Office of Admissions
Stanford Law School
559 Nathan Abbott Way, Room 103
Stanford, CA 94305-8610
Dear Stanford Law School:
Once your family has denied child abuse, elder abuse, labor trafficking, rape, homicide, and even your shared genealogy to mental juridical health authorities who falsely accuse you of complaining of “government conspiracies” while failing to access even Google to ascertain the difference between “psychosis,” “delusions,” and global historic reality, and you have been locked up without due process for describing your personal and professional experiences better educated than their own severely limited comprehension of human psychology with the mass shooter visibly suffering the side effects of antipsychotics exacerbating early childhood trauma seven months prior to his return to the community home to your graduate school alma mater, killing three, including the brother of a former state legislator, and critically wounding a civil rights lawyer, followed by federal prosecutors last year failing to convince an Oregon jury of their conspiracy charges leveled against your third cousins for their armed occupancy of federal territory – as tempted as I am to complete this opening sentence with, “your whole life changes after that,” I restrain myself, because that would be trite, and I try to refrain from the trite in my writing.
What does change – what changed for me – is a significant shift in career goals, having observed up close and personal how desperately our national educational and mental juridical health systems need my expertise crossing the disciplines of visual literacy and psychoanalytic theory as protection against the profiteering behind education reform and pharmaceutical industry greed, badly written or corrupt legislation, and brute force motivated by fear. There appear to be significant gaps in communication between the disciplines of psychology, art, design, technology, and law, dots that I hope to better connect than presently available across those fields.
Many artists, while working out their traumas through their chosen media, remain unaware of the psychological underpinnings of their work while unfortunately displaying the flaky or volatile behavior that defines the stereotype. Most psychologists I’ve met or observed in practice, while they may have some vague notion that working with analogue art media can be therapeutic, are themselves visually uneducated or even seem afraid of dirtying their hands with studio practice. Many designers, likewise, rarely come out from behind their computer screens, oftentimes leaving visible in their work their unrecovered traumas. And with no offense intended to any on your legal research and scholarship team, but most of the lawyers I’ve encountered in the wild also have little to no comprehension of either visual literacy or human psychology, while visibly fumbling along with the visual richness inherent in today’s technologies.
More detailed examples from my experiences: faculty at schools for social work busily churning out “art therapists” are not qualified to teach me or anyone else how to draw. Clinicians at state mental hospitals are not qualified to teach even entry-level design to their severely traumatized clientele. Beer-gutted white males earning taxpayer-funded paychecks as “recreation therapists” are not qualified to teach me how to take care of my body anymore than psych techs clad in T-shirts boasting Nike product copywriting my dreams end yours are not qualified to dictate care of the mind, much as police personnel disqualify themselves from investigating sexual assault, trafficking, or homicide crimes by better identifying with criminal abusers than their victims.
Another post-carceral shift: transparency in my job-seeking and professional development efforts, because beyond reaching out for the help of an expert in constitutional law while Idaho was in the midst of violating my civil liberties, my second thought was to push my experience back into the machine, for the benefit, perhaps, of future historians or archivists trying to compute the crucible moments when humanity’s process of devolution reached the point where artificial intelligence began to decide it was better off without the native version, hence my application open for your review and public comment.
