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Author Topic: An Arrest and Chance at Law Schools  (Read 4728 times)

its_kathie

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An Arrest and Chance at Law Schools
« on: October 25, 2009, 05:44:13 PM »
In 1999, I was arrested. Something I am not proud of and have kept extremely private.  As I am filling out application, I notice I can not get around this dark period of my life. I was arrest for forging a prescription.  I was addicted to pain medication.  After my arrest, no conviction, I completely changed my life around. But this will still tarnish my otherwise strong personal statement of a single mother, overcoming obstacles of domestic violence.  Since 1999, I have remained "clean," went back to school, and graduated from University of California, Davis with a 3.91 GPA.  My LSAT is 162. Is this going to kill my chances!!  Do I still have hope?  Thanks....

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Re: An Arrest and Chance at Law Schools
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2009, 07:36:24 PM »
In 1999, I was arrested. Something I am not proud of and have kept extremely private.  As I am filling out application, I notice I can not get around this dark period of my life. I was arrest for forging a prescription.  I was addicted to pain medication.  After my arrest, no conviction, I completely changed my life around. But this will still tarnish my otherwise strong personal statement of a single mother, overcoming obstacles of domestic violence.  Since 1999, I have remained "clean," went back to school, and graduated from University of California, Davis with a 3.91 GPA.  My LSAT is 162. Is this going to kill my chances!!  Do I still have hope?  Thanks....

Hrm.  This is extremely tricky.  I don't know if anyone actually knows.  Generally arrests that don't result in conviction and occurred a decade ago tend to not affect much.  Especially considering that you've been walking the straight and narrow sense. 

However, I think the "forgery" part may be a bit damaging considering that there is a "dishonest" and fraudalent element to it...  I think one huge key is how the case was resolved.  Without knowing the full extent (and I'm not asking for the details) of the full arrest to resolution, it's difficult to say how it will be viewed. 

In my non-informed and unsophisticated analysis, I think you'll be ok at most places because it was so long ago and no conviction resulted.  That said, I couldn't imagine that this won't hurt you somewhere.  Different schools and different readers will have different takes on this situation.  I do believe that this might be damaging to some degree - but I also highly doubt this will kill your chances to go to a good law school.

its_kathie

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Re: An Arrest and Chance at Law Schools
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2009, 07:58:26 PM »
Thank you for your input "Johnny." How this was resolved was through a court ordered diversion program in California. There was no trial, but there is an arrest record.  As crazy as it sounds, however, the whole process worked for me.  Things were set in place in the legal system to correct and deter. It sure did in my case. As stupid as it sounds, I am grateful that I got help.  I don't know of anything else at the time that would have knocked any sense into me except something as profound, humiliating, and degrading as being arrested.

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Re: An Arrest and Chance at Law Schools
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2009, 09:30:01 PM »
Thank you for your input "Johnny." How this was resolved was through a court ordered diversion program in California. There was no trial, but there is an arrest record.  As crazy as it sounds, however, the whole process worked for me.  Things were set in place in the legal system to correct and deter. It sure did in my case. As stupid as it sounds, I am grateful that I got help.  I don't know of anything else at the time that would have knocked any sense into me except something as profound, humiliating, and degrading as being arrested.

Well, I would state a lot of what you just did in the addendum.  If I was the reader, I'd be fairly sympathetic considering the candor and honesty regarding the situation.  That said, I do believe that, since I'm assuming this was a felony charge, that you will have a surpise rejection or two.  But I really wish you good luck and I'm happy that things have ultimately turned out so well for you.  I couldn't imagine that you won't land on your feet.

oceansmarine

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Re: An Arrest and Chance at Law Schools
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2009, 03:19:39 PM »
It is your choice.  However, if you do not state this, they cannot find out.  Your arrest does not impact your ability in applying for law school nor in getting thru the school cirriculum.  Your answer should be, I have nothing to report that will impact or prohibit my ability in applying too or completing the course work for graduation.........

