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Author Topic: does a DUI on record: affects bar admissions/ law school admissions? how much?  (Read 8518 times)

boppjoey

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I have three (DUI's) and an MIP all scattered over the span of 7 years (which were done in my 20's), I have been clean for the past year, trying to kill some time until my summary probation ends in 3 years.  I really want to apply to law school, but I have decided to wait at least one or two years before even applying to law school.  Since then, I went into an extensive 18 month alcohol program, AA's, and paid restitution. 

In addition to the alcohol program, and the passage of time I am back in college taking extra classes in tax.

Any advice or life experiences?  Do I have a shot at law school within the next three years? :-[

pacelaw2013

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I am not sure, but the three times is the killer.

Honestly how dumb can you be? I know your looking for advice, but really, three times? Thats just dumb and I hope you get clean, and I really wish you luck, but do you understand you could have killed somebody? Do you even care? I would say no matter how you respond, you don't, because you have done it AT LEAST two more times (probably alot more). This is just a huge problem with me. So after the rant, I will answer your question.

There is character that comes into play, and frankly three DUIs is probably going to be a major problem getting admitted into the bar, and most schools will look at that as a huge negative when deciding admissions. You could argue that one DUI is a mistake, but three, thats just bad character and horrifically selfish.

I would say you will have a very very difficult time getting into law school, but with very good numbers, you may be able to find some schools to take you. Though I would check with the bar assosisation to see if you would qualify to be admitted before you spend the money on law school.

And the MIP, not that it would usually be a problem, but I am sensing a pattern here.
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bigs5068

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I know a guy that had one DUI and got in, but the best person to ask is admissions offices of schools you want to go to. They would be upfront with you and tell you if they have some sort of regulations regarding it. All people can tell you on here is that they know a guy at some school and that is not going to help you out  much.  I am sure you are not the first person with a DUI to apply to law school and you won't be the last. Therefore, I would imagine most schools would have some sort of policy in accordance with ABA regulations.

Morten Lund

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As with all these things, law school is only the first hurdle.  The appearance of alcohol problems will be an issue for bar admission.  Before thinking too hard about law school I would encourage you to contact the bar in your state to see what your chances are for bar admission after law school.

fortook

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I am not sure, but the three times is the killer.

Honestly how dumb can you be? I know your looking for advice, but really, three times? Thats just dumb and I hope you get clean, and I really wish you luck, but do you understand you could have killed somebody? Do you even care? I would say no matter how you respond, you don't, because you have done it AT LEAST two more times (probably alot more). This is just a huge problem with me. So after the rant, I will answer your question.

There is character that comes into play, and frankly three DUIs is probably going to be a major problem getting admitted into the bar, and most schools will look at that as a huge negative when deciding admissions. You could argue that one DUI is a mistake, but three, thats just bad character and horrifically selfish.

I would say you will have a very very difficult time getting into law school, but with very good numbers, you may be able to find some schools to take you. Though I would check with the bar assosisation to see if you would qualify to be admitted before you spend the money on law school.

And the MIP, not that it would usually be a problem, but I am sensing a pattern here.

Your rant now mine.  It amazes me how fast DUI perceptions can change,  As part of my job I recently had to summarize new changes to DUI law in my state.  I started reading media reports and wow- The public at large is horribly against DUI to the point of insanity.  You used the word "could have"a lot- that should tell you something.  There is no criminal intent with DUIs, its kind of a crime by default or social necessity.  Unlike robbery or fraud, ect.  The new MADD induced media perceptions of DUI reminds me of the truth campaign with tobacco.  Propaganda is an amazingly strong and effective force, true or not. Lies can rule perception and opinion.  As long as you did not hurt anyone the "could haves" are irrelevant.  Oh and fortunaly for you and not our children there is a generational gap.  Many of the admissions people are in there 40s and 50s and formed opinions before the MADD media propaganda onslaught.  You might be okay.

Now for what might actually help you:  I knew a guy in law school who had a rap sheet 22 pages long.  Mostly dismissed arrests, but he did have 2 DUIs and 1 underage consumption conviction that I am aware of (he thought it was funny-I liked the guy).  So it is possible.  He is as smart as hell, though.  I don't know what his LSAT was, but I bet it was pretty good.  Also, volunteer religiously or do something that shows the admissions committee you are passionate and dedicated.  And first and foremost don't get any more DUI arrests or alcohol related issues.  Good luck.  And don't pay attention to the people that try to put you down for this.  DUIs are waaay too common (as high as 1/3 of the population in some areas has a DUI), especially in states without good public transportation, and especially in places like the bible belt where there is a social condemnation.
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Morten Lund

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There is no criminal intent with DUIs, its kind of a crime by default or social necessity.  Unlike robbery or fraud, ect.

