Law School Discussion

Applying to Law School => Law School Admissions => Topic started by: mike001 on March 05, 2014, 11:16:15 PM

Title: old transcripts?
Post by: mike001 on March 05, 2014, 11:16:15 PM
Will LSAC request transcripts from a junior college I attended over 15 years ago? I mean, it was only for two semesters and I did terribly there so I would much rather keep it from them and just give them the junior college and university I did well at later in my life.

I assume there's no getting around this? Do they automatically get those transcripts or is there a way to "hide" them? I'm NOT trying to be unethical here, I will do whatever they require. If they must see them, then I will send them. Just trying to figure out if I absolutely have to share those.
Title: Re: old transcripts?
Post by: Miami88 on March 06, 2014, 12:52:27 AM
Yes, you need to report all college level coursework - including courses taken in high school. LSAC will average together all courses up through the completion of your first bachelor's degree. There is no ethical way around this. I was in a similar position as you - but the drop wasn't that bad, just about .08 of a point.

If there is a significant difference between your regular GPA and your LSAC GPA, you can write an addendum. You should highlight things like upward grade trends and why X GPA is a better indicator of your potential in law school. This won't make up for a stinky LSAC GPA, but if your are borderline, it may push you over the edge.

Good luck!
Title: Re: old transcripts?
Post by: mike001 on March 06, 2014, 12:47:59 PM
They want High School transcripts!? But those grades never make the report to the LS do they? I thought the only factor in the GPA was the undergrad. Are you saying they also average in my High School grades? That's insane.

Thanks a bunch for your help. :)

So, let's just say I forget to turn in an old transcript from a JC 20 years ago. How does LSAC know or find out about that JC. Again, I would NEVER withold information, just curious how they would find out about it.
Title: Re: old transcripts?
Post by: Maintain FL 350 on March 06, 2014, 02:20:32 PM
Yes, you must turn in all transcripts from all college level institutions attended even if it was for only one individual class. If you do not, it will likely be viewed as an ethical breach. You could be rejected from law schools or even prohibited from taking the bar exam. DO NOT risk it. Turn in all your transcripts.

I never had any law school ask for my HS transcripts. I think what Miami88 is referring to are college level classes taken in HS.
Title: Re: old transcripts?
Post by: Miami88 on March 06, 2014, 05:02:14 PM
Haha! That is a bit unclear. Yes, I meant "all college level coursework, including college level coursework taken during (not at) high school."

To answer you question more directly, I don't think law schools are actively doing background checks on each applicant they accept, let alone each applicant that applies. If, for whatever reason, the law school does find out that you withheld/slanted any information - be it purposefully or not - you risk not only getting kicked-out/denied from the law school, but getting black listed from the legal profession entirely. Also note that the undergraduate school you graduated from may have the information from your JC. It may not be explicitly stated on your transcript, but if there is even an illusory reference to it (i.e. a line that says "Transfer Credit GPA: 1.3" - UH OH!!!), law schools/LSAC could quickly find out something is up.

Say you did with hold this information and made it through law school - you sneaky ninja you. Although, as I said, I doubt law schools are conducting these background checks, I am sure the bar will conduct basic background checks on you. They will cross reference all this information with your law school application. Any information that is different/odd will raise red flags. At this point, you will have 3+ years of lost work experience, $100k+ worth of debt, a worthless piece of paper that says JD and your name on it, and will be black listed from working in the legal profession. Sad day.

So, if the ethical perspective isn't enough to deter someone, this practical perspective (hopefully) should. Don't lie on your application. Don't omit information. If anything, you want to over disclose information. And if you seriously have questions, ask the law school(s) you are applying to - they will be able to answer these questions in even better detail than any of us.

Good luck!
Title: Re: old transcripts?
Post by: Citylaw on March 09, 2014, 11:33:14 AM
There is a saying in the law when in doubt disclose. They may never find the transcripts and maybe you will get away with it, but you will have to fill out a Moral Character Application to be admitted to a State Bar and a background check will be conducted. The investigator may or may not find these transcripts, but if they do you will be in some deep sh**. Once you are $100,000+ in debt and have spent three years of your life to get a law degree and our under the stress of the bar exam having whether or not background investigator will find this information will result in a lot of unnecessary stress. If it gets found out your three years and $100,000+ may go for nothing and your moral application could be denied.

Simply put disclose explain you did poorly 15 years ago in a Junior College and be on with it.