Responding to the alarmingly high suicide and depression rates of lawyers and law students, the Dave Nee Foundation is assembling a team of legal scholars, bar leaders and mental health experts to reframe bar admission standards so that they encourage mental health treatment by law students. While there have been significant advances in the diagnosis and treatment of mental health issues, the character and fitness questions regarding the student’s mental health history are still from the 1970’s. According to the Foundation, these questions may have a chilling effect on those needing treatment for fear of being denied admission. The goal is to work with bar associations to create and promote new guidelines for admission that treat depression like an illness rather than a weakness, so that law students will seek treatment early on.
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