present in life, because in the back of my mind I thought that no matter how well I do, my life is probably over because I will have law school debt and no way of practicing law. These concerns were on my mind from my first day of law school, and got more pronounced with every passing day. In fact, my least stressful days were exam period and the bar, because such events forced me to stress about things I had control over. Those without legit C&F issues don't realize how bad your quality of life is when law school exams are more relaxing than laying out on the beach in Rio.

Over a 3+ year period of this moderate but continuous stress, you ultimately burn out to some degree and disengage from people and friendships. I ultimately submitted my materials fully expecting to fail C&F, but then was surprisingly asked to come in for an interview on x and y date. When I got there, I saw people I knew, which was a good sign but I was told privately that I would have a special interviewer. While I was waiting with other candidates, I overheard 2 reviewers gossiping about 2 of the bad disclosures they stumbled across without realizing they were both the same candidate (aka me). At that point, the feeling of dread I had continuously felt in my gut for years worsened - I believed I was done.

Eventually, I get called in, asked some personal questions unrelated to my disclosures and then am abruptly told that they're going to push me through and waive me in with no delay. That feeling of dread immediately subsided, and I went into a daze such that it is hard for me to remember exactly what happened, but I can recall the things I did that I believe got me admitted in descending order:

1.) Disclosures - my disclosures were concise, and noted mitigating factors where applicable but only very minimally. I'd say it was 70% conduct, 10% mitigating factors, 20% retributive conduct and lessons learned. In addition, it's important to make sure that you don't under-disclose or over-disclose, and that whatever you submit matches what they will uncover in an investigation while simultaneously presenting you in the best light possible without obviously doing so.

2.) Dean interviews - I got in trouble with both college and law school deans. Neither particularly liked me, but I believe that each thought I was not a bad person and that my conduct was largely reactive to major stress/traumatic events outside of my control, which indicates that I need to work on my character but that it's fixed/fixable. I don't know who was interviewed or who wasn't, but my guess is that most deans would only disclose the facts of your conduct, and only add add'l information if they're trying to help you, because general human nature in formal settings is not unlike Bambi - "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all". I think if you're unsure what your dean will say, it's important to try to get them to like you (if you have the social intelligence to do this). At the very least, it's imperative that you know what they disclose won't materially differ from what you disclose unless what they disclose makes you sound better.

3.) I had gainful employment. I believe this is key for borderline candidates. There's a fundamental difference between delaying/failing a candidate who doesn't have good employment, and one who does. Psychologically, the reviewer may feel like it's more severe to cause someone with a good job to lose that job than to delay the search of someone who doesn't have a good job. It's the difference between hurting someone and not helping someone - as most human beings are passive, this can result in entirely different conduct based on the same stimuli.

4.) Honesty - I think it's important to come across as completely transparent in your writing and discussions. Some of my interview questions seemed to be tests of honesty - such as the "is this all the bad stuff you've ever done or just what you've been caught for" question. I believe if I would have answered the former, I would have failed.

5.) Subjectivity - You need to realize that it's a subjective process, and that it ultimately boils down to whether a couple of people want to waive you in or not. In theory, this means whether they believe you have the requisite character and fitness to practice law. In reality, it depends on whether they like you. The worse your conduct, the more they need to like you so don't do things that make you less likable - like taking too long to respond to emails, sending long e-mails that require a lot of time to read, being defensive, etc. If any e-mail exceeds three sentences or your disclosures exceed a page, you will become unlikable. It's also not a question of whether you can or can't get caught in a lie, but of whether they believe you. It makes no difference whether they can prove you're not fully transparent, only whether they believe you are. If they believe you aren't, you will fail because trust is a necessary condition to being liked. Remember, at the end of the day, it boils down to whether they like you. Even if they try to be objective, human nature is to rationalize passing someone they like (put yourself in their shoes).

