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Author Topic: nontradition student attempting law school  (Read 1770 times)

psychoinhell

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nontradition student attempting law school
« on: May 11, 2011, 04:10:00 AM »
Let me write War & Peace about myself first...  (Future to past)  I am taking the LSATs June 6, 2011.  Not sure how I will do, I am hoping for 160s.   I am presently working on a MBA, 25% through program and have a 4.0.  Graduated with BA in History, Magna Cum Laude 3.82.  I did all this while working full time.  I have had a few legal entanglements, including probation with adjudication withheld upon completion of probation (resisting arrest without violence).  Yet I have never been convicted of a felony.  Juvie record is dicey, with no convictions, but also should be sealed and is over 25 years old.  I never made it to high school (that is right, never made it), got my GED at 18.  My parents never finished high school (dad got GED, not sure about mom).  So I am the first person in my family to finish college.  My son is the first person to finish high school (but now he is smoking his life away  :-[ ).  I am basically white (13 races, complete mutt) and was hood raised in Gary IN and Detroit MI.

The question... Does my background (legal entanglements) put at risk any potential to actually practice law?  I would think with my family background, I am the sort of candidate/student that schools and ABA want (it makes for good PR).  So anyone practicing law or going through similar process is welcome to offer advice...

Thank you :)

disabilitylaw

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Re: nontradition student attempting law school
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2011, 11:15:02 PM »
Hi psycho (interesting screen name btw).
Your juvie record shouldn't be an issue, as it should be sealed and irrelevant.
Your adult record is more likely to be an issue with the moral character application than with your law school admissions.  You don't give a lot of information about what the legal entanglements involve, but the people who review moral character can use anything on your app against you, should they choose to. Obviously this is something you need to be straightforward about in your apps.

My grandmother is from Gary Indiana. The fact that you came from that town and managed to do pretty well is a point or two in your favor. However, to be honest schools "Talk the talk" of diversity more than they "walk the walk." What schools really want, IMHO, is a student with lots of $$ to be able to finance the ever-increasing law school tuition.


MikePing

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Re: nontradition student attempting law school
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2011, 05:22:57 PM »
Here's another perspective:

In many states, your juvenile record will be considered in your character evaluation.  Hopefully, you weren't too bad.  Typically resisting arrest is not going to prevent you from practicing law, but you would probably do better to call the state bar that you are considering taking and ask someone in the character/fitness section.  Often, but not always, law schools will allert you to potential problems (thats why they ask for the info on the application).  The biggest mistake you can make is not being 100% candid, accepting of responsibility, and contrite.

Most law schools will consider your diversity as a plus.  Not for "PR" or reporting reasons, but because of the way that law school is taught (here is an article on the Socratic Method).  Emphasizing the unique experiences and perspectives that you will bring to the class is a way to get a leg up from your background.  At any law school, however, non GPA-LSAT factors are probably seriously considered in only about 15% of the applications.  The rest of the applicants are either accepted or rejected on the GPA-LSAT combination alone.  There are many places that you can guage your chances online once you have your LSAT scores.  The GPA only considers undergrad.     

Good luck on the LSAT, and let us know how it works out for you! 

oceanblue

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Re: nontradition student attempting law school
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2011, 07:55:47 PM »
There are many states that will let you practice law with a felony.  There are others that will give you a probationary license until you prove you can do the job competently.  You could check with your local bar association.  I would think you would have to show you are currently stable and in a treatment program if need be.

Powers_79

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Re: nontradition student attempting law school
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2011, 11:37:18 AM »
In addition to the above comments regarding you background, I'd like to address your MBA.  I did okay as an undergraduate, 3.1 GPA and then went on to get a Master's of Science degree in Adult Education in which received a 4.0 GPA.  When I was applying to schools I was told that the graduate GPA would be viewed as an extracurricular.  The reason I was given was that not all applicants would have a graduate degree and therefore the law schools were trying equaling the playing field.  I don't know if this is strictly at the schools I applied for, but prior to forking over the cash to finish off your MBA if LS is the goal, you might double check with the schools you plan to apply to and see if the graduate GPA is in fact viewed as a normal GPA or as an extracurricualr.  This will save you some money and more importantly to us non-trads, time.  If the MBA is a career goal in conjunction to the JD, then by all means good luck!  If not, I would suggest saving the money and using it towards you LS costs.

MY2CENTS7

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Re: nontradition student attempting law school
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2011, 11:54:36 PM »
Let me write War & Peace about myself first...  (Future to past)  I am taking the LSATs June 6, 2011.  Not sure how I will do, I am hoping for 160s.   I am presently working on a MBA, 25% through program and have a 4.0.  Graduated with BA in History, Magna Cum Laude 3.82.  I did all this while working full time.  I have had a few legal entanglements, including probation with adjudication withheld upon completion of probation (resisting arrest without violence).  Yet I have never been convicted of a felony.  Juvie record is dicey, with no convictions, but also should be sealed and is over 25 years old.  I never made it to high school (that is right, never made it), got my GED at 18.  My parents never finished high school (dad got GED, not sure about mom).  So I am the first person in my family to finish college.  My son is the first person to finish high school (but now he is smoking his life away  :-[ ).  I am basically white (13 races, complete mutt) and was hood raised in Gary IN and Detroit MI.

The question... Does my background (legal entanglements) put at risk any potential to actually practice law?  I would think with my family background, I am the sort of candidate/student that schools and ABA want (it makes for good PR).  So anyone practicing law or going through similar process is welcome to offer advice...

Thank you :)

In California the bar I am preparing for you can put in your Application For Moral Character in advance, so you can hear any bad news before you invest a lot in being a JD who cannot become a member of the bar. Maybe your state will allow early evaluation of your character. I wish you the best in your journey. I have found in life that you can usually get a waiver or most anything.

Wish You Well!

MY2CENTS7