Law School Discussion

formally reapplying after withdrawing from law school?

formally reapplying after withdrawing from law school?
« on: January 29, 2016, 06:48:40 AM »
Hi:

I was attending a T14 law school and had mediocre grades and had withdrawn from the program in my 2L year after being suspended a semester for plagiarism. Now several years later I wanted to return and emailed the school regarding my situation. I was told that I must apply formally for readmission and that I may receive standing for credits previously earned if admitted. My LSAT has expired so I'll have to do everything all over again.

My question is how likely would it be to be re-admitted in a situation like this, if I had a external circumstances which contributed to my failure the first time around, how should I present these on the application, and would I be eligible to apply to other law schools as well?

Thanks!

Re: formally reapplying after withdrawing from law school?
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2016, 04:23:17 PM »
My question is how likely would it be to be re-admitted in a situation like this, if I had a external circumstances which contributed to my failure the first time around, how should I present these on the application, and would I be eligible to apply to other law schools as well?

There are a few things to address here.

Right off the bat, you're going to have a hard time getting admitted. Getting suspended for cheating puts a big red flag on your application.

The likelihood of your being readmitted to any school is based on many variables. How you did gradewise while you were in law school, the seriousness of the academic dishonesty, and what you've done since then. Can you somehow demonstrate that your circumstances have changed?

In my opinion, unless you can clearly identify the problems that lead you to plagiarize AND convincingly demonstrate that those problems are behind you, it's going to be tough. I mean, why admit someone who you think will repeat the same behaviors?

You mentioned "external circumstances". I'm telling you right now that nobody, not the law schools and definitely not the bar association, want to hear lame excuses for cheating. It will not help you. You need to own up to your actions if you want a chance at being a lawyer.

You also need to check with your state's bar regarding the Character and Fitness application. Getting suspended for cheating is a big deal, and even if you are readmitted to law school you will definitely have to answer a lot of questions from the bar. This will hold up your admission, at the least. Make sure that you can actually get admitted to the bar before spending the money on a JD. If and when you apply to law schools and the bar it is imperative that you be absolutely 100% honest. You must disclose your cheating with total candor.

Re: formally reapplying after withdrawing from law school?
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2016, 01:37:22 PM »
Its been awhile, so you should be ok if honest. Just be 100% honest with character issue questions and retake lsat.
Apply to a few places to be safe, but odds are someone will take you

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Re: formally reapplying after withdrawing from law school?
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2016, 08:11:31 AM »

My question is how likely would it be to be re-admitted in a situation like this, if I had a external circumstances which contributed to my failure the first time around, how should I present these on the application, and would I be eligible to apply to other law schools as well?

Thanks!

What MaintainFL wrote is correct. I am going to slightly (just slightly) temper his comments. A one semester suspension