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Author Topic: Criminal Record... what to expect  (Read 6378 times)

wickedzeus

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Criminal Record... what to expect
« on: June 26, 2008, 06:10:11 AM »
Hello,

I'm applying to law school in the fall, I have a 3.47 from University of Illinois and I'm still waiting on the June LSAT results. I'm worried because of my recent criminal record: a possession of a controlled substance (marijuana) charge in MI in June 2007 and a MIP in 2007. I pleaded guilty in both cases The first one was while in high school, but the second on is obviously more recent. For the marijuana charge I was given a one year probation with bimonthly random drug testing (all clean) which will end in August. After the incident I got really involved with school where I'm facilitating a class for freshmen, working on the school's student conduct committee and some other softs while holding a part time job. This past year I also had a 3.7 both semesters. I think I got my life together, and I have results to back it up. How much will my chances of admission be affected by this? I'm particularly concerned because the last charge was only a year ago, and I'm not sure how much I can play the I was "young and stupid card" however true it may be.

BriGuy1818

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Re: Criminal Record... what to expect
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2008, 11:29:49 AM »
Something similar happened to me when I was 16.  I had a solid 6 years before applying to show that I wasn't going to continue to make mistakes or be that kind of person.  When you apply you need to write an addendum, a separate short letter explaining the circumstances of your arrest.  Furthermore, explain the positive actions you have taken to ensure that it will never happen again, as well as what you have done to bounce back ( 3.7, committee, etc.)  I think you will be fine.  I am in at Seton Hall, Albany, and Hofstra.  Worst thing you can do is lie about it.  Good luck and keep me posted   

richardblaine

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Re: Criminal Record... what to expect
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2008, 03:01:39 PM »
Quote
I'm applying to law school in the fall, I have a 3.47 from University of Illinois and I'm still waiting on the June LSAT results. I'm worried because of my recent criminal record: a possession of a controlled substance (marijuana) charge in MI in June 2007 and a MIP in 2007. I pleaded guilty in both cases The first one was while in high school, but the second on is obviously more recent.

I'm confused, if the pot charge was in 2007 and you were in high school, how are you applying to law school this fall?

wickedzeus

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Re: Criminal Record... what to expect
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2008, 06:43:10 PM »
There were two charges. The first was an MIP in 2005, and the second was the pot charge a year ago.

flakignpin

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Re: Criminal Record... what to expect
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2008, 08:11:36 PM »
you'll be fine, like stated above, don't hide secrets and discuss the positive. The Board of Examiners will look at it more, but you'll be alright if you keep your nose clean

argo

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Re: Criminal Record... what to expect
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2008, 02:55:05 AM »
Send 'em some good Purple Haze and they'll let you in without any delibiration.

Seriously, though, it is f-ing RIDICULOUS that people get criminal records for posession of marijuana.  I hope you remember that when you become a lawyer.

On the practical side, I'd apply to more liberal schools, e.g Michican, vs, say, Duke or Vandy... 
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DontQuestionMe

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Re: Criminal Record... what to expect
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2008, 01:20:29 AM »
Only advice I would give, on top of what has already been given in this thread, is to get your record expunged. If the convictions occurred in Illinois, it is a very fairly simple process. Good luck.

Budlaw

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Re: Criminal Record... what to expect
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2008, 04:16:44 PM »
Only advice I would give, on top of what has already been given in this thread, is to get your record expunged. If the convictions occurred in Illinois, it is a very fairly simple process. Good luck.

Record expungement doesn't matter for the Board of Bar Examiners. You still have to tell them about it.

Honestly, since these were so recent, you may have some trouble. Some schools won't touch you. Its really the pot charge that is the hang up. The MIP isn't a big deal at all. You do know that you also may be inelligible for government loans because of the pot charge right?

Some State Bars may not certify you either. (i.e. Florida) You're going to have to take some real affirmative steps becuase of the pot charge to show that you're a good guy for the bar. You need to do some community work. Maybe tell kids about the dangers of drug use. Also, be prepared to have to explain your past and current drug and alcohol use to the board of bar examiners. (which you should tell them is zero) The most important thing here is to make sure that you stay clean of anything from here on out. You're facing an uphill battle.

I'm being perfectly serious here. This is much more different than if you would have had these charges at 16. I recommend calling the State Board of Bar examiners in the jurisdiction in which you want to ultimately practice and see what they think off the top of their head.

Good luck.

DontQuestionMe

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Re: Criminal Record... what to expect
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2008, 06:11:59 PM »
Only advice I would give, on top of what has already been given in this thread, is to get your record expunged. If the convictions occurred in Illinois, it is a very fairly simple process. Good luck.

Record expungement doesn't matter for the Board of Bar Examiners. You still have to tell them about it.

Honestly, since these were so recent, you may have some trouble. Some schools won't touch you. Its really the pot charge that is the hang up. The MIP isn't a big deal at all. You do know that you also may be inelligible for government loans because of the pot charge right?

Some State Bars may not certify you either. (i.e. Florida)

You are 100% wrong with everything you said.

1) You get an expungment to show you have moved past the issue, grown up and taken steps to rectify the mistake.

2) A pot charge does not mean *&^%. If it is not a felony, he will not only get into law school, but he will pass the bar.

3) Don't give advice if you are clueless.

You aren't even a 1L, I can tell by your responses, yet you are giving advice about what is a concern and what is not a concern with the bar. Attorneys won't even give the kind of advice you are, unless they are character and fitness examiners.

suchgreatheights

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Re: Criminal Record... what to expect
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2008, 06:59:49 PM »
If it makes you feel any better, consider that most of the addcoms have probably broken marijuana and alcohol laws when they were younger (if they're not still doing it, as many professional people do) they just didn't get caught.  Its not like theft or assault or heroin trafficing or any sort of crime that anyone but a conservative takes very seriously and most admissions people are not conservatives. 


Quote
You need to do some community work. Maybe tell kids about the dangers of drug use.

There aren't any substantial dangers from pot use...

...except getting arrested for engaging in a totally victimless activity...

How did you (the OP) manage to do that anyways?


Quote
I'm being perfectly serious here. This is much more different than if you would have had these charges at 16. I recommend calling the State Board of Bar examiners in the jurisdiction in which you want to ultimately practice and see what they think off the top of their head.

Oh come on, using marijuana more than three years before JD graduation wont disqualify someone from working in the FBI let alone a state bar.