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Author Topic: Undergrad Dorm Trouble - Character and Fitness on Law School Aps  (Read 1875 times)

danimalaw

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Hey all!
For my law school applications I am trying to figure out the best way to disclose certain 'unflattering' events in my past.  Though it would be unfair to blame most of these on my roommates, I am not without my share of blame and there is nothing I can do about it now.  Most posts and topics I have seen say it is best to disclose everything so that is what I am planning on doing. I was just wondering as to the phrasing and formating of these kinds of things and what kind of similar experiences any of you might have. Should I try and detail every event (I doubt I can remember them)? If anything this should ease some of you other applicants as to the seriousness of your offences that you may be stressing  ;D

Yes I know there is a lot so there is no need to flame me for it.  :-\ 


11/16/2005

Charged and found responsible for:
   Possession, use or consumption of alcohol when under the legal drinking age.

Sanctions:
   Reprimand

4/5/2006

Charged and found responsible for:
   Alcoholic paraphernalia. Posters and signs were found in the dorm room that were displayed as decorations, but were prohibited by the student code of conduct and the housing policy.

Sanctions:
   Reprimand

4/27/2006

Charged and found responsible for:
   Violation of housing quiet hours

Sanctions:
   Reprimand

9/11/2007

Charged and found not responsible for:
   Possession, use or consumption of alcohol when under the legal drinking age.

Charged and found responsible for:
   Violation of housing quite hours;
   Responsibility for guests;
   Individuals under the age of 21 (violation of the housing alcohol policy by an individual under the age of 21);
   Guest/visitation (violation of the guest/visitation policy)

Sanctions:
   Disciplinary Probation;
   Visitation Restriction;
   Educational Activities (had to attend a presentation on drunk driving and write a refection paper on the topic)


10/11/2007

Charged and found responsible for:
   Violation of Federal or State law or local ordinance;
   Public intoxication as observe through disruptive behavior resulting from excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages (to be determined by    physical observation or BAC test, if available);
   Violation of the terms of the Hearing Decision

Sanctions
   Community Service Hours (6 hours of campus clean-up)
   Counseling Assessment and Compliance (Completed certified DUI education course)
   Disciplinary Probation

This instance occurred at the end of September 2007. A few of my friends needed a ride back to campus from a party.  In a moment of weakness I had a couple drinks when I arrived to pick them up.  As I was pulling into housing, a campus police officer pulled me over citing that my headlight was out. The condition of my passengers convinced the officer he needed to check my sobriety. I blew a .06 and a .05 resulting in Florida zero tolerance violation. I attended and completed a DUI education course.

This needs to be copied for the follow up question (criminal offences). Should I change anything about it or juts basically copy/paste? Also, when I was pulled over the officer explained to me that I would be expunged once I turned 21, but I have heard conflicting statements about this... (DMV had no record of it when I renewed my license)

2/1/2008

Charged and found not responsible for:
   Individuals under the age of 21 (violation of the housing alcohol policy by an individual under the age of 21);
   Alcohol (Public intoxication and/or the use, possession, sale and/or distribution of alcoholic beverages except as expressly permitted by law, University regulations and the University Alcohol Policy);
   Disregard for the Student Code of Conduct Process (Action which interferes with or obstructs the Student Code of Conduct Process or acts which constitute violation of sanction(s), including failure to complete sanctions imposed against the student, and/or violation of disciplinary probation);
   Controlled Substances and Drug Paraphernalia (Use, possession, sale, and/or distribution of any narcotic, controlled substances or drug paraphernalia, as defined in Chapter 893, Florida Statutes, or attempt to obtain such items, except as expressly permitted by law)

Charged and found responsible for:
   Noncompliance with an Official Request: Failure to comply with lawful directives of University officials or law enforcement officers acting in the performance of their duties

