View Full Version : Law school, bar exam, and low self esteem


blergggg
10-09-14, 01:25 AM
I've had a beer or two so my ability to control my rambling is low...

The bar is known for being ridiculously difficult in terms of granting their accommodations requests. I applied for accommodations for the MPRE and was already denied (despite a history which included extensive testing and accommodations granted in college) because they said my LSAT score was too high (took it multiple times and delayed school for a year so I could bring it up... still couldn't finish it but got a good enough score to attend a top 10 law school.) I didn't get accommodations bc LSAC used to put a star next to students' names who were granted accommodations (they were sued and lost so no longer do this.)

I just got re-tested for ADHD (haven't gotten the results back yet) for the bar. I was tested before... fully... ~10 years ago (8 hour thing by psychologist, etc.) I do not know what the chances are of the bar accom. being granted, but I assume they are slim. After taking the ADHD test this week, I started feeling so terrible about myself. I rarely think about my ADHD as an inhibitor since I have gotten accommodations at law school and switched to a better med (I refused these things in the beginning because I blamed myself eveb though I had a better med and extended time in college), but now that i am thinking about it, I am so sad. I look at my old report cards from h.s. and see Cs and Ds. Sometimes I think I am a fraud. Maybe I'm just not that smart and this is an excuse.

I did so horribly on auditory recall on all of the tests I took with the psychologist today, even though I was tested while medication (not sure hwy that was the case, but maybe because I will take my bar exam medicated.) It just makes me re-think things... I know I answered some questions not thoroughly enough on the IQ test because I misunderstood the orally-given directions. I.e. they tested my verbal fluency by asking to tell me what a word menas but I wasn't sure if they meant a DEFINITION or a synonym or what... I gave synonyms and they kept asking me to explain what I meant in greater detail. I just feel like that could alter things.

Also, why am I still struggling with directions and lists and tests and stuff that are clearly made for children, when I attend this law school? Why do I feel like a failure so much of the time, when I see what I could be... (someone smarter... good enough to be a leader and have gone to an even better law school because I had a much higher LSAT in practice.) Sometimes I even doubt that ADHD is real and that I'm just an idiot with some brain damage... I've never expressed these feelings to anyone before but I just hoped someone here would understand. I felt like I could memorize the numbers they provided orally when they asked me to do nothing else. Same goes for the pictures they had me memorize... I felt I did excellently on these visual things but auditory stuff I feel so dumb. I couldn't do simple math problems or recall names of things in a list because they wouldn't let me use paper or pen. Is it normal for people with ADHD to not be able to remember auditory things but they can memorize pictures? I feel that I have a good visual memory and it is almost photographic at times when thinking about long term stuff.

I just feel like a child so much of the time in relation to normal people who don't have a good sense of humor. People talk to me like I'm stupid sometimes. But I feel likeI understand things faster than others in class, even though I miss things that are taught orally. Often I feel like I'm ahead of the class but when exam time comes around I fall either slightly above or average. Once though, since getting accommodations, I had the highest grade in the class. It just makes no sense. Maybe I'm just an idiot who was given an unfair advantage through the extra time.


Any input and help, particularly from someone in the legal profession, would be useful. Also, anyone who has struggled with issues of self esteem. I just feel like my life has been a giant contradiction. I learned how to read at a young age (self taught) and always scored in the 99th percentile on standardized tests. I got slightly above average grades until h.s. where I started bombing. I had an impeccable record (straight As) in college when medicated/accommodations on tests. Sometimes my math skills seem poor. Sometimes they are excellent.

Thanks. I dunno.

rajdeepi
10-25-14, 04:18 PM
Hey I am a little confused. May I ask what accommodations you are seeking? Do you know that each institution must provide you with accommodations if you have been diagnosed with a psychiatrist otherwise it is a human rights violation. If you just tell me which state you are take the bar in and which accommodations you are seeking?

Just message me or add me on Skype..raj.kaur994 I am a university student.

blergggg
11-03-14, 01:06 AM
Hey I am a little confused. May I ask what accommodations you are seeking? Do you know that each institution must provide you with accommodations if you have been diagnosed with a psychiatrist otherwise it is a human rights violation. If you just tell me which state you are take the bar in and which accommodations you are seeking?

Just message me or add me on Skype..raj.kaur994 I am a university student.

