« on: June 19, 2009, 05:28:09 AM »
I would've said mention it, but I'm not an attorney so don't take anything I say as legal advice. I have no idea whether the bar examiners can find out about anything that was expunged from your record. I suppose anything is possible. For instance, what if they call up one of your references (if you have to list references) and a reference says, "Well gee, so and so is a great guy. There was that one little incident back in 2005, but that was a minor indiscretion . . ." Of course, you could tell your references not to mention it, but then you're asking people to lie for you.
If your law school application asked whether you had any convictions and you answered "no," arguably, you answered as such because you didn't think you had to mention anything about convictions that were expunged from your record and you were acting on advice from an attorney. But if your law school application asked you to disclose all convictions, including those that have been expunged, as your bar application likely will (you should check), then you knowingly lied on your law school application. Regardless, I don't think a late disclosure, in and of itself, is necessarily going to hurt you depending on how you explain it. I seriously doubt a law school would ever take back your acceptance, but they can more or less do whatever the hell they want (with varying levels of limitation depending on whether it's a state school or not.) However, I really don't know. Most people probably don't know. It also depends on the circumstances of your conviction. I had a bunch of criminal convictions on my application, but none of them were for dishonesty. The fact that you omitted a crime of dishonesty on your application doesn't look that great from my perspective.
If you do disclose it to the school and then check with the bar examiners to see how it will effect you three years from now, at least you won't have to think about it.