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Light at the end of the tunnel

First of all, I would like to welcome some of my new readers.  This is a new blog and I’m incredibly excited that I was featured in Pilant’s Business Ethics Blog and I had a 500% increase in hit as a result.  Thanks.  Hoping to build on that success, here’s a brief post on conditional admission for those of you who may fear it.

As a society, Americans work hard to help one and other.  We are charitable, giving, and forgiving.  By and large, we are proponents of rehabilitation before we cast someone out entirely.  In recent years, nearly ever bar throughout the United States has created some form of conditional admission for their applicants.  Conditional admission is traditionally available to those who have had prior incidents of alcohol or drug abuse, however in wake of the success of the programs, conditional admission has been granted in a growing number of areas, including those who have committed serious crimes, have poor financial responsibility, or those who have been shown to be un-truthful.

The program works like an out-patient facility.  “Patients” are monitored by a handful of reporting agencies: doctors, mentors, commissioners, assistance programs, and the list goes on.  The goal is to rehabilitate the patient of the affliction from which they suffer, and hopefully, coax them into their professional life with the help of these agents.

However, meeting the goals of these helpers is not always an easy task.  For example, conditional admission is most often applied to persons who have alcohol blemishes in their past.  As part of their admission, participants have to remain sober (this should be a given, but we’re a forgiving society so this remains gray at best), participate both in Alcoholics Anonymous (which, in their case, isn’t anonymous) and a profession-specific version of AA (since I’m a lawyer, see LAP).  In addition there are rigorous community service commitments, on-the-job performance evaluations, and a ‘commissioner’ who oversees the entire process.

Now, I’m not saying that one slip off of the tight rope will result in an automatic failure, but this process is not without some pitfalls.  Many of the agencies named above have competing interests.  All want the applicant’s undivided attention, all want the application the succeed, but some make it difficult for the applicant to practice their field while living up to their expectations.  Furthermore, it becomes an applicant’s sole responsibility to make sure he has completed all of the assigned tasks for his conditional admission—in ADDITION to his responsibilities at home, at work, and everything which revolves around him.  I’m not saying it’s impossible, but many addictions grew from the seed of stress and this seems to be counterproductive.  Sadly, at the end of everything its possible that a candidate who has completed everything satisfactorily will not be admitted unconditionally.

Thankfully, the Louisiana State Supreme Court announced the termination of 4 candidates conditional admission on January 4, 2011.  Congratulations, bienvenue, and welcome!

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