6.) Common sense - Although it's important to be transparent, you also do not want to over-disclose. You're subtly being judged on your ability to practice law with the difference that you're your own client, and you never want to disclose more in writing than would come out in an investigation, because you're partly being judged on your stability and common sense. If any of your submissions lead the reviewer to ask themselves, "why are they telling me this?" or to think, "god dammit, I had 300 other submissions to read today," you are doing yourself a disservice. I know of people who were saints compared to me who were delayed for months and months because they failed 6.

7.) I made amends with all the victims of my past conduct in a way that wasn't obviously related to C&F. In all honesty, I did this for karma and I'll never know who was contacted and who wasn't, but I believe that all the victims of my actions probably wouldn't have been overly vindictive.

8.) I gave charity and prayed. C&F is subjective, and can be about as much as the personality of your interviewer as it is about your character and fitness. In many situations, I truly believe that the nature of the person who reviews your app is the determining factor in whether you pass or fail and there's inevitably some luck involved. It's not necessarily that some reviewers are more relaxed than others, but that in a subjective process, some will care about different things more than others and vice versa. I have never been particularly lucky, and think that my passing is partly assignable to forces beyond my control, which has impacted how I have lived my life ever since.

Hope this megilla helps!

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mazatec (Sep 20, 2018 - 1:58 pm)

This is gold, thanks.

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loser12 (Sep 20, 2018 - 2:12 pm)

I'd just add that presentation is big also. Most social decisions are instinctive and made within 2 seconds. If the interviewer's reaction to you entering a room is "danger, Will Robinson, danger", you're going to fail. Remember that this person already knows the worst things about you anyone can know, and likely very few of the good things so there's a rebuttable presumption of crazy/scumbag from the get go.

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mazatec (Sep 20, 2018 - 2:23 pm)

What do you mean by "presentation"? Like wearing a suit, not fidgeting, etc.?

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loser12 (Sep 21, 2018 - 11:19 am)

I mean lawyers are particularly superficial. There's a reason why many law firms would not hire qualified black, Jewish and Asian candidates into the 80's while Wall Street did, and why any law student with an obvious disability (blind, deaf, wheelchair bound) has almost no chance regardless of merit. It's not because lawyers are bad people or want to discriminate. Most are just very superficial, and have an unchangeable idea of what a lawyer should look like.

So yes, it's obvious you wear a suit, but I'm speaking more about your presence when you enter a room. We've all seen people that look cracked out from the second you see them, or people who look overly intense. You really just want to look like a standard lawyer, not a mentally ill woman who wants to be a lawyer. This is expressed through body language (shoulders back, eye contact that is present but not overly intense and a smile appropriate for the situation). You want to look like a lawyer who happens to have bipolar than a bipolar woman who happens to want to be a lawyer. There's a difference.

You need someone who is honest with you to tell you how you come off, but my sense is that if you've been given stay away orders and warnings from many people who you didn't even threaten/materially wrong, there's something problematic about how you're presenting yourself. My guess is you probably seem like a loose cannon. We all know women who text too much and who are annoying. Normally, it's just something you deal with or chalk up to "Cheryl being Cheryl" even if the context is inappropriate. I think there's probably something about the way you're presenting yourself unrelated to the bipolar that has been working against you, but you need an honest evaluation from a friend/mentor.

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esquirewalletsmatter (Sep 21, 2018 - 11:21 am)

The answer to OP is No. End thread. Stop the madness.

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mazatec (Sep 21, 2018 - 12:47 pm)

My current psych doesn’t think I have bipolar. I brought it up to her

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loser12 (Sep 21, 2018 - 6:04 pm)

It seems hard to misdiagnose bipolar. I have only known women who have had it, but they all had pretty obvious characteristics - either intense high energy or intense low energy. I'd imagine anyone who misdiagnoses bipolar should stand to lose their license, but what do I know? It's not like misdiagnosing depression, which could probably go either way in most cases.

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mazatec (Sep 25, 2018 - 10:20 am)

Will they even care what diagnosis I had in the past?

