Law School Discussion

opinions please on felony for law school

Re: opinions please on felony for law school
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2011, 12:38:26 PM »
Its a good thing. They are considering you.


Re: opinions please on felony for law school
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2011, 04:36:16 PM »
You saying the Dean is above a good old fashioned drunk prank call?

That's elitist!

Its a good thing. They are considering you.

Re: opinions please on felony for law school
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2011, 02:06:12 PM »
Is this typical? I got an email friday that says..
Recently, we received your C&F  statement regarding the instances that you disclosed on your application. Thank you.
Please submit the Police Reports for these instances as well as the court documentation showing that all fines have been paid and that the cases are closed.

Will every school ask for this? I believe these will be hard to obtain.

Re: opinions please on felony for law school
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2011, 02:25:55 PM »
They may all ask because its a felony.  I suspect that they all won't though.  It is not hard to get if you are still in the same jurisdiction where the arrest and conviction was.  Go to the police department and ask for you record.  They should have everything you need to submit, including disposition and whether all your fines are paid.  Every jurisdiction is different though, that is how mine works.  Its easy enough.

Ask a clerk at the courthouse what you need for grad school apps (play dumb, its likely they have debt with it before and know what you need).  Once you get it you can photo copy it and mail it to the schools or, if they let you scan it and email it to them.  Its a pain, but once you get the documents, keep them, you may need them in the future for all kinds of stuff.  You'll have to deal with this for the rest of your life, be prepared in the future.  Good luck.

Re: opinions please on felony for law school
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2011, 02:00:54 PM »
I'm getting a little discouraged, according to my numbers, I should be getting into some schools.  I have been rejected by 3 schools with median LSATS in the upper 150s-low 160s with none admitting me yet.
I can't help but think my C&F is the  problem.
Any speculation or advice would be appreciated.

Re: opinions please on felony for law school
« Reply #15 on: December 17, 2011, 05:47:22 PM »
Of course its a problem.  Make sure your research the state bar examiner rules.  A felony isn't an out right bar in most states, but in a few it is.

Did you reach out to anyone who went to law school with a felony?  I know there are some.  Good luck man.

Re: opinions please on felony for law school
« Reply #16 on: January 12, 2012, 09:36:01 PM »
unc23, send me a message if you want to discuss further. I'm the one on Law School Numbers. 175/3.76, and out of the 11 schools I initially applied to (GW, Houston, New Hampshire, Virginia, Georgetown, Fordham, Maine, Charlotte [yes, Charlotte], Northeastern, Texas Tech, Texas Wesleyan) - I only got into GW and Houston - two of the more highly ranked schools. I later applied (very late) to Harvard, Yale, and Chicago, but did not gain any additional acceptances. I applied to these three only after realizing the error in my reasoning: I had naively assumed that I would have better odds at getting in to lower-ranked schools because they would want my numbers. Wrong. When it comes to felonies, schools have other things to worry about, such as security, whether you'll pass the bar, employment potential, etc.

Do not expect to get in to any school on account of your numbers. Period. If your numbers are lower than what is reasonable for the school, then you'll be denied. Beyond that, your application will be a highly personal decision. From numerous conversations with admissions deans and law school deans, this weighs very heavily. Misdemeanors, especially first-time DUIs and drug offenses, are common. Even some first-time felony drug offenses are more easily overlooked. Other than than, I would strongly suggest investing significant time into building face-to-face relationships with those at the school(s) you want to attend. That's how it worked for me.

Re: opinions please on felony for law school
« Reply #17 on: January 14, 2012, 11:01:00 AM »
Ha, this inter highway thing is truly wondrous.  ^ that's the guy I was talking about and he was nice enough to contact you. Good luck.

Re: opinions please on felony for law school
« Reply #18 on: January 18, 2012, 10:15:43 PM »
You have great scores and I think that speaks volumes. The best you can do is write a sincere addendum on your applications expressing your sincere regret. You'll need clearly spell out the facts of what happened, say what you learned, and convey that you truly feel bad for what happened (think about if you were the victim). Own up to everything completely in this statement because I don't think it could affect your case in anyway. If you have nothing else on your record, I think its still possible you could get in somewhere.

Sorry if this is repetitive but I'd check the character and fitness info for the NC bar just to double check that its still possible for you to practice when you get out. I'd imagine it will be, considering your age and lack of other offenses.

Just in case...I personally know a really good attorney if you are in the Greensboro, High Point...triad area. He practices pretty much everything related to defense, is very accessible, and loves to litigate.

Now its back to my own applications...sigh

Re: opinions please on felony for law school
« Reply #19 on: January 23, 2012, 08:21:02 AM »
unc23, thanks for sending me the message. I will reply shortly with the message below, which others might also find helpful.

Being candid on your character and fitness addendum is important. I would, however, strongly recommend contacting the admissions office anonymously and asking them what level of detail they're looking for. My charges were fairly serious. That said, Houston just wanted the basics (charges, dates, courts, sentence, etc., followed by a brief explanation). Once admitted, they sent a letter asking for certified court documentation (indictments, police reports, judgment/sentence orders) noting that admission was conditional on the documentation matching what was in the application.

Other schools wanted more detail. I started all addenda the same way (essentially bullet-point data at top - don't bury the bad news deep in the letter, just get it out there, atone for the wrongs, and then show [don't tell] what you've done re: rehabilitation). The last point is important. Don't just say I'm sorry and I feel bad for it and now I'm committed to living the life of an upstanding citizen or whatever other crap is easy to say. Be real. In a sentence or two, explain how it was that you got to a point in your life where you could commit a crime. Cite tangible accomplishments you've had since then - hundreds of volunteer hours with a certain organization, stability in marriage or employment (i.e. for 2 years + of either), degrees and awards you've earned since then. Ask nicely to be judged on your present potential to practice law, rather than on your youthful transgressions, however serious they may be.

If you get the vibe that an admissions dean is willing to work with you more personally (several were in my case - even from 3 of the schools that ended up denying me... in those cases, the dean apologized profusely and encouraged me to apply again next year), then by all means reach out to them. Ask them if you can send them your C & F addendum for their feedback. Some will laugh at you, but others will respond with comments in a Word Document. If you're not the kind of person that feels comfortable asking these things, you might consider a different profession. After all, if you won't advocate for yourself, how will you advocate for another?

Finally, re: the bar, New York is a great bar to take and has relatively lenient policies toward convictions, assuming you can get a bevy of recommendation letters, preferably from other members of the New York bar in long-time good standing.

Edited to add: The most important thing to include in your addendum, come to think of it, is actually a statement to the effect that you've contacted the bar examiners in whatever state you're planning to take the bar, you've discussed your situation with them, and they've advised you that [fill in the blank]. Ideally, the fill in the blank will be something like "character and fitness determinations are made on a case-by-case basis depending on circumstances at the time you have your examination" - but you ought to find a state where that is the case, and you ought to intend to practice in such a state. The NCBEX website has more information. Some states have hard and fast rules about convictions, but many are actually case-by-case.