Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: Does criminal record affect admission to school or bar?  (Read 3261 times)

OldManRiver26

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 10
    • View Profile
    • Email
Does criminal record affect admission to school or bar?
« on: June 25, 2006, 09:50:10 PM »
I've read that having a prior record could affect my application to be admitted to law school and also after graduation when trying to pass the bar. 

I am 26 now and was arrested three times in college----DUI, fake ID, minor in possession of alcohol--------but they are all misdemeanors and were not "convictions".  It has been at least four years since my last arrest. 

Obviously alcohol wasn't my best friend, and I have since stopped drinking, but do you think this will affect my chances of becoming a lawyer?

slacker

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 949
    • View Profile
Re: Does criminal record affect admission to school or bar?
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2006, 09:56:35 PM »
No convictions? Probably not. You can always call a school and ask, if you have questions.

My advice, disclose; especially if there's a paper trail. Read carefully what needs to be disclosed, though. If misdemeanors only need to be reported if convicted, then you're ok; if they need to be reported if charged, then disclose.

dmitrik4

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 64
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Does criminal record affect admission to school or bar?
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2006, 10:04:46 PM »
your past will generally only keep you from bar admmisison if you hide something.  as long as you're honest and disclose EVERYTHING, you'd have to do something pretty bad to be denied.  generally, college drinking stuff is not news to bar examiners; you're not the first person who had a little too much fun in college!

the most important thing is to be honest.

hiding something will spell trouble for you every time, even if it's something they wouldn't have cared about had you disclosed it.  the dishonesty will be a bigger red flag than the actual past offense ever would have been.

gibbsale

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 73
    • View Profile
Re: Does criminal record affect admission to school or bar?
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2006, 11:07:56 PM »
DISCLOSE IT! TO BOTH!

 You are usually OK if you to disclose something like that, and disclosure on your law school applications can also be important (remember, that is material the character and fitness board might be interested in). If you disclose, you should be OK.

 As far as law school, I doubt it will make a difference. I had friends in UG who applied with DUIs and they were fine for admissions purposes.

 

dmitrik4

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 64
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Does criminal record affect admission to school or bar?
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2006, 07:47:31 PM »
BTW, make sure your bar appp and your law school app match up as far as disclosures.  if you disclose something on your bar app that you didn't on your law school app (and the examiners do check), they consider that to be dishonesty as well.  the school will usually let you amend/clarify your app file later on.  mine did, whe i found out that the ticket i got in college was for loitering and not possession of alcohol as i had thought.

hotdiggity

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 123
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Does criminal record affect admission to school or bar?
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2006, 11:18:03 PM »
I was issued a citation for underage drinking when I was young and didn't disclose it on my app to Widener.  After realizing my mistake I mentioned it to them and they were completly cool with it, they say that only crimes that would keep you from the character and fitness from the bar will hurt your admission.  Unless you're trying to hide something, which in PA (where I will take the bar) is a near automatic permanent rejection. They said that at orientation the dean will say something about ammending an app and there's a line out the door of her office that afternoon.  The ealier you disclose the better, it won't hurt you unless it shows a pattern of lawlessness, or is a felony conviction.

9u/cthick

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
    • View Profile
Re: Does criminal record affect admission to school or bar?
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2006, 04:28:22 AM »
The commission of certain crimes may subject an atty to discipline, regardless of the outcome of the criminal proceeding. CPR subjects to discipline attys who committ a crime involving "moral turpitude" or any other act (criminal or not) which involves "dishonesty, fraud, deceit, misrepresentation," or otherwise adversely reflects on the atty's fitness to practice law.

Several states follow the C/L rule that a felony conviction per se is automatic grounds for discipline.

Types of crimes resulting in discipline are those which (1) indicate inherent untrustworthiness, (2) necessarily involve an intent to defraud or intentional dishonesty for personal gain, or (3) are extremely repugnant to accepted moral standards (murder, serious sexual offenses) lies on bar admission application, and lies on resume. Intentional filing of a false tax return makes an attorney subject to disbarrment, but not the negligent failure to file tax returns with mitigating circumstances. Possessing small amounts of controlled substances for personal use will not prevent you from joining, but obtaining larger amounts for financial gain is a different matter. However, an atty who gave small amounts of marijuana and cocaine to the 13-year-old son of a friend with the friend's consent was merely suspended for 2 years. Sexual misconduct and sexual exploitation subjects an atty to discipline because such acts indicate that he is unworthy of confidence as an attorney. 

dmitrik4

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 64
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Does criminal record affect admission to school or bar?
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2006, 10:08:29 AM »
exactly.  that's why failure to disclose something is usually worse than doing the thing you hid, b/c the hiding is deceitful, while something like public intoxication, etc is not.