Sorry, my post was like... Really bad ranting and mopy-ness that I have since recovered from as I've realized through my testing that I need to better accept my ADHD. I had been undergoing neuropsychological testing (for the second time) to prove that I had ADHD for these bar exam people. I have also been seen by two psychiatrists who have diagnosed/confirmed that I have ADHD and see a general practitioner regularly who prescribes me ADHD medication. I have a lot of documentation from childhood showing my symptoms date back to kindergarten.

Anyway, you are Canadian. This is America. Unfortunately, we are allowed to have our human rights violated more readily. I was already denied accommodations for the ethics exam we are required to take for the bar. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, "An impairment is a disability under the ADA only if it substantially limits one or more major life activities. An impairment is substantially limiting if a person is unable to perform an activity as compared to an average person in the general population."

The national bar/ethics examiner people like to play on the term "average person in general population." Despite the fact that a person, such as myself, may have substantial impairments, i.e. hours of neuropsychological testing that shows that I score under the 1 percentile in certain measures of attention and low in other measures that are consistent with ADHD, they look to my IQ tests and other achievement measures and point to the fact that without accommodations I am able to score in the "average" range. They harp on this, even though the "average" population of postsecondary students is at an IQ/achievement level ABOVE the standard average population. Also, they ignore the distinction psychologists draw between one's IQ for verbal and other measures and achievement/memory and executive function. I had an enormous gap of ~50 points between my verbal IQ and performance/memory IQ on the WAIS test. Still, my memory/performance IQs fell in the "average" range for the population at large, while my Verbal IQ fell at the 99th percentile. Also problematic for me, was the fact that I was able to study a lot for the LSAT and eventually got to a point where I could leave 10 qs blank and still get a high score (had to get the rest right), because I could never finish the reading comprehension in the allotted time. Despite the fact that I had to take the exam twice after bombing the first time, they point to this and say I don't need extra time. Even though the LSAT has substantially less reading and writing than the bar!

Anyways, this crap is a huge problem in the legal community. I couldn't take the LSAT with accommodations because they used to put a star next to the applicant's name. They finally got sued and had to pay $10 million dollars and now must provide accommodations if students received them on the SAT/GRE.

rajdeepi
11-04-14, 05:48 AM
Blerggg,
My advice for you is to take the bull by its horns...I hope I got the expression right. okay so first go to the Law society that is in your area. They usually have legal aid for free. You have to really really explain your ordeal to them to get help...I have a cousin who is a lawyer in NY I asked her what you could do. She said usually they will point you into the right directions.
I did some research of my own. The application for the accommodations is a lot of work but it is doable. If you want I can even help you do it. I can call you or you can call me. You will have to explain everything in depth great depth, and support your statements with evidence.
I understand what you are saying which is why you have to carefully pick every word when you make that application. It is very difficult to explain using messaging. But I am willing to help you. I am good with words and have overcome a huge barrier similar to yourself because of the way I presented my application.
check this website out:
http://www.nalswd.org/resources.html

This I got from the New york site bar accommodations place:
c) Application Process.
(1) Application Materials. The Board shall make available to candidates requesting test accommodations documents necessary for submitting an application including: (a) the Application for Test Accommodation and the Re-applicant Application for Test Accommodations; (b) Instructions for Completing Application for Test Accommodations; and (c) Guidelines for Documentation of Physical and Psychiatric Disorders, Guidelines for Documentation of Learning Disabilities and Other Cognitive Disorders, and Guidelines for Documentation of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Application materials are available on-line at the Board’s website or by contacting the Board’s office.
(2) Filing Deadline. Original signed and notarized applications and re-applications for test accommodations, together with all required supporting documentation, shall be received in the Board’s office no later than the applicable deadline as set forth in Subsections 6000.2(a) and (d) of this Part.
(3) Requirements. To be eligible to receive test accommodations, the applicant or re-applicant shall submit the appropriate application form and all required supporting documentation.
(4) Incomplete and Untimely Applications. Applications which are incomplete or not timely filed shall be rejected and returned to the applicant.
(5) Medical Documentation. All applications must be supported by recent, comprehensive medical documentation. Medical documentation must be from a qualified professional who has conducted an individualized assessment and should comply with the appropriate Board guidelines: Guidelines for Documentation of Physical and Psychiatric Disorders, Guidelines for Documentation of Learning Disabilities and Other Cognitive Disorders, and/or Guidelines for Documentation of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.
(6) Independent Evaluations. The Board reserves the right to have an application, together with all supporting documentation, evaluated by an expert retained by the Board. The Board may, in its discretion, require the applicant to provide additional information and documentation and may also require the applicant to submit to examination by an expert retained by the Board.