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loser12 (Sep 25, 2018 - 11:15 am)

My thought is that they ordinarily don't, but that they do where conduct issues are concerned and that the atypicality of your conduct will raise questions about your mental stability. The tone you give off is that you consider your past behavior regrettable and unethical, but it isn't really unethical so much as it is bizarre. Nobody is going to say, "She is unethical because she tagged her law school with lipstick." They might say, "she's not psychologically ready to practice law, because her behavior is unpredictable".

If you are not bipolar, then the question remains as to why you did what you did and the bar is going to want to know the answer to assess the likelihood of a relapse. In theory, you could argue that the new issues at school #2 were a result of being misdiagnosed and the side effects of taking meds you were not supposed to take. But it's just odd that you went on and on being discriminated against for having bipolar, but are now saying that you don't have it.

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mazatec (Sep 25, 2018 - 11:41 am)

*I'm* not claiming that I don't have it. My current psych is. I even brought up bipolar to her. I can't control how a doctor chooses to diagnose me, even if I disagree with it.

I did what I did because I was upset at the law school deans/administrators and got carried away.

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loser12 (Sep 25, 2018 - 12:02 pm)

I think you can play it off as having it, but that it's in such good control that you don't have it anymore. Maybe your psych's note can comment on it. And I'm not saying that your actions suggest total randomness like some spaghetti monster told you to tag the walls, just that it is difficult to understand in rational terms so is naturally ascribed to mental illness. I suppose it's kind of like something a child would do during a temper tantrum, and it's also possible the development your prefrontal cortex was stunted by something. Were you abused as a child? Maybe this is something you can talk to a c&f lawyer about, but if so, my sense would be that this would help your candidacy if you've overcome it.

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mazatec (Sep 25, 2018 - 1:09 pm)

Yes to the abuse question. But that does not explain why this happened *in law school*, but never before. I had zero disciplinary incidents in undergrad and was well-liked by faculty and administration.

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loser12 (Sep 25, 2018 - 1:46 pm)

IDK I'm not a therapist, but maybe law school was a different level of stress. Not sure this helps your candidacy though. I'd get a c&f lawyer, particularly if you have a history of poor judgment. Live at home if you need to. 5k or so is a low amount of money to spend on being a lawyer at this point, particularly considering that if you mess up your c&f app, it will be much harder to ever get admitted.

As someone who was admitted no sweat with c&f red flags who knows people with no such flags who were held up for months, if not years by the same jurisdiction, I can say that how you handle your app is arguably more important than what you actually did. I'd like to think my reviewer(s) knew I was a moral person who'd be a morally upright lawyer, but part of it is probably that I followed their instructions and handled my app well, which made it easier for them to want to pass me.

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mazatec (Sep 25, 2018 - 2:19 pm)

I already sent in my first deposit for the Columbia grad program. Should I not do that?

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loser12 (Sep 25, 2018 - 2:54 pm)

Not if you want to be a lawyer. Showing you can complete a new school without doing weird stuff is some evidence you can practice law without doing weird stuff, but doing legal work whether it be for a judge or as a paralegal is stronger evidence you can practice law without doing weird stuff.

I’d just try to be a lawyer. If the question is throwing 80k or so at a new degree and 2 years of your life or 10k at a c&f lawyer to pass the bar, you pass the bar. Idk with all due respect you remind me of my family members who do stupid stuff regardless of the advice given so I’ll just tell you to follow your heart, and everything will be great.

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mazatec (Sep 25, 2018 - 6:33 pm)

I know, but it's an Ivy. I was super on top of the moon when I got accepted.

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loser12 (Sep 20, 2018 - 2:19 pm)

Do you have to sit for the bar before C&F or afterwards? I don't think that the bar requires that much studying. Most people who pass would pass with half the studying, and most who fail were always going to fail. After the first 100 hours, there's a point of diminishing returns and you can easily study with a 9-5, no kids, etc.

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mazatec (Sep 20, 2018 - 2:21 pm)

In NJ, you sit for the bar first, and if you pass, they start the C&F investigation.

