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Author Topic: Help Me With Character/Fitness Issues  (Read 1433 times)

mdb6121

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Help Me With Character/Fitness Issues
« on: April 02, 2012, 01:28:05 PM »
I'm a 0L right now planning on going Fall 2013.  I have read a lot about the process of Bar Admission, and C&F scares me.  I have a laundry list of issues that might disqualify me from passing C&F and I want to know now how I can deal with those before dropping $100k+ on law school.

- Major childhood problems, mostly before age 10.  I had lots of disciplinary problems in grade school, I have been expelled from two schools in 2nd and 3rd grade.  I attribute it mostly to not fitting in with the other kids and acting out.  I've seen probably a dozen child psychologists by the time I was 10 and had been on everything and diagnosed with almost everything.  I guess I just matured and grew out of it, because you really couldn't tell now.

- Was arrested at age 12 for starting a fire with another kid.  We were hanging out at a house that was under construction, he spilled a flammable substance and lit it on fire (I told him not to but he didn't listen).  We ran away after we heard sirens.  The fire was actually very small and did >$20 in damage, mostly just scorched a piece of plywood.  My family actually knew the owner of the house very well and I apologized.  I remember being guilty of trespassing and not actually starting the fire.  I don't even know how to look into this to find official records but I took fire safety classes...that was the sentence.

- Also when I was 12, my parents would threaten to call the police over me not listening or arguing with them.  Looking back, it was actually really ridiculous, they mainly used the local police to humilate me because they knew neighborhood kids would see the cop cars outside my house and me being led out there.  None of the incidents actually escalated to any level that would necessitate police involvement, it was all over verbal arguments or me saying that I would leave the house and walk to the mall or something.  I was formally arrested once and taken to a juvie holding cell where my dad picked me up from an hour later....just to teach me a lesson I guess at the expense of the taxpayers.

- When I was 16 or 17 I got into a verbal argument with a teacher over something I did in a computer lab.  I had changed the desktop background to a funny image I found online.  The image contained a gun, although this was not my motivation for doing it.  The teacher called the police, not even because of the "gun" but just because I had changed the wallpaper on the PC.  Police showed up, talked to me for a while, and then a teacher called the school board which said they wanted me arrested for "tampering," like I had hacked the computer or something.  I was taken  down to the police station and my parents picked me up 30 min later.  I did some diversion program and had 3 months probabtion.  In my defense, the teacher was a complete d-bag who was trying dissuade me from not complying in the future but I don't think any Bar admission board would go for that explanation.

- Also when I was 17, I didn't have much of a social life and hung out with any degenerate group I was accepted into.  Some kids knew I had a car so I was in.  One night while hanging out at some house, another kid basically coerced my car keys from me, he basically took them out of my hand, and said he was borrowing my car to "get some smokes."  He took off with some 14 year old girl too.  An hour or two goes by and my car and the kids are gone.  Later the girl comes back and I ask where my car is and she goes "what car?"  Anyways, I find out the girl was the one driving and my car is trashed, a tire is completely flat when I find it on some side street.  Me and some other kid are trying to change the tire before the cops show up.  Apparently the girl drive the car onto some ladies lawn and did damage.  I didn't know this and told the cops I was driving and hit a pothole (for some idiotic reason I felt compelled to cover for these kids who stole my car and pushed me around).  Anyways, they know the girl was driving and threaten me with obstruction of justice.  I tell them the truth and go home that night.

- I have dual citizenship in Israel, I obtained it in 2007 but left in 2008 because i lost my job there and couldnt find another that was english speaking only.  I am worried I have military obligations that I never fufilled.  Would this effect me?

- My last job was doing telemarketing/customer service for some company that sold "work-at-home" scams.  I hated working there, we sold BS work at home opportunites that basically cost the customer $100+ (some paid up to $10,000 for BS "training sessions").  It basically took advantage of old, disabled, uneducated, or desperate unemployed people.  I was actually fired because I supposedly said on the phone "it doesnt even work,"  although I disagree that I even said that (even though its true it doesnt work)  and leaving at 4:51 PM one day instead of 5 PM after I mistakenly heard we were allowed to leave for the day.  I later found out that the state attorney general filed suit against the company and they had to pay people back a lot of $.  I am worried that listing this as a place i have worked and/or being fired from there will effect me.  At the time I worked here, it was the only job that called me back after sending out 30+ applications.

- Also I have a debt in collections for $400 for some clothes I bought in 2009.  I got laid off a week later and went back to school and havent worked since, I had forgotten about it but I am now trying to settle it.  I dont think I have any other outstanding debts. 

Ok so these are my issues, should I just give up on practicing law?

sollicitus

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Re: Help Me With Character/Fitness Issues
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2012, 01:33:13 PM »
yes, they all will.

best way to get past it, pay the debts, meet any obligations you have, and then stop f'n up to show you are now fixed. Not a 100% way to get approved, but if you fail to do so, yes 100% way to get denied.

Want more info? Contact your states C&F.

Pretty simple. Thats all folks.

HolmesBoy

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Re: Help Me With Character/Fitness Issues
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2012, 09:30:44 PM »
There are attorneys that specialize in issues such as this. You may want to contact an attorney for more information.

passaroa25

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Re: Help Me With Character/Fitness Issues
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2012, 02:49:13 PM »
If you send in 10.00 a month while you are in law school, the 400 debt will be paid by the time you graduate. 
 
But, the debt is not a serious problem.  You tend to confront authority figures.  And, while questioning authority and testing the rules is a lawyer-like trait, you will need to control  yourself in class, or you won't even get to the character/fitness phase. 