(d) Determinations.
(1) Complete and Timely Applications. The Board shall act upon all applications which are complete, timely and submitted in full compliance with the foregoing provisions of this Section, and shall notify the applicant of its determination no later than twenty (20) days prior to the date of the examination for which such accommodations are requested. If the application is denied in whole or in part, the Board's notification shall state the reason(s) for such denial.
(2) Early Determinations. An applicant may request a determination of eligibility for test accommodations prior to the application filing period by filing a complete application including all required supporting documentation no more than six months prior to the examination for which the applicant seeks accommodations. The Board will act upon such requests as soon as practicable.

(e) Appeals. Any applicant whose application is denied in whole or in part may appeal the determination by filing a verified petition responding to the Board’s stated reason(s) for denial. The petition must attest to the truth and accuracy of the statements made therein, be made under penalty of perjury and be notarized. The petition may be supported by a report from the applicant’s examiner clarifying facts and identifying documentation, if any, which the Board allegedly overlooked or misapprehended. The appeal may not present any new diagnosis or disability that was not discussed in the applicant's application, nor may any additional documentation that was not originally provided with the application be offered on the appeal. Original signed and notarized appeals must be received at the Board's office no later than 14 days from the date of the Board’s determination. The Board shall decide such appeal and shall notify the applicant of its decision prior to the date of the examination for which the accommodations were requested.

(f) Delegation. The Board may, in its discretion, delegate to any of its members, or to its Executive Director, Deputy Executive Director or counsel, all or any part of its duties and responsibilities under the foregoing provisions of this Subsection, other than its responsibilities under Subsection (e), above, in connection with appeals.

blergggg
11-04-14, 11:53 AM
Aw, thank you so much. That was very kind of you to post and to go through the trouble looking that stuff up. I will definitely contact you for advice along the way. I'm going to start the application process soon. I am also consulting one of my profs who specializes in disability rights law. :)

HXofADHD.W/F76
12-01-14, 02:32 PM
I'm not in law, thankfully. I'd never be able to read that much information so quickly. I'm in medical school though. Just wanted to say I understand. Sometimes I think it's worse when you are highly functional with ADD. Seems to almost make the whole experience of standardized testing and institutional bias and bull$hit even worse.

kashmoney
12-04-14, 12:48 AM
I'm not in law either but I also wanted to express that I can begin to understand what you are going through. I haven't been diagnosed YET (i have to go through the assessments-they sounds brutally annoying) although my doctor and psychiatrist at the university certainly think i have ADHD. At first this potential diagnosis was a God-send. Both doctors were able to tell me what I was going through, why, how I'm feelings, what my daily struggles are etc. It felt really great to get my feelings validated. Soon after that I felt low again, like IS this even real? It feels very real to me, but then i start to have those self-esteem issues you mentioned earlier on and it makes me feel like dang, I'm just lazy, I have no discipline. It's seriously making me feeling horrible, so i get where you are coming from! I frequently question whether or not I actually have this disorder and these thoughts are seriously ruining the person who I used to be!

Earlier on in the term i got a diagnosis of depression (from my family doctor) which then i felt was incorrect and i brought this to the doc and psych at the uni and they confirmed what i had thought. Anyways, when i had my diagnosis I was like, "SWEET, there is some hope for me to do well and to get accommodations like my other peers who have disabilities"-and then I find out how complicated the process to obtain accommodations actually is just because its the middle of the semester, past the "deadline" for registering for accommodations-why is there a deadline in the semester? I do not understand. BUT YEAH point being, it's actually quite difficult to obtain accommodations. It does require a lot of work on your part and being an advocate for yourself, which I frankly feel too burned out to do.

I wish you the best of luck in your academic and career pursuits!


P.S. I'm getting my assessments done soon. How annoying are they on a scale of 1-10? I'm so annoyed that i have to do them if you can't tell.

DMB_Fan85
12-17-14, 09:16 PM
I just took my LSATs on the 6th. The stress of the LSAT coupled with finals and everything was rediculous. I know what you mean about doing very poorly in high school and going to college, being placed on the right med, and feeling bad because it's like why the heck couldn't I have been this way. I know for me, when I started my undergrad there was no way I thought I would even consider law school.
If you go to law school in Mass, send me a message. I'm from CT and am seriously looking at schools in Boston for this fall.