Avoiding Mental Illness Treatment Out of Fear of the Moral Character Application with Margaret Hannon and Katherine Silver Kelly [LGE 025]



Many law students fear seeking the necessary attention and help for their mental health issues because they know they’re likely to have to report it on their moral character application. Even though few applicants are denied admission based on mental health treatment or diagnoses, there is still a lot of stigma surrounding seeking help. So what are law students and lawyers applying anew for their moral character application to do?

I’m joined by two wonderful guests, Margaret Hannon and Katherine Silver Kelly, to discuss the fear surrounding seeking necessary help. Margaret is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Michigan law school, and she teaches Legal Research and Writing. Katherine is the Director of Academic Support at Ohio State University Moritz College of Law and has a lot of experience working with students, preparing them to apply for their character and fitness application process.

What We Discuss in this Episode:

  • Knowing a student will likely have to disclose having sought treatment for mental health issues would discourage them from actually seeking help
  • Are law students truly fearing the moral character application as they enter law school and progress through?
  • What are some reasons students list for not receiving treatment?
  • Seeking help while in law school is a great way to ensure success as a lawyer
  • There is no predictive correlation between mental health and competency as a lawyer
  • For many states, fellow lawyers are the ones making the determination of an applicant’s mental fitness
  • The importance of seeking help even if it’s uncomfortable
  • The benefits of disclosing mental health concerns
  • Seeking help from appropriate professionals instead of from other law student s
  • How is the Department of Justice connected to this discussion of mental health?

Resources Mentioned:

Margaret Hannon’s article

Jeena Cho Episode 6

Contact Information:

Margaret Hannon

mchannon@umich.edu

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mch_tweets

Katherine Silver Kelly

Kelly.864@osu.edu

Twitter https://twitter.com/ksilverkelly

Thank you for listening!

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