Go ahead and apply.  There are practicing attorneys out there with felony convictions.  Some have been  in jail for being in contempt.  One guy attending law school here in Tampa has a child for whom he pays child support, but has no interest in seeing.  Not all law students or graduates are angels. 

You can get all that childhood stuff sealed/expunged.  You can be your first case.
Angie

sollicitus

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Re: Help Me With Character/Fitness Issues
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2012, 02:53:32 PM »
If you send in 10.00 a month while you are in law school, the 400 debt will be paid by the time you graduate. 
 
But, the debt is not a serious problem.  You tend to confront authority figures.  And, while questioning authority and testing the rules is a lawyer-like trait, you will need to control  yourself in class, or you won't even get to the character/fitness phase. 

Go ahead and apply.  There are practicing attorneys out there with felony convictions.  Some have been  in jail for being in contempt.  One guy attending law school here in Tampa has a child for whom he pays child support, but has no interest in seeing.  Not all law students or graduates are angels. 

You can get all that childhood stuff sealed/expunged.  You can be your first case.

mostly sound advise, but let us not forget the age old saying

"He who hires himself as his attorney has a fool for a client".

fortook

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Re: Help Me With Character/Fitness Issues
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2012, 04:28:19 PM »
12 years old? I'm not sure all the juvie stuff is an issue.  Not too many 12 year olds actually get arrested.  Email the bar examiners, under a pseudonym if you must, and ask.

Most states require adult convictions to be disclosed, expunged or not.  But juvie?  I suspect not.  A $400 debt is a problem? Seriously, you can handle that?  The military stuff might- Israel or U.S.?  Dishonorable?

That adage is for trial cases only.  Getting something expunged is a matter of filing a single form that isn't even a full page.  If you can't handle your own non trial legal issues, maybe you shouldn't handle anyone else's.  You can pay someone to file it, but why?  I guess maybe if its a state where hounding is required, but still can't you hound on your own?  You can negotiate with the collector on your own as well, but its only $400, but you still should be able to handle it offer them $200.   
"Thank you for inviting me, Mrs. Palin." "Thank you for cutting your mullet, Levi."

sollicitus

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Re: Help Me With Character/Fitness Issues
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2012, 07:51:52 PM »
12 years old? I'm not sure all the juvie stuff is an issue.  Not too many 12 year olds actually get arrested.  Email the bar examiners, under a pseudonym if you must, and ask.

Most states require adult convictions to be disclosed, expunged or not.  But juvie?  I suspect not.  A $400 debt is a problem? Seriously, you can handle that?  The military stuff might- Israel or U.S.?  Dishonorable?

That adage is for trial cases only.  Getting something expunged is a matter of filing a single form that isn't even a full page.  If you can't handle your own non trial legal issues, maybe you shouldn't handle anyone else's.  You can pay someone to file it, but why?  I guess maybe if its a state where hounding is required, but still can't you hound on your own?  You can negotiate with the collector on your own as well, but its only $400, but you still should be able to handle it offer them $200.

If you school asks you lists "all convictions including expunged or adjudicated and all arrests including those not leading to conviction" you have to list it. If you list it there, you have to list it on your bar as well. Even if they don't find it on their own, why risk it? It is better to disclose. You are right about it not holding him down on that part alone, but when they see a trait over a longer period of time it starts to matter. The same reason a bad credit score or bad driving record can matter more than a single felony arrest from 17 if the applicant is 40. They want to see who you are today and who you are going to be in the future. A history of bad choices implies continued inability to make proper choices.

fortook

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Re: Help Me With Character/Fitness Issues
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2012, 10:05:13 PM »
The juvie stuff is in a different category.  This is a good question.  I do not know if it needs to be disclosed. I can't remember the exact language of all the forms when I filled them out. 

The reason juvie is in a different category is because you cannot use it to tell any trends.  All kids are stupid and make bad decisions. 
"Thank you for inviting me, Mrs. Palin." "Thank you for cutting your mullet, Levi."

sollicitus

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Re: Help Me With Character/Fitness Issues
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2012, 04:14:47 PM »
The juvie stuff is in a different category.  This is a good question.  I do not know if it needs to be disclosed. I can't remember the exact language of all the forms when I filled them out. 

The reason juvie is in a different category is because you cannot use it to tell any trends.  All kids are stupid and make bad decisions.

better to explain something that "doesn't matter" than to  hide it and use that as your excuse why latter. And for the record, MOST people DON'T get arrested as kids. There is a difference between just being an idiot kid and being an idiot kid who sells drugs , cuts people, burns things, or steals from stores. (etc)

fortook

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Re: Help Me With Character/Fitness Issues
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2012, 04:46:59 PM »
Meh, no there isn't, at least not in the absolute polar way you mean. Hence, juvie being different.  Where are you going?  He was frickin 12, you are really comfortable holding that against him? Judge away, but always always be tactful. 

The OP should know what's required before he states anything- so should you, so should I.  What illegal things did you do as a child and never get caught?  Assault, battery, recklessness? theft? Children don't know the rules yet, their brains haven't totally formed.  Something like %90 of children steal something at some point- potentially felony or misdemeanor theft.  Did you?  Will you disclose it?  Will it scar you for life?  Should it? 

Idk, condemning someone for what they did as a kid is too close to condemning someone for what they are thinking or some such Orwellian thing.  The OP needs to find the answer to what he is required to disclose.   
"Thank you for inviting me, Mrs. Palin." "Thank you for cutting your mullet, Levi."