Sanctions:
   Reprimand

3/31/2008

Charged and found responsible for:
   Alcohol (Public intoxication and/or the use, possession, sale and/or distribution of alcoholic beverages except as expressly permitted by law, University regulations and the University Alcohol Policy);
   Disruptive Conduct
   Disregard for the Student Code of Conduct Process (Action which interferes with or obstructs the Student Code of Conduct Process or acts which constitute violation of sanction(s), including failure to complete sanctions imposed against the student, and/or violation of disciplinary probation)

Sanctions:
   Certified Drug Treatment Program (later dropped during appeal)
   Educational Activities
   Exclusion from University Housing
   Disciplinary Probation

This instance occurred on x/x/xxxx. I was driven home after a night out celebrating my 21st birthday not feeling well and became sick. My girlfriend at the time was fearful that I had alcohol poisoning and pulled one of the emergency cords located in all of the dorm apartments, prompting university police and a resident advisor to come and investigate. Upon their arrival, they saw that I was sick and the police officer determined that I would be fine in the morning and no further action needed to take place. However, due to my previous offences in housing, charges were filed against me. My appeal was successful in reducing some of the sanctions, but I still found it more prudent to move off campus for my next semester.

MEMEMEME

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Re: Undergrad Dorm Trouble - Character and Fitness on Law School Aps
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2011, 03:10:13 AM »
First, what is the actual question on your apps? Yes, disclose EVERYTHING that you need to but I am confused about why you're disclosing things you didn't do. Because, if I pretend to be an admissions committee member, your long list of small indiscretions (for the most part) is the problem. It's like, wow, he keeps doing it and things you were just charged with make it look longer. So, first, I'd only disclose what you actually were disciplined for unless the app asks for any charges that you weren't found "guilty" and disciplined for. So please come back with the questions you're being asked and post it on here and then I will try to decipher this for you. But basically, don't overwhelm them with info, don't leave anything out you should disclose, don't make excuses, but show how you aren't irresponsible now, and be SHORT AND TO THE POINT. Also, I see you have some school discipline stuff mixed in with some real arrest stuff. Separate them into two different statements.

danimalaw

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Re: Undergrad Dorm Trouble - Character and Fitness on Law School Aps
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2011, 01:28:00 PM »
First, what is the actual question on your apps? Yes, disclose EVERYTHING that you need to but I am confused about why you're disclosing things you didn't do. Because, if I pretend to be an admissions committee member, your long list of small indiscretions (for the most part) is the problem. It's like, wow, he keeps doing it and things you were just charged with make it look longer. So, first, I'd only disclose what you actually were disciplined for unless the app asks for any charges that you weren't found "guilty" and disciplined for. So please come back with the questions you're being asked and post it on here and then I will try to decipher this for you. But basically, don't overwhelm them with info, don't leave anything out you should disclose, don't make excuses, but show how you aren't irresponsible now, and be SHORT AND TO THE POINT. Also, I see you have some school discipline stuff mixed in with some real arrest stuff. Separate them into two different statements.

Thanks and sure.
These are off of the University of Florida's application

"Have you been charged with or subject to disciplinary action at any institution of higher education"
- it's asking me for anything I was charged with  so I still don't think I can omit the charges that I was eventually found not responsible for. It does however not mention anything about the sanctions. I don't if that is referring to just disciplinary probation or encompasses everything that might have been an outcome.

The next question asks:

"Have you ever been charged with a violation of law resulting in, or if still pending, that could result in, deferred prosecution, prohibition, community service, community control, restitution, monetary fine, a jail sentence, revocation or suspension of your drivers license (including traffic violations resulting in a fine of $200 or more), regardless of plea or whether adjudication of guilt or imposition of sentence was suspended, deferred, or withheld?   
-Because the no tolerance I received happened on campus it was handled as a judicial affairs matter as well as it being in violation of Florida state law so I would have to include it on both questions.

Are you saying I should write an essay that addresses all of this and how I am no longer making these kinds of mistakes? How would I go about that without it seeming like overkill? Its just adding more words to a section I would otherwise prefer to be blank.