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loser12 (Sep 20, 2018 - 4:35 pm)

With all due respect, your posting habits fit a bipolar tone. I understand you can take meds to bring down the behaviors to a manageable level, but your online behavior suggests that your social responses are largely dictated by mood. This is true to all social life forms, including animals but particularly true with regards to you.

That being said, you should not and I mean not trust your own judgment alone in any communication with the C&F committee, particularly through e-mail where you can ruin your reputation with the click of a button.

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loser12 (Sep 20, 2018 - 10:11 pm)

I think this probably helps you. My gut feeling is it’s harder to deny someone who has already passed the bar exam much like how it was harder for Buffalo Bill to kill Senator Martin’s daughter after learning her name in Silence of the Lambs. They really just have to trust you won’t do anything once licensed. The problem with your conduct is that because it’s bizarre as opposed to just bad, they can’t really predict what you’ll do in practice.

I’d imagine money related offenses are taken very seriously because most c&f conflicts are over money, and they seem to be very serious about any and all crimes (guilty or otherwise). My most serious hiccup was my one criminal charge, which was 10 plus years old and which was dismissed on the merits at trial - I expected this to be an after thought, but it wasn’t. Where they are more lax than you’d think are with school offenses that may or may not be criminal in nature, but for which no criminal charges were ever brought.

The issue is most such offenses could be chalked up to immaturity, and yours cannot because it is a part of you. You need to really convince them you’re in charge of your mental health, and your shrink isn’t great evidence that you are. There’s a fundamental difference between a medical professional saying you are not a threat to yourself or others, and a respected member of the bar saying you’re fit to practice law. These are very different voices saying very different things. You need to sway the deans without making matters worse (maybe ise a 3rd party at first), and need the judge to go to bat for you.

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mazatec (Sep 20, 2018 - 10:50 pm)

I'm not sure whether talking to the deans is a good idea. I've pretty much cut off all contact.

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loser12 (Sep 21, 2018 - 11:30 am)

It seems like the relationship is too strained for this to be a good idea, but perhaps a third-party could broker such a meeting - ideally a fellow lawyer. Your therapist's evaluation is valuable, but it's valuable is limited by the fact s/he is not a lawyer, and can only speak to whether you can handle stress in a broad sense. 2 law school deans going out of their way to say you should not be licensed is going to be tough to shake. You at least want to get them to a point of ambivalence where their reaction to, "do you think she is qualified to practice law?" is "uhhhhhhhhh" and not "No", because the likely result with "uhhhhh" is they won't comment one way or the other.

If you have any friends from law school who are licensed now, and first meet them now that you're presumably healthy, maybe they can reach out on your behalf and say something like "Mazatec seems to be doing really well, and as an alum it would mean a lot to me if you would consider meeting with her to discuss her candidacy for the bar". I would have done this for some of my closer law school friends, and think they would have done the same for me if I were in your position.

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hotshot (Sep 21, 2018 - 4:44 pm)

Yes. Absolutely. 100%

Whatever issues you’re worried about are nothing compared to the regret you’ll feel for the rest of your life if you don’t take your shot. If you do finally license up I guarantee you won’t regret it. Best experience of your life.

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ohboy (Sep 25, 2018 - 7:08 pm)

Are you addicted to these kinds of posts? I have seen this exact kind of post on reddit.

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loser12 (Sep 26, 2018 - 5:29 pm)

When I applied with major C&F issues, I was paranoid about it 24/7. I never posted about it, because I realized nobody would know the answer but it was always on the back of my mind to the point I was never fully present - not socially, not professionally and most of all not by myself. The anxiety was so bad I couldn't sleep unless I had something in the background to distract me. I also have never had a mental illness (that I know of), and I can only imagine that this insanity would be amplified in someone that did.

I just think it's a losing effort, because nobody will know if she'll pass or not so her anxiety is not resolved and she's only outing herself because C&F issues are so fact specific. Maybe writing about it provides her with some catharsis. Anyway, her obsession is not abnormal. Most of us would be similarly obsessed under the circumstances even if we didn't have a mental illness.

