ADHD and Training Contracts / Vacation Schemes

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LawyerInLondon
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Report Thread starter 2 years ago
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Hi there,

I recently got diagnosed with AD(H)D (which makes so much sense given my previous life-experience) - and my quality of life has increased dramatically as a result of the treatment. My head feels clear, and I'm actually able to do work without getting lost in the details - for me it's been like putting a new pair of glasses on and seeing the order where there wasn't any before. I'm just concerned that this diagnosis will work against me when applying for training contracts / vacation schemes.

Context: I did very well in school, despite being a complete scatter brain, graduated with a high 2:1 in politics from a top 5 university (worked myself in the ground to get it though, found I was always the least organised person, never took much from lectures, needed to work independently, and could only focus and get everything together when a gun was at my head). I struggled with issues of pretty crippling anxiety and depression / general awful self-esteem throughout my four year course - got through it but had to resit an exam in second year (which was not weighted into my classification) due to the mental state I was in. I didn't put in any extenuating circumstances with the university at the time, although they were aware I was taking anti-depressants.

Now: decided to do the GDL down in London - faced similar issues at the start of the year - my inability to focus, despite very much wanting to work, was picked up on - and after two rounds of interviews I got a formal diagnosis with Attention Deficit Disorder, which was the root of the mental health issues I was going through. My twin brother was also diagnosed at the same time (we're now both 23). Started treatment and my life has changed completely - could not be more thankful, honestly thought I just existed on a different plane than everyone else and was destined to overthink everything and be disorganised forever. Now I feel so much more confident, can do work to a high standard without an issue, and I do not have any issues with self-esteem.

Issue: I've been advised by a friend that I should put my diagnosis down under the extenuating circumstances section for that exam I needed to resit in second year. But, by doing that, I would reveal to firms that I basically have a condition which makes me the opposite of what a good solicitor should be (unless I'm under medication) - not to mention the instinctive thought some may have about it being a 'made up' condition which exists purely to silence loud children / make people work more efficiently.

What do you think TSR, should I put this down and make firms aware? I'm not sure if it would help or hinder my applications.

Thanks in advance for any advice.
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LawyerInLondon
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Report Thread starter 2 years ago
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(Original post by J-SP)
You don't have to reveal the nature of the condition, you only have to explain the impact of them on the exam.

For instance "Due to an undiagnosed medical condition, which I have subsequently received treatment for, I was unable to perform to the level I and my tutors expected in X and Y exam. Medical reports and academic references can be provided to support this" is sufficient.

Hero - thank you very much.
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LawyerInLondon
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Report Thread starter 2 years ago
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(Original post by J-SP)
You don't have to reveal the nature of the condition, you only have to explain the impact of them on the exam.

For instance "Due to an undiagnosed medical condition, which I have subsequently received treatment for, I was unable to perform to the level I and my tutors expected in X and Y exam. Medical reports and academic references can be provided to support this" is sufficient.
Say a situation arises where I am asked to provide the medical reports, and thereby reveal the diagnosis - would you say that it would be highly likely to be fatal to the application?
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