The New York state bar application will no longer ask questions inquiring into mental health, Chief Judge Janet DiFore announced Wednesday.
DiFore made the announcement during her State of the Judiciary address. The goal is to protect law students seeking admission to the New York bar who are dealing with depression, anxiety and other mental health issues.
Law students that are dealing with these issues are less likely to seek help because of the mental health questions on the bar application. A recent survey conducted by the American Bar Association found that 42 percent of law students believed they needed help with mental or emotional issues, but only half sought help. Forty-five percent of students believed that seeking help would pose a threat to bar admission.
One of the questions being removed asks, “do you currently have any condition or impairment including, but not limited to a mental, emotional, psychiatric, nervous or behavioral disorder or condition, or an alcohol, drug or other substance abuse condition or impairment or gambling addiction, which in any way impairs or limits your ability to practice law?”
New York becomes the eleventh state in the US to remove mental health questions on bar applications.