Law School Discussion

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Messages - karenw911

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51
Law School Applications / Re: Criminal record
« on: March 05, 2004, 11:54:14 AM »
Hello this is my first post.  I was just wondering about something that I read in a princeton review admissions help guide book.  In the book it states that someone who has had a criminal record should bring it to the attention of the school that they are applying to because having one could affect the decision of the law school that they are applying to.  If they are to have already been admitted or have graduated from law school, then the governing board for the bar might not let them practice law.  So, my question is this, I had a record when i was a minor, this was when I was 15, and it was for petty theft.  I went to a program that made minors who had been arrested for criminal acts, and after completing it, they said that my records would be sealed.  Would I have to say that I've had a criminal record before, even though my records have been sealed for 8 years now? or do I not have to stat anything.  Also, is there any way that the governing board for the bar would dig these records up? or do they not have access to them, because they were sealed. Any comments would help out a lot. Thanks. 

Regardless of whether it was sealed, you must report it.  Most applications now state that you must report anything regardless of whether or not your believe the record was expunged or sealed.

You are not going to be precluded from law school because of indiscretions as a 15 year old.  You will be precluded from practicing law if you fail to disclose information that is discovered later.

I can't speak for other states, but in Indiana, you are required to submit a fingerprint card, with your bar application, for a criminal records check.  While a juvenile arrest would not appear there, anything else would.  Failing to disclose any type of record generally can get you kicked out of law school (if you're accepted) and prevent you from being accepted to the bar.

Karen W.

52
Law School Rankings / Re: 2nd Tier...
« on: March 05, 2004, 11:46:10 AM »
My husband graduated from a tier 4 school, yes, a lowly tier 4 school.  He was in the top 20% of his class and he graduated early - 2 1/2 years. He had no moot court/law review experience but did do some work with the innocence project and an externship with the state supreme court judge.  He passed the bar on the first attempt.

His first job offer was $50/k - not too bad in our opinion for a tier 4, midwest school.  Surely not what you'd expect from a higher tier school, but, it was not bad for the first offer.

Karen W.


53
Law School Applications / Re: Retaking the LSAT bad?
« on: March 05, 2004, 11:39:28 AM »
I just want to here what others have to say about this... Is it bad thing to take the LSAT 3 times, improving more each time?

What was the time interval between each of your tests?

Karen W.

54
Law School Applications / Re: Can't Get In!!!!
« on: March 05, 2004, 11:38:22 AM »
First off, I would call into question the dean of admissions that placed such a high priority on your misdoings as a 15 year old, over 15 years ago. That makes no sense, whatsoever, and is honestly not logical. If you disclosed that information, there is no reason that the incident should be held against you.

Have you checked www.lawschoolnumbers.com to get some idea of this year's acceptance numbers from anyone who would've reported for those schools?

You do have substantial 'extracurricular' activities, but I'm just wondering. Did you list all of your tournament places on your applications as well? If so, I'm afraid you may have some overkill here.  I guess it would be helpful to know which of the activities specifically you listed on your apps.

Can I ask what you discussed in your personal statement?

...and just a petty techinical suggestion here.  Check your apps for anyway that you may have spelled Valparaiso. Being from the area and an applicant there, it may rub the wrong way.

Karen W.

55
Non-Traditional Students / Re: Police Academy Transcript and LSAC?
« on: March 05, 2004, 11:20:22 AM »
Absolutely.  Let LSAC decide how to include it with your candidate packet.  Chances are they'll include it as 'other' institution, but let them make that decision, especially if you did well at the academy.  But I'm sure they've run into this situation before and may have a special way of handling academy transcripts.

If they decide not to include it, you can make it a part of you application and send a copy yourself.  Again, especially if you did well.

Karen W.

56
Studying for the LSAT / Re: LSAT Advise Needed
« on: March 03, 2004, 07:27:56 AM »
Working slowly through tips and tricks or just busting out exam after exam to build up speed?  Its just hard to believe that only working previous exams is enough but I don't speak from experience.

Missed this part originally, sorry.

Working through the practice tests is one thing. Working through the practice test and understanding why each answer is correct is a whole different thing.

I would recommend both - working the tips & tricks and working as many practice exams as possible. Believe me, after you sit for the LSAT, you'll truly wish you would've take a couple more practice.

Karen W.

57
Non-Traditional Students / Re: Employment, background checks, etc...
« on: March 02, 2004, 04:42:27 PM »
Well if it helps, my husband's incident was shoplifting, a crime of dishonesty, that is looked very poorly on.  But it was not an issue on his law school application or his bar application.

The key is to being honest..

Karen W.

58
Law School Rankings / Re: second tier vs third tier
« on: March 02, 2004, 04:33:15 PM »
Don't be so obsessed with tier.  Just go to the law school that you think will provide you with the best education, whether it be Tier 1 or 4.  Do not let the editors of U.S. News navigate your moves.  These rankings don't mean much.  Most of it is political.  Keep an open mind and visit numerous schools, without regard to Tier.  You'll be alot happier.

I couldn't agree more. There are so many more factors to consider than the tier of the school.

If you want to practice in a certain area, such as close to home, etc., look at the local law schools, regardless of their tier. The closer the school is to the region you'd like to practice in, the better the reputation the school has in the area.

Also, everyone gets so hung up on tiers and forgets a few major points.  So you go to tier 1 school. Unless you can manage the top 10% of your graduating class, it doesn't matter.  You need to get involved in activities including moot court, law review, etc., activities that are available at all law schools.  The percentage you graduated in your class as well as your activities are extremely important. That's what's going to shine after law school.

Karen W.

59
Studying for the LSAT / Re: LSAT Advise Needed
« on: March 02, 2004, 04:27:26 PM »
They are actual LSAT's but they are older.

While all practice is good, I would check ebay etc. for more recent tests. If all else fails, you can order the most recent from LSDAS at $8 apiece.

But the more practice you can get, the better off you are, regardless of the age of the test.

Karen W.

60
Non-Traditional Students / Re: Help & Advise please
« on: March 01, 2004, 06:21:55 PM »
Depends on the area that you want to practice in.  Law schools have reputation in their individual regions.  Unless you're wanting a top 10 firm, don't discount the local law schools.

Each law school gives you opportunities to excel in other areas, that offset perhaps the ranking of the school. If do very well and graduate in the top 10% of your class, have moot court and law review experience, you will stick out from a 3rd tier or top tier that graduated low with no 'extra curricular' law related activities.

Karen W.

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