Back

ABA Journal

Home

Careers

Schizophrenics may be doctors, lawyers and other professionals, law prof says

Jan 29, 2013, 12:00 pm CST

Comments

Choosing "law professor" was a particular stroke of genius. Whether teaching class or dealing with the administration, the demons fit right in with all the characters who are really there.

By B. McLeod on 2013 01 29, 1:07 pm CST

No DUI hearings to continue today, McLeod, or can you do that online now?

By Pushkin on 2013 01 29, 3:18 pm CST

So attorney Elyn Saks' solution is to “...reach out to my doctors, friends and family whenever I start slipping, and I get great support from them,” Uhm, what if they're not available? And there are many mentally ill people who get off their medications because they're "feeling good" and conclude that because of that they don't need to medicate themselves anymore.

There are always exceptions to the rule. Ms. Saks seems to be one of them. Not so much the attorney who not only lost the clearcut case of a relative of mine but was very abusive to her and subjected her to tirades of shouting.

And what does Ms. Saks do in the middle of a case that's ultra-stressful on non-mentally ill attorneys in the middle of the night? Many attorneys go without any or adequate sleep or adequate food during crunch periods trying to meet a deadline: all situations which would exacerbate a mental condition.

It seems that she would require a lot of concessions. Is that really fair? People need to realize their limitations. Yes, it hurts but it's reality. If someone is 5 feet 2 inches tall and is a terrific athlete and strategizer in football yet is barred from being a quarterback in the NFL, should we make concessions for them and allow them in? Ditto blind people who want to be airline pilots.

By CHRISTIE WAGNER on 2013 01 29, 6:34 pm CST

Schizophrenic attorney Elyn Saks writes that her solution is to “...reach out to my doctors, friends and family whenever I start slipping, and I get great support from them.” Uhm, what if they're not available?

What would she do in a deadline crunch which is ultra-stressful on non-mentally ill attorneys when they're working in the middle of the night on a case they have to try in the morning and they've not slept at all or eaten at all or adequately? All these are situations which would exacerbate a mental condition.

Is it fair to make concessions to someone who is not full-on available to meet career demands? Let's extrapolate then and consider, say, a 5 feet 2-inch person who is very athletic and a terrific football strategizer--should we then make concessions and allow him to be a quarterback in the NFL? Ditto the blind or partially blind people who have sued to become attorneys, airline pilots and golf pros.

Life is tough. Reality hurts but it's the responsible thing to recognize our limitations.

Maybe Ms. Saks is an exception but too many mentally ill people have illness-induced faulty judgment and stop taking their medications when and because they "feel good". Maybe she's an exception. Not so the manic-depressive attorney who represented--I correct myself: misrepresented--a relative of mine and not only caused her to lose her clearcut case but continuously abused her by subjecting her to tirades of rage and shouting.

After having volunteered with many mentally ill people about the only predictable thing I can see about many is that they're unpredictable. Their condition is too often out of their control.

By CHRISTIE WAGNER on 2013 01 29, 6:44 pm CST

Yikes! There's no way to edit or delete my comment. (Didn't there used to be an icon for that? Was it taken away by the web designer or is my browser malfunctioning?)

Anyhow, sorry, Everyone, for the double posting. #4 adds a little more to #3, though.

By CHRISTIE WAGNER on 2013 01 29, 6:47 pm CST

maybe they start out as lawyers, but a disproportionate number seem to end up on the bench.

By AndytheLawyer on 2013 01 29, 6:49 pm CST

Sage words, Andy. I too have obersved this.

By CARBOLIC SMOKEBALL on 2013 01 30, 12:23 am CST

I meant to mention that Pushki. The DA says you can't get the deal you wanted. That rumor about a special rule for grammarians was unfounded. She did let me set you over though.

By B. McLeod on 2013 01 30, 12:28 am CST

Some jokes really do write themselves!

By sundevilpeg on 2013 01 31, 2:19 am CST

Add a Comment

We welcome your comments, but please adhere to our comment policy.

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.