Law School Discussion

C&F - University Housing Violations

C&F - University Housing Violations
« on: November 03, 2011, 03:26:30 PM »

I'm in serious need of advice on this issue.

When I was a first year in college, I lived in the dorms. There was an incident where I drank too much and became disruptive, delusional, and borderline violent. My RA was trying to calm me down and get me back to my room. As he was attempting to do this I grabbed him by the arm, and the report says I tried to slap him. The police were later called and I was hospitalized and charged with a drunk in public.

I met with the resident director, who said that for the time being they would have to cancel my housing contract. It was called an "interim cancellation." The actual decision would be reached at my hearing. The hearing was postponed once, then postponed again, and finally I was told to wait to be told next date. I waited, and was never contacted.

I recently called the judicial affairs department at that university, they said my record was clean and no disciplinary action had ever been taken. Then I called the housing/dorm department, who have their own judicial affairs sub-department that is separate from the primary university one, and they indeed have a record of this incident, including a narrative describing the events. The person I talked to said that, no resolution to the case had ever been reached. He could not find a record of an outcome or decision.

I'm now applying to law school. I think this is going to significantly impact my chances. 2.5 years later, I was arrested for drunk in public, under completely different circumstances (stumbling/falling around the streets; cops were pretty harsh in my college town). Both of these drunk in public charges were lowered to disturbing the peace, infractions.

I know I have to disclose the drunk in public charges; that's not what I'm asking about. I'm assuming I'm probably going to have to disclose the housing incident (do I?), in one way or another. What do I say?

Please help. Thanks in advance, this means a lot to me.

By the way, the question I'm worried about is, Have you ever been subject to dismissal, suspension, probation, or other academic or disciplinary sanction by any college, university, or professional school?

(EDIT: As a secondary issue, I'm also trying to gauge to what degree this will impact me. I'm 163/3.7, currently trying for a higher score, probable 165-167. Thank you, I've been freaking out about this and can't find any advice.)

Re: C&F - University Housing Violations
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2011, 03:52:11 PM »
Okay - so you have two drunk in public charges which were both lowered to disturbing the peace, it's okay - it's much better than a DUI. looking on the bright side of things..

I think the best thing to do is to discuss both of them, the first one was your freshman year, perhaps if you spin it more as you had new found freedom and maybe (grew up in a strict household).  Maybe talk about how going through that shaped you and focused you to be more diligent about school etc? 

The second one was 2.5 years ago - did something significant happen that caused this (besides just partying?) Maybe if there is something (not to use as an excuse) but more so an explanation of the behavior it might help.  Death in the family? etc? 

I don't think you need to disclose the housing incident separate from the first drunk in public I would just combine the two since it technically is the same night/incident.

I think your GPA and you LSAT scores are fine depending where you are trying to get in....

Hope this helps a little.
Not sure if you have checked it out but you look at other applicants with similar GPA and LSAT score and see where they have gotten accepted.

let me know if you have any more questions or need more advice - I'll do my best to help

Re: C&F - University Housing Violations
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2011, 04:20:41 PM »
Thank you for your reply.

To clarify, the first incident (housing violation) was over 3 years ago, almost 4, and the second incident was a little over a year ago. For the second incident I had recently turned 21. Some of my friends and I drank all day and then went out at night, anyway as you read it didn't end well.

Thank you for being so reassuring. It helps.

I'm not really worried about how to spin it (I have that under control); I'm worried about exactly what to say occurred. Do I say I got drunk and delusional and slapped my RA? That sounds horrible! I'm not sure if I actually slapped him or was waving my hands around or what. Do I say it was alleged that I slapped my RA? The hearing never came to term. What do I say about the hearing? I never actually had judicial sanctions for this case, my housing contract was cancelled on an interim basis pending my hearing.

The housing record has specific charges (allegations, they told me), "underage alcohol consumption, harassment/abuse, illegal drugs," (I was just drunk, but I guess b/c I was so delusional they assumed I was on drugs) do I state these specific allegations, or just describe what happened?

Do you think speaking with a lawyer, admissions consultant, or some other kind of professional might help?

(By the way, I'm acutely aware of the stupidity and recklessness of my actions.)

Thanks again.

Re: C&F - University Housing Violations
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2011, 04:35:04 PM »
Ah I see that makes a little more sense.  I think if you're honest as possible that's the best idea.  I don't think you need to say you slapped your RA though haha, you're funny - "I'm not sure if I actually slapped him or was waving my hands around" - it's ok trust me, it happens to the best of us.  I definitely have been there and am in no way judging you...we all have fun in college, well most of us :)

Also not sure if you need to list exactly what the charges are; "underage alcohol consumption, harassment/abuse, illegal drugs."  There is this book I read by Ann Levine "The Law School Admissions Game" I downloaded it on my ipad and on page 88 I think it talks about what to do in this sort of situation - you may want to check it out.

It might not be a bad idea to discuss with a lawyer (if you know of one) and ask the best way to go about it.  You could also call an admissions consultant at the school and talk candidly/anonymously and ask for advice that way. 

I wish I could give you better advice of how to phrase the charges.  I do think it's important that you say the hearing never came to term and no judicial sanctions took place - just that your housing contract was cancelled (makes it seem a little less serious)

I think your GPA and LSAT score is good enough (again depending where you are applying) that you should be okay :)  Try not to stress too much about it though.  People have much worse - jail time, DUI's, forgery, etc.

Deep breaths and you will be ok :)