MEMEMEME

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Re: Undergrad Dorm Trouble - Character and Fitness on Law School Aps
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2011, 05:26:11 AM »
I think you should have a separate attached statement for each and it should not be an essay. If you want to be thorough and I see your point about how the one falls under both questions, I would just put something for the Florida law one like "yes, please see answer to question whatever (the higher institution disciplinary question) regarding my 03/31/2008 campus alcohol violation." You do not want to confuse them with a long statement and how much do they ask you about? I mean, do you have to put your punishment too?

I just wondering if this cannot be summarized somehow like the following: Throughout college I drank more than I should have and as a result, I had some disciplinary sanctions entered against me, including possession of alcohol in 2005, etc. etc.

I also was charged, but not found responsible for:

I just think you separate what you were actually found responsible for and not because otherwise they could skip over "NOT" found responsible which in turn could shed less favorable light onto you and unless they ask for punishments, don't give them to them. Just say your punishments ranged from this to this and you finally in 2008 learned your lesson from the final DUI classes and being kicked off campus housing.


Oh, and if you can afford it, get an attorney who deals with defending attorneys against disciplinary proceedings look at it. After you have condensed and revised at the very least have a few other people look at it because right now it's a bit confusing. Hope I helped.

danimalaw

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Re: Undergrad Dorm Trouble - Character and Fitness on Law School Aps
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2011, 02:32:39 PM »
Based on your recommendations I drafted this version. I am still a bit confused as to whether you think I should explain every incident or just list them (as you suggested) as I did here. I kept the explanations for the two big ones as I see them as I feel they need details surrounding the events. I also like what you said about the Fl law (please see answer to question 1A or something like that). I also added a little reflecting paragraph at the end. I kept it short but I want to hear your thoughts on it if it is "much".

It definitely looks better now that it is condensed.


Throughout my years on campus housing at ___________ University I drank more than I should have and as a result, I had some disciplinary charges filed against me, including: possession of alcohol in 2005; possession of alcoholic paraphernalia and a violation of quiet hours in 2006; violation of housing quite hours, responsibility for guests, violation of the housing alcohol policy by an individual under the age of 21, and violation of the guest/visitation policy in 2007 all from the same incident in 2007; and a noncompliance with an official request in 2008.  The sanctions from these instances ranged from reprimand, disciplinary probation, visitation restriction, campus beautification, and educational activities.

A.   On 10/11/2008 I was also charged and found responsible for violation of Federal or State law or local ordinance and public intoxication. This instance occurred at the end of September 2007. A few of my friends needed a ride back to campus from a party.  In a moment of weakness I had a couple drinks when I arrived to pick them up.  As I was pulling into housing, a campus police officer pulled me over citing that my headlight was out. The condition of my passengers convinced the officer he needed to check my sobriety. I blew a .06 and a .05 resulting in Florida zero tolerance violation. I attended and completed a DUI education course.

B.   On 3/31/2008 I was also charged with alcohol, disruptive conduct, and disregard for the student code of conduct process.  This instance occurred on x/x/xxxx. I was driven home after a night out celebrating my 21st birthday not feeling well and became sick. My girlfriend at the time was fearful that I had alcohol poisoning and pulled one of the emergency cords located in all of the dorm apartments, prompting university police and a resident advisor to come and investigate. Upon their arrival, they saw that I was sick and the police officer determined that I would be fine in the morning and no further action needed to take place. However, due to my previous offences in housing, charges were filed against me. My appeal was successful in reducing some of the sanctions, but I still found it more prudent to move off campus for my next semester so I did not appeal the sanction excluding myself from university housing.

During my time at housing at Florida Gulf Coast University I was also charged and found NOT responsible for: possession, use or consumption of alcohol when under the legal drinking age in 2007; and violation of the housing alcohol policy by an individual under the age of 21, alcohol, disregard for the student code of conduct process, controlled substances and drug paraphernalia all from the same incident in 2008.

I used the knowledge I had gained from these experiences to remove myself from the groups of people with whom I was associating, ultimately learning valuable lessons that I believe only someone who has experienced them first-hand can.  As a result these past indiscretions have improved my character and judgment, making me a wiser individual capable of overcoming my previous mistakes to pursue a more ideal future.