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Author Topic: Felony Charges Juvi. Record Law School Admission???  (Read 1098 times)

LittleMissShortStacks

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Felony Charges Juvi. Record Law School Admission???
« on: June 29, 2012, 10:24:10 AM »
Hello everyone!

I'm new to the board. I'm posting concerning my application and my situation. My overall gpa is a 3.71 and LSAT is 169. I'm wondering if I should even apply of have a chance to get into law school nonetheless sit the bar. You see, I have charges from 6 years ago when I was dumb and 16 for felonies! That's right 2 felonies, 1 was nolle p. and dismissed because that was deemed a case that me and my friend did not participate in. ( We got caught, the store then tried to pin a string of other shoplifting incidents on us, with no evidence). For the other charge my lawyer advised me to take a plea deal, which I did. I ended up pleading "no contest" to 1 count of fel. concealment ( concealing items in a store valued at $220.00) , in return I did community service and shoplifting reduction & rehabilitation class under "the first offender status". After completion of my pre-trial diversion, my case was dismissed and there was no finding. I understand NOW that because I plead "no contolo" that's a technicality of admission of guilt and pretty much a conviction for purposes of law school. Keep in mind these are juvenile charges, that did NOT go to circuit court. Do I have a chance of even passing the ethics portion? I'd like to practice in Maryland, North Carolina, and Virginia if possible. Any thoughts?

FalconJimmy

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Re: Felony Charges Juvi. Record Law School Admission???
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2012, 10:49:25 AM »
Hello everyone!

I'm new to the board. I'm posting concerning my application and my situation. My overall gpa is a 3.71 and LSAT is 169. I'm wondering if I should even apply of have a chance to get into law school nonetheless sit the bar. You see, I have charges from 6 years ago when I was dumb and 16 for felonies! That's right 2 felonies, 1 was nolle p. and dismissed because that was deemed a case that me and my friend did not participate in. ( We got caught, the store then tried to pin a string of other shoplifting incidents on us, with no evidence). For the other charge my lawyer advised me to take a plea deal, which I did. I ended up pleading "no contest" to 1 count of fel. concealment ( concealing items in a store valued at $220.00) , in return I did community service and shoplifting reduction & rehabilitation class under "the first offender status". After completion of my pre-trial diversion, my case was dismissed and there was no finding. I understand NOW that because I plead "no contolo" that's a technicality of admission of guilt and pretty much a conviction for purposes of law school. Keep in mind these are juvenile charges, that did NOT go to circuit court. Do I have a chance of even passing the ethics portion? I'd like to practice in Maryland, North Carolina, and Virginia if possible. Any thoughts?

I have no actual expert opinion on this, but will just share a generally uniformed opinion.

$220 was a felony?  Really?  Good lord.

Seems to me that if you've been clean ever since, that the small amount of money involved and the fact that you were a minor at the time would be things that a reasonable person would take into consideration when reviewing applications for the bar.

I'm not saying that everybody should shoplift when they're young.  I'd be disappointed in my son if he did.  However, honestly, if we ruined the lives of everybody who ever shoplifted as a kid, we wouldn't have enough "clean" people in this country to do the jobs everybody needs to have done.

I hope others can chime in on this, but seems to me that this shouldn't be an impediment to your admission to the bar.  The standard answer on this is to try and contact the individuals who look at C&F issues in your state's bar and ask them.

Best of luck.  Your credentials are truly impressive.  A 3.71 and a 169 are accomplishments you should be proud of.  You seem poised for success in any field you chose. 

Maintain FL 350

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Re: Felony Charges Juvi. Record Law School Admission???
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2012, 12:52:34 PM »
Contact the bar associations of the states you're interested in and ask. They can give you a much better answer than anyone on this board. Each state has different requirements, and some are stricter than others. In California, for example, I don't think you'd have any problems as long as you were completely honest and fully disclosed all legal issues. Full disclosure without excuses is very important to all bar associations, when the time comes be entirely honest and accept full responsibility. The bar doesn,t demand perfection, but they punish evasion very harshly.

If I had to guess, I think you'll be fine. Stay squeeky clean from this point on, and contact those state bars! And Falcon is right, $220 for a felony!? What a bunch of nonesense (not you, OP, the charge).

LittleMissShortStacks

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Re: Felony Charges Juvi. Record Law School Admission???
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2012, 02:29:18 PM »
Thanks for the insight. I've contact bars but they aren't the most help. One state sends me to voicemail repetitively and the other just keeps telling me that it will be left for the school to decide, and then left to the "ethics committee" ? (correct me if this information is wrong) . .... If I get accepted I might shell out hundred of thousands of dollars in loans for no guarantee, that's scary , but of course a consequence I can't evade.

And yes, I know such a bogus charge, but I guess that's life.  ::) Can't change it, I can only hope to move forward and strive for better. I just hope it won't hold me back in the future...

And yes squeaky clean is how I've been and will remain to be!  :)

If anyone else has any thoughts I'd appreciate all opinions.

Maintain FL 350

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Re: Felony Charges Juvi. Record Law School Admission???
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2012, 02:33:30 PM »
Maybe you could try emailing a specific person? Find out who is the head of each state bars' admissions dept., or whatever they call it, and email that person directly. The bar won't be able to help you with answering questions about law school admissions, that's up to the individual schools. You should, however, be able to get a better answer regarding bar admissions.

FalconJimmy

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Re: Felony Charges Juvi. Record Law School Admission???
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2012, 09:59:06 AM »

Keep in mind that the bar association of your state won't give out names of members of the C&F committe to everybody who calls and asks, "hey, I have a felony, can I be a lawyer?"  You're going to have to do some legwork here and be resourceful.

kellykinn

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Re: Felony Charges Juvi. Record Law School Admission???
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2012, 10:15:26 AM »
Felonies are always a big deal.  If the bar examiners won't give you a straight answer, and I understand why they won't, try other "best guess" channels.  Contact a school that knows the jurisdiction where you want to practice and ask them, under a pseudonym if you choose.

I have heard of people with much much worse on their record passing the bar. Just check the state.  I think in Texas, for example, a felony is an outright ban. But most other states its one factor of many.

kenpostudent

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Re: Felony Charges Juvi. Record Law School Admission???
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2012, 02:40:49 AM »
Figure out where you want to practice.  Look at the Supreme Court Rule that governs the practice of law in that state.  If it does not list a felony conviction as a complete bar to admission to the bar, then it is just one factor in the overall evaluation of your character and fitness to practice law.  Fully disclose everything to the law school and the bar and you should be fine.  There are a ton of scumbags who practice law.  A juvenile felony conviction should not prevent you from practicing law, assuming that is the only baggage you have.