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Author Topic: Applying to Law School with an A Misdemeanor  (Read 10877 times)

prustyb1

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Applying to Law School with an A Misdemeanor
« on: June 15, 2010, 02:29:38 PM »
Can anyone help me understand how law schools treat criminal records? 3 years ago I was arrested and charged with fraud, I was given 3 years probation.  I served my probation and was released in 18 months, I am now thinking of applying to law school and want to know if they will reject me based on this conviction.  I was younger and quite frankly immature, I have since been out of trouble, took the LSAT and scored 171.  I don't want to invest money applying to these schools to be rejected.  I am a stern believer in second chances, do law schools see things the same way? Help!!!!!! :-\

ladylawyer065

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Re: Applying to Law School with an A Misdemeanor
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2010, 02:48:53 PM »
Hi there, no matter wher you apply or attend school that is something that will have to be disclosed . There is no getting around the issue , Moral character and fitness is there . My advice be upfront and honest and see if this is a disqualifying event . Check with the bar admission rules in the state where you live. I believe it all depends . Just because you have something in your past will not necessairly disqualify you , my suggestion is do as i have stated and check with the bar admissions rules.I do know that no disclosure will result in a bad choice. Hope this helps . Lady lawyer065

john4040

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Re: Applying to Law School with an A Misdemeanor
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2010, 03:24:08 PM »
Can anyone help me understand how law schools treat criminal records? 3 years ago I was arrested and charged with fraud, I was given 3 years probation.  I served my probation and was released in 18 months, I am now thinking of applying to law school and want to know if they will reject me based on this conviction.  I was younger and quite frankly immature, I have since been out of trouble, took the LSAT and scored 171.  I don't want to invest money applying to these schools to be rejected.  I am a stern believer in second chances, do law schools see things the same way? Help!!!!!! :-\

Fraud is a big one, primarily because it goes to the heart of the most protected characteristics of the legal profession:  Honesty, trustworthiness, and good judgment.  In many states, acts Involving Dishonesty, Fraud, Deceit or Misrepresentation are grounds alone for denial of admission.  (See, e.g., http://www.courts.state.nh.us/rules/scr/scr-42b.htm).

Without a doubt, you will have to disclose it and it will have a negative impact on your law school application.  Nevertheless, there should be at least one law school that is willing to overlook your prior missteps in exchange for your GPA and LSAT score.  While in law school, you should remain in contact with the Bar Association of the state you wish to practice and see what their thoughts are regarding your chances of admission to the bar.  What you do have going for you is the allegation that you have been "rehabilitated."  Before you are allowed to sit for the bar, you will have to set forth evidence that you have been rehabilitated.  Generally, the more serious the misconduct, the greater the showing of rehabilitation that will be required.

Sorry it's not what you wanted to hear, but I'm not here to sugarcoat the truth or bring you false hope.

nealric

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Re: Applying to Law School with an A Misdemeanor
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2010, 07:52:39 PM »
Fraud is indeed a bad one to have on your record. However, we can't give you a legal opinion on your specific situation. I would talk with the state bar in the state you want to practice- different bars vary in how strict they are with C&F.

Either way, you must disclose. A long addendum is probably in order. 
Georgetown Law Graduate

Chief justice Earl Warren wasn't a stripper!
Now who's being naive?

prustyb1

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Re: Applying to Law School with an A Misdemeanor
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2010, 11:39:24 AM »
I appreciate all of your insights on this matter.  Thanks

cooleylawstudent

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Re: Applying to Law School with an A Misdemeanor
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2010, 11:55:09 AM »
You've got to be shitting me. "wated money" applying? Its free to some and even the ones that charge are around $50. That may seem like a big deal in the short run, but if you are sweating that how do you plan to deal with tuition.

Look, its free to apply to cooley and with your LSAT you'd get a free ride(160 or above) If you are worried about application fees apply there online for free, if they take you its still free, and if they say no that is free too.
http://www.cooley.edu

Beisdes LOTS of lawyers have at least a misdomenor.

john4040

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Re: Applying to Law School with an A Misdemeanor
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2010, 02:13:23 PM »
You've got to be shitting me. "wated money" applying? Its free to some and even the ones that charge are around $50. That may seem like a big deal in the short run, but if you are sweating that how do you plan to deal with tuition.

Look, its free to apply to cooley and with your LSAT you'd get a free ride(160 or above) If you are worried about application fees apply there online for free, if they take you its still free, and if they say no that is free too.
http://www.cooley.edu

Beisdes LOTS of lawyers have at least a misdomenor.

I think he's worried about wasting money both by applying to, and paying tuition to go through, law school.  If he cannot be admitted to the bar of his state, then going to law school is worthless.  It may be true that lots of lawyers have misdemeanors, however, (1) he will be an applicant to the bar, not a member, therefore his situation is distinguishable from those who become attorneys and subsequently get misdemeanors -- it's easier to deny someone admission than it is to take it away; and (2) fraud is not just any misdemeanor - it is grounds in many states to automatically reject your application.

nealric

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Re: Applying to Law School with an A Misdemeanor
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2010, 04:18:34 PM »
Quote
Look, its free to apply to cooley and with your LSAT you'd get a free ride(160 or above) If you are worried about application fees apply there online for free, if they take you its still free, and if they say no that is free too.
http://www.cooley.edu


Why would someone with a 171 apply to Cooley? That's probably good enough for a full-ride from a T1 (which would likely be unconditional, unlike the Cooley full ride)
Georgetown Law Graduate

Chief justice Earl Warren wasn't a stripper!
Now who's being naive?

cooleylawstudent

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Re: Applying to Law School with an A Misdemeanor
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2010, 10:21:46 PM »
He said he dosnt want to waste money applying. Cooley is free to apply online. Not hard to grasp.

If cooley says no then everyone else probally would too, if they say yes he can keep it as his "safety" school while applying to his dream picks.
Really not that hard to understand.

Plus you'll never get me to say cooley isnt the best, it is.

Quote
Look, its free to apply to cooley and with your LSAT you'd get a free ride(160 or above) If you are worried about application fees apply there online for free, if they take you its still free, and if they say no that is free too.
http://www.cooley.edu


Why would someone with a 171 apply to Cooley? That's probably good enough for a full-ride from a T1 (which would likely be unconditional, unlike the Cooley full ride)

vercingetorix

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Re: Applying to Law School with an A Misdemeanor
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2010, 10:56:04 PM »
Quote
Look, its free to apply to cooley and with your LSAT you'd get a free ride(160 or above) If you are worried about application fees apply there online for free, if they take you its still free, and if they say no that is free too.
http://www.cooley.edu


Why would someone with a 171 apply to Cooley? That's probably good enough for a full-ride from a T1 (which would likely be unconditional, unlike the Cooley full ride)

I'm going to strongly endorse Nealric here. Why in the name of everything holy would you apply to Cooley with a 171? Fraud is a real bastard in terms of getting admitted to the bar but you can find out a lot by simply calling and asking some questions (admissions departments and the bar itself). This costs nothing and they have no reason to lie to you. I am certain you aren't the first person to apply to law school with a fraud conviction. Contrary to Thelo's advice, you probably stand a better chance of getting into a bar somewhere if you graduate from a higher ranked school. Say what you will about USNWR rankings but they carry a lot of weight with employers and, in many ways, they become self-fulfilling. Graduating from Northwestern would open many more doors for you than a JD from Cooley. Make some phone calls and then make up your mind. In my view, someone with that kind of LSAT score should not be going to Cooley. Have you thought about taking your chances at the MCAT?