Law School Discussion

Law Students => Pursuing an LLM => Topic started by: Rafiki88 on September 17, 2014, 07:05:32 PM

Title: Applying to an LLM with a Misdemeanor
Post by: Rafiki88 on September 17, 2014, 07:05:32 PM
Hi:

I was charged with a misdemeanor class 2 (criminal mischief) in the US almost 7 years ago (when I was 20 years old). Im planning on applying to several law schools, some of them among the top ranks (NYU, Columbia, Harvard, etc.). In the application forms all universities request disclosure on past criminal records.

Do you believe that having this charge will seriously affect my chances of getting in? I have very good academic records and my LORs are expected to be good as well.

Thank you in advance,

 
Title: Re: Applying to an LLM with a Misdemeanor
Post by: legalpractitioner on September 20, 2014, 05:18:02 PM
IMO the law school will take your money, no problem, if you intent to take the bar exam that is another matter.
Title: Re: Applying to an LLM with a Misdemeanor
Post by: Citylaw on September 20, 2014, 05:48:55 PM
True law schools have a lot of regulations for J.D.'s, but almost none for LLM's so if your goal is to get a LLM you could probably have a felony, but if you are using the LLM to get into a state bar those regulations will not matter.
Title: Re: Applying to an LLM with a Misdemeanor
Post by: barprephero on September 20, 2014, 09:02:28 PM
LOTS of JD students have felonies who later get licensed just fine as well. There is no rule against convictions being allowed as students. Some states may not let you get licensed in their state, but you can get the degree all the same, there are no ABA rules against it for the JD or the LLM (even if you Charles Manson in theory)
Title: Re: Applying to an LLM with a Misdemeanor
Post by: Maintain FL 350 on September 21, 2014, 07:37:47 PM
LOTS of JD students have felonies who later get licensed just fine as well.

I don't think lots of JD students have felonies, and then get licensed. Misdemeanors , yes, but not felonies. Even in CA (which is pretty lax) a felony conviction results in disbarment proceedings.

If someone has a felony they better check with their state bar before spending three years and $100k on law school.
Title: Re: Applying to an LLM with a Misdemeanor
Post by: barprephero on September 22, 2014, 06:22:24 PM
LOTS of JD students have felonies who later get licensed just fine as well.

I don't think lots of JD students have felonies, and then get licensed. Misdemeanors , yes, but not felonies. Even in CA (which is pretty lax) a felony conviction results in disbarment proceedings.

If someone has a felony they better check with their state bar before spending three years and $100k on law school.
I know a few personally. As for disbarment, that is post license. Apples to corncrops.
I'm not saying don't check with your homestate either, since yes it does vary by state (thus why I said outright that you can get into schools without being able to get licensed in that state)
I also used it as an extreme example to show OP to relax.
Title: Re: Applying to an LLM with a Misdemeanor
Post by: Maintain FL 350 on September 22, 2014, 07:45:17 PM
Yes, rules definitely vary state to state. My point was just that I doubt that "lots" of law students have felony convictions. A few, yes. And of those few some will get admitted and some won't depending on the nature of the felony, how much time has passed, etc. My understanding is that most states will pretty much automatically reject a felon, period.

The reason I brought up CA's disbarment proceedings is to illustrate that even in one of the most liberal jurisdictions felonies are taken very seriously. If they're going to disbar a lawyer who gets a felony, then I doubt they'll admit a new member with a felony absent extenuating circumstances.
Title: Re: Applying to an LLM with a Misdemeanor
Post by: barprephero on September 22, 2014, 11:30:28 PM
I think we are saying (for the most part) the same thing but in different ways.
I think we just differ in our definitions of "a few" vs "a lot". Let's just say I know a lot personally, but mixed in with all JD holders in the world, they are a finite minority. (I have been interesting places and met interesting people for interesting reasons)

As to your comparison, I still don't think you get what I was trying to get at. DURING vs PRIOR. Its as simple as that. Think of it this way. You have an employee/tenant/wife (whatever) who was a bad person, you decide to cut them a break when others might not, but if they do those bad things TO YOU AFTER THAT its different.

And to be fair, I've known people who were suspended after going to jail who got their license back too. The world is a bigger place than CA, which isn't as liberal on all things as you might think. Think about comparing its hardest bar in the nation (arguably) to WI no bar at all for instate grads.

Overall, I think you and I can both at least agree OP is fine. Yes look into the specific area in question, but heck with Online LLM options being ABA approved now, I don't think its an issue too much at all. If one says no, keep applying. OP will get a yes. 100% promise it.