Not to get all nerdy on you, but...

Viewing reckless actions as criminal goes back to the beginning of laws.  Similarly, calling out intoxication as no excuse, and even potentially criminally reckless in its own right, goes back to the ancient Greeks (at least).

While there certainly has been a cultural shift (and concordant legal shift) on DUI over the last few decades, the underlying theory is age-old.  This is merely a new application of old principles.


MEMEMEME

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Your rant now mine.  It amazes me how fast DUI perceptions can change,  As part of my job I recently had to summarize new changes to DUI law in my state.  I started reading media reports and wow- The public at large is horribly against DUI to the point of insanity.  You used the word "could have"a lot- that should tell you something.  There is no criminal intent with DUIs, its kind of a crime by default or social necessity.  Unlike robbery or fraud, ect.  The new MADD induced media perceptions of DUI reminds me of the truth campaign with tobacco.  Propaganda is an amazingly strong and effective force, true or not. Lies can rule perception and opinion.  As long as you did not hurt anyone the "could haves" are irrelevant.  Oh and fortunaly for you and not our children there is a generational gap.  Many of the admissions people are in there 40s and 50s and formed opinions before the MADD media propaganda onslaught.  You might be okay.


Horribly against DUIs to the point of insanity? Are you honestly serious? Do you have children? Would you prefer that the people who can't handle drinking and driving, if you want to be even that open to "DUIs are ok in some conditions," be more able to get on the road and drive like cocky, confident morons? I agree that perhaps the BAL limit should be raised, but you're assuming people can be responsible and make good decisions about their abilities when they're drunk. Obviously, as our friend the original poster proved, you can't. Otherwise he wouldn't have gotten caught because he wouldn't have made stupid mistakes. It takes a second of lost attention to cause an accident and I'm for limiting it all from the roadway: teens, drunks, and older people who have lost motor function/eyesight.

I have had friends who have driven drunk and they drive fast and dent/crash cars and don't equate it to their intoxication.People are bad drivers already- why give morons a new edge?

fortook

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Ha. Nicely put.  And all true.  My general issue is with intensity.  Until recently no one would have ever been arrested for drinking too much, the Greeks probably would have regarded that as pointless and an outrageous waste of resources, but we do it every day.  I have heard elected officials and organization leaders vilify DUI with arguable reckless abandon.  For instance, MADD- the driving force, inflates their stats by as much as one third.  They don't seem to care if  they are lying as long as their agenda is pushed.  And they are succeeding.  Should we as a society really ruin someone's life with a DUI- and it does happen, people loose their jobs, their homes, their employment future- it is a matter of proportionality.  Most jurisdictions are way over reacting due to these efforts.   

I suppose my real issue with DUI law and others is how we use the law.  Basically, it is an infrastructural problem, not a legal problem.  If you live in a town with no buses, no public transportation and no cabs past 10 PM and 20 bars, what are all these people supposed to do?  Remember you can be guilty of a DUI if you have 3 beers and drive home.  Seem reckless and excessive to you?
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bigs5068

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I have to agree with the one guy it does go to far. DUI is terrible, but it is the hypocricy that goes along with that is baffling to me. I bet if you polygraphed all American's that at least half may have been .08, but never got caught.  The rule needs to be changed and they should probably do what Sweden does and make it a .00 standard. If you drink a drop then don't drive the rest of the night, instead of having people speculate as to their own intoxication.  DUI's are dangerous and something should be done, but if they changed the law and said .01 is to much drunk people wouldn't speculate incorrectly as to their own intoxication and a lot of this could be avoided. 

fortook

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Horribly against DUIs to the point of insanity? Are you honestly serious? Do you have children? Would you prefer that the people who can't handle drinking and driving, if you want to be even that open to "DUIs are ok in some conditions," be more able to get on the road and drive like cocky, confident morons? I agree that perhaps the BAL limit should be raised, but you're assuming people can be responsible and make good decisions about their abilities when they're drunk. Obviously, as our friend the original poster proved, you can't. Otherwise he wouldn't have gotten caught because he wouldn't have made stupid mistakes. It takes a second of lost attention to cause an accident and I'm for limiting it all from the roadway: teens, drunks, and older people who have lost motor function/eyesight.

I have had friends who have driven drunk and they drive fast and dent/crash cars and don't equate it to their intoxication.People are bad drivers already- why give morons a new edge?
[/quote]


Exactly what I am talking about.  Riddled with assumption and condemnation.  You assume too much, sir.  Way too much.  Working parents and just ordinary joes are often the victims of harsh DUI law.  And not that it matters any more than the rest of the condemning assumptions, but yes I have a daughter.

OP- this the type of attitude you will have to overcome to get into law school.  Good luck.  And I hope you can rise above it.
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