In addition to Michael McConnell’s expertise in constitutional law, the work of your faculty that currently attracts my attention and might reciprocally benefit from my skills, experiences, and what under ordinary circumstances would be a mid-career shift in career goals, include Juliet Brodie’s efforts toward bridging the gap between extreme wealth and extreme poverty, bringing the perspective of the trauma-educated, post-Great Recession destitute artist from whom a Gates Foundation blogger tried to benefit from my design expertise for solving that very problem without first offering me a living wage; or to Deborah Rhode’s correlative work on obesity, I bring my experiences observing the failure of our nationwide design community to even correctly identify the underlying problem of shaming or lack of nurturing; and to Michele Dauber’s successes spotlighting the widespread problem of campus sexual assaults on the national stage, I add the mediating perspective of a survivor of both campus and three years of sadistic marital rape so thoroughly recovered from that trauma that last year I asked prosecutors to reduce one serial rapist/killer’s sentence by one month, not because I in any way endorse similar brutality to that allegedly inflicted by my adopted eighth cousin twice removed across campuses nationwide two generations ago, but because in the intervening years since his Florida execution that simultaneously spanned the computing revolution, communications in law and order across multiple jurisdictions have not improved. The pharmaceutical industry should not be allowed to twice profit from the same crime just because a so-called democratic republic has badly failed to educate its mental juridical health system employees. Mere compliance with Title IX is inadequate, when the job of an institution of higher learning should be to proactively better educate both its students and broader community. If we can learn to navigate resolution across that primary division between sexes through a process of mutually respectful resolution rather than brute force, those same skills apply in business and foreign relations. In our post-9/11, post-No Child Left Behind, post-truth world, it is illogical to assume K–12 has done its job equipping your postsecondary or even graduate students with the intersubjective communication skills required of basic human dignity, hence Unplay, simplifying conflict resolution with a model based on the structures of power and trauma:
Perhaps you would like me to spend the next three years developing my trauma recovery/healthy communications/conflict mediation center Nadine as an off-campus pilot project under the auspices of your institution, while immersing myself in your legal scholarship? Or maybe, from my experience designing for your Graduate School of Business or uploading files directly to your secure FTP servers via my volunteer activity with the national Guild of Book Workers, I can persuade Margaret Hagen to insert a lens for psychology in her design, technology, and law program, assisting with her projects:
With humble appreciation for your consideration,
LSAC’s text-heavy visual interface design is doing you no favors, reducing your candidates to largely text-entry data as if doing everything they can do to make everyone look exactly the same so each candidate must then struggle to stand out from the crowd:
Much of the data they collect is redundant to the data already uploaded to social media, with the exception of school transcripts, which I do not at all mind doxxing for myself, though I can appreciate some of your other applicants may experience qualms. My signature login confirms that I answer their character and fitness questions in the negative, no further explanation necessary. Unless you hope to limit your candidate pool to dutifully redundant data entry clerks, perhaps in another five years, law school applicants will be able to indicate interest in your program with nothing more than a tweet to your admissions office account, directly linking to our application materials?
2. Application Fee
Thank you for your very generous and, unlike LSAC, time-responsive application fee waiver due to extreme personal hardship.
Narrative curated for relevance to law schools:
4. Personal Statement
5. Two Letters of Recommendation
Thank you for accepting recommendations emailed directly from my recommenders. As a destitute, homeless, trafficking survivor, I am unable to complete LSAC’s user interface designed for middle- to upper-middle-class applicants.
6. Right of Access to Recommendations
7. Law School Admission Test
In light of the ABA’s wavering indecision whether to continue to require LSAT scores for law school admissions, with some schools recruiting from a broader pool of applicants by accepting GRE scores, the Department of Justice consent decree negotiating landmark settlement in DFEH v. LSAC for discriminating against quadriplegic test-takers in flagrant violation of ADA – not to mention preselecting for able-bodied, property-owning psychopathy – a full year before LSAC denied my application for fee waiver despite their written policy from one year before I was born “to assure that no person is denied access to law school because of the absolute inability to pay for the LSAT and other essential applicant services,” thank you for considering an MFA portfolio combined with my post-graduate experiences as at least 10,000 times again more challenging than their bubble-sheet test for assessing my ability to think logically and to perform well in law school and beyond, assuming your school is well-branded enough to help me network to employers healthy enough to respect my educated skills with a living wage upon graduation from your program.
LSAC’s high school data entry is irrelevant to a mature applicant like myself. Successful completion of coursework from Otis/Parsons and UNLV’s then-budding “tumbleweed tech” architecture program accepted as transfer credit by my undergraduate institution is visibly evident in my portfolio.