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mazatec (Sep 26, 2018 - 5:59 pm)

What did you do with your life while you awaited the adjudication of your C&F case?

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loser12 (Sep 26, 2018 - 7:42 pm)

I worked, but didn't perform or bill as much as I would have if I didn't think it was all for nought.

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mazatec (Sep 26, 2018 - 7:43 pm)

A legal employer hired you even though you were not sworn in?

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loser12 (Sep 26, 2018 - 11:30 pm)

I had good grades despite not giving good faith effort due to c&f worries. Most law students are dumb and soft, made it easy.

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mazatec (Sep 26, 2018 - 11:59 pm)

What kind of work did your supervisor give you while awaiting admission since you could not appear in court?

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loser12 (Sep 27, 2018 - 10:00 am)

In jurisdictions where C&F is after the bar exam, very few attorneys are licensed when they start. I wasn't actually delayed by C&F itself. It just took a while to get all the files I needed. You don't want to apply to C&F before you have all your documentation in place, because they're going to be annoyed.

The main issue I wound up having was disclosing a dismissed misdemeanor that didn't show up under my social or any search, which likely raised questions about my mental stability - why would they make this up? did they hallucinate it? It turned out I was charged under a misspelling of my name, because copying driver's licenses is above the pay grade of those we trust to walk around with loaded guns, and make reasoned choices under intense pressure. Anyway, this wound up delaying me for about a month because they specifically requested documentation before moving forward.

You are also subtly judged on how you disclose what you disclose. While you want to be completely honest, you also want to advocate for your fitness in a way that doesn't come across as entitled or overbearing. At the end of the day, it's a test of present fitness, not past fitness and while the past can influence the present, it is not the present.

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mazatec (Sep 27, 2018 - 11:40 am)

"You don't want to apply to C&F before you have all your documentation in place, because they're going to be annoyed."

What if the schools, doctors, police dept., etc. refuse to send records, or send the wrong stuff? When I made a formal request, I got a letter from Law School #1 saying "With regard to this applicant: The applicant does not have a disciplinary record from [School]." That is clearly not the case.

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loser12 (Sep 27, 2018 - 12:25 pm)

I forget the name of the law, but I'm pretty sure there is a federal law that requires them to give you such info. Really no reason they'd lie. I feel like something isn't adding up here.

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mazatec (Sep 27, 2018 - 2:05 pm)

The campus police explicitly refused to submit police reports to me, some of my former treatment providers refused to submit medical records, and Law School #1 sent me that letter saying I don't have a record when I most certainly do.

I mean, all I can do is submit to them documentation of my good faith efforts to obtain records, right?

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loser12 (Sep 27, 2018 - 2:09 pm)

Yeah, but unless the world is conspiring against you, I doubt this is real. And if you think the world may be conspiring against you, sit back and think, "Am I important enough for the world to conspire against me?" If you're not one of like 10 people out of 8 billion, the answer is probably no.

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mazatec (Sep 27, 2018 - 7:37 pm)

Dude, I think campus police are exempt from FERPA.

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trickydick (Sep 26, 2018 - 4:37 pm)

People with deep rooted mental health issues who pursue a career in law often turn to suicide.

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trollfeeder (Sep 26, 2018 - 6:32 pm)

Dont take the bar, use a dozen more usernames, ask a bunch of questions while doing nothing with your life. There's your advice, path of least resistance. You're welcome.

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mazatec (Sep 26, 2018 - 6:47 pm)

I'm not "doing nothing with your life"; I'm gainfully employed in a JD required job.

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trickydick (Sep 27, 2018 - 11:39 am)

A distinction without a difference.

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mazatec (Sep 27, 2018 - 2:06 pm)

What do you mean without a difference? There's a world of a difference between working FT in a legal job versus "doing nothing with your life", at least in terms of showing rehabilitation.

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trickydick (Sep 29, 2018 - 4:42 pm)

No there isn’t.

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mazatec (Sep 29, 2018 - 4:46 pm)

Explain.

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