Law School Discussion

I need advice...

I need advice...
« on: December 21, 2008, 10:19:37 PM »
About a year and a half ago, I received a city ordinance violation in my college town for possesion of alcohol as a minor. (This is NOT a DUI, just a possession of alcohol). I had to pay a 300 dollar fine. My college also told me i received a university reprimand which would stay on my file for a year. (basically a warning letter). If no other incidents occured, it would be destroyed. I am planning on applying to law school next fall, but i have some questions. Do you think that this minor city ordinance will hurt my chances at admissions. I have a 3.7 GPA as well as a 165 LSAT.

One of the applications asked the following question:
b. Have you ever been charged with a traffic violation involving felonious conduct or the use or possession of alcohol or drugs or which resulted in time spent in custody, a fine of $200 or more, or the revocation or suspension of your driver's license?
(I am not sur eif i should mark yes. I am not sure if it is asking if the traffic violation was caused by alcohol, or if the alcohol incident is being asked by itself, then I would mark yes).

The next one asks: 
c. Have you ever been subjected to dismissal, suspension, probation or other serious disciplinary or academic sanction by any college, university, professional school, or professional association?
Should I mark yes even if it just was a warning letter that was destroyed? (University Reprimand).

Thanks for the help!


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Re: I need advice...
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2008, 10:26:57 PM »
Call the law school and ask your questions to them. And talk to your school about what sort of "record" they keep about you.

Re: I need advice...
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2008, 06:41:47 AM »
I think I'd just say yes on both counts and type up a short addendum


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Re: I need advice...
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2008, 08:12:34 AM »
I'd over-disclose when in doubt.

Also, I doubt it will affect you much (although I could be wrong). 99% of people in my law school class drank underage and I think the administrators must know. Of course I wasn't among those underage drinkers.  ::)

Re: I need advice...
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2008, 08:46:35 PM »
Thanks for all the advice. I am just going to disclose all the info and avoid any problems in the future.

Re: I need advice...
« Reply #5 on: December 25, 2008, 07:07:42 PM »
I would disclose the violation of the law but not the university letter (so long as it was more than a year ago and destroyed as you said).

I think you could leave them both off since they asked about a traffic violation, but personally I don't think it is really going to matter either way.

Re: I need advice...
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2008, 01:37:20 AM »
This thread brings up a very important topic which I haven't seen dicussed much. How do you explain "discrepancies" to law schools? What do you tell them if you've been arrested or maybe even done jail time? Can ex-cons get law degrees?

I think the first thing to remember is that law schools want people of integrity and character. The second thing to remember is that law school admission council members are human, and they know you're human. They would rather hear you explain what you learned from your mistake(s) than excuses or feeble attempts at denial. I know a (sober for 8 years) attorney who got 3 DUIs before going to law school. He turned his life around. Answer truthfully, and show confidence in your responses.

Re: I need advice...
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2008, 11:14:35 AM »
You should disclose and answer yes to the first question. Regarding the second question, inquire at your university what records they have on you and then answer accordingly.


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Re: I need advice...
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2008, 11:40:10 AM »
incidents of this nature typically do not hurt you, unless they are over-the-top excessive.

what law schools and the bar examiners are looking for is typically one thing:  "can you be trusted with the client's funds?"

however, some states will NOT admit someone who has a felony conviction...texas springs to mind....but MOST others will. 

disclose the MIP. i wouldnt bother with the university reprimand, they are looking to see if you were a cheater, not a drinker or if you had a girl in your dorm room.