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lawgal77

Applying Access - Anxiety

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Hi all,  

im looking for some insight from people who have applied under access due to anxiety and have been accepted somewhere. 

I applied this past year under access as I have bad anxiety that caused my grades to be lower during my first couple of years in undergrad until I started coping with it. 

Feedback I got from my application was that I need to show better that although I have anxiety I will still be a good law school candidate and keep up with everyone. The truth is mostly that I’ve just learned how to cope with it over time, and that I started a healthier lifestyle (eating good and working out regularly) that has helped me mentally. I’m having trouble seeing how this would convince a law school I’ll be ok in their school. 

Any suggestions? 

 

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This profession loves us some documentation. Get medical records backing up your claims. 

We also really like structured programming: “took twelve weeks of intensive Cognitive Behavioural therapy under the supervision of a licensed psychiatrist and saw immediate results reflected in my A average during third year” sounds a lot better than “improved my diet and took up biking so I should be fine”.

I have Anxiety fwiw. Always have to some degree but it has worsened considerably over the years. I sought help, I check in regularly, and I maintain good lifestyle habits so I don’t (yet) have to take regular medication. But I would not hesitate to do that if it were called for and my health provider advised it.

You can do this job having that diagnosis but you must be prepared to tackle it head on and aggressively. Structure your application with Action-Result and it will be more compelling. 

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Have you looked at L2 schools? Instead of taking your cGPA, they look at just your last 60 credits. If your anxiety was limiting your function in the first couple of years, perhaps the last couple of years are where your improvement shows up. 

 

L2 schools such as UAlberta, UCalgary, USask. UVic drops your lowest 3 classes I believe. 

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You need to draw the conclusion that you will succeed, despite your anxiety. As Hegdis said, documentation and a clear method that gets results will help cement your claim. I applied access as well (albeit for other reasons), and I had my doctor write a letter explaining my condition, as well as strategies that both I and the school can utilize to mitigate the impact of my condition. Then, briefly in my personal statements, I reference the condition, how I deal with it and how it motivates me to work even harder. 

Best of luck!

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Not to be snarky but one google search got me results for all of the Canadian law schools. Each will be different so take the time to read each site. 

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I am applying Access due to a lifelong anxiety disorder and learning disability which really affected my grades during my first two years of undergrad. A few times, the anxiety got so bad that I thought I was having a psychotic breakdown and that I would need to be hospitalized. Luckily, I was able to persevere and adjust my medication and get therapy. There are still periods in my life where I get bad anxiety and I have to consider adjusting my medication or seeking more intensive therapy for a while - but maturity and accepting responsibility over having this affliction gives you a sense of perspective that is in some way calming. 

In terms of applying access, I applied last year but my LSAT score wasn't high enough. I have a decent L2 (3.73) but my cGPA (3.25) has suffered due to the nature of my access claim. This November, I ended up getting a higher score that I believe breaks into the competitive index (158). I think from my experience what I can say is that schools want to know that you will be able to participate in the law school and not be debilitated by your affliction. Evidence, personal or from a health professional, that you are under on-going treatment and that you will be able to use the schools health resources in case something does come up will give the school confidence in your application. I also think that, especially for Access applicants, that an upward trend in GPA does positively reflect on your application in that it shows the school that you identified your affliction and gained control of it as you matured.

I can only hope with my current LSAT score that my access claim will be viewed in a different light this time. Presently, I'm going through one of those bad anxiety periods and I doubt I will be able to re-write in January.

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