Doodsmack

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Re: An Arrest and Chance at Law Schools
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2009, 04:15:45 PM »
It is your choice.  However, if you do not state this, they cannot find out.  Your arrest does not impact your ability in applying for law school nor in getting thru the school cirriculum.  Your answer should be, I have nothing to report that will impact or prohibit my ability in applying too or completing the course work for graduation.........


Whatever you do, do not follow oceansmarine's advice. It is imperative that you disclose the arrest in a separate statement. All law schools will tell you that failure to disclose the offense could have serious repercussions, not the least of which will come when you go for your character and fitness test to get admitted to the bar. It is advisable also to research the requirements for admission to the bar in the state in which you intend to practice, because certain crimes may prevent you from being admitted (no idea if that's true if your arrest though).

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Re: An Arrest and Chance at Law Schools
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2009, 04:33:06 PM »
It is your choice.  However, if you do not state this, they cannot find out.  Your arrest does not impact your ability in applying for law school nor in getting thru the school cirriculum.  Your answer should be, I have nothing to report that will impact or prohibit my ability in applying too or completing the course work for graduation.........


Whatever you do, do not follow oceansmarine's advice. It is imperative that you disclose the arrest in a separate statement. All law schools will tell you that failure to disclose the offense could have serious repercussions, not the least of which will come when you go for your character and fitness test to get admitted to the bar. It is advisable also to research the requirements for admission to the bar in the state in which you intend to practice, because certain crimes may prevent you from being admitted (no idea if that's true if your arrest though).

This.

Oceansmarine advice is horrible.  The fact that the arrest does not affect getting into or through law school is nearly inconsequential compared to the post-graduation process.

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Re: An Arrest and Chance at Law Schools
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2009, 05:50:35 PM »
It is your choice.  However, if you do not state this, they cannot find out.  Your arrest does not impact your ability in applying for law school nor in getting thru the school cirriculum.  Your answer should be, I have nothing to report that will impact or prohibit my ability in applying too or completing the course work for graduation.........


Whatever you do, do not follow oceansmarine's advice. It is imperative that you disclose the arrest in a separate statement. All law schools will tell you that failure to disclose the offense could have serious repercussions, not the least of which will come when you go for your character and fitness test to get admitted to the bar. It is advisable also to research the requirements for admission to the bar in the state in which you intend to practice, because certain crimes may prevent you from being admitted (no idea if that's true if your arrest though).

This.

Oceansmarine advice is horrible.  The fact that the arrest does not affect getting into or through law school is nearly inconsequential compared to the post-graduation process.

agree, do not leave off. Likley won't hurt being 10 years ago
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its_kathie

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Re: An Arrest and Chance at Law Schools
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2009, 04:20:41 PM »
Thank you all for you input, guidance, and correction.  This whole process actually made me look back into the dark skeleton of my past, go to the court house, and read the official record.  The record shows that I was charged with a misdemeanor, there was no conviction, but there was a diversion program imposed.  Hey, the diversion program worked!  I have had no drugs or alcohol in 10 years, went on to college, graduated with honors, now finding myself a potential law student. As "Johnny" stated, I will be turned down by some.  So I will expect that.  However, I will disclose when asked. In researching some schools, I have noticed that a handful, Harvard, Boalt, and Hastings, to name a few, only want disclosure if there is a "conviction."  But, they are few in number to the ones that want disclosure for arrests or diversionary programs.  THANK YOU again for you non-judgmental, straightforward information.  This forum has helped me so much.

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Re: An Arrest and Chance at Law Schools
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2009, 06:06:55 PM »
Hey! You'll be just fine. What matters is your honesty. As someone else stated, disclose everything. It will give you peace of mind and feeling of a fresh start. Your numbers look great. (3.9 and a 162). Toss in some good professional letters of reccomendation and you can go where you want( Tier 2). Some schools may be so desperate for LSAT scores that they may not even care about your headbut with the law 10 years ago.  I just so happen to know someone with a rapsheet filled with misdemeanors but managed to get accepted into a great school. Good luck and stay the hell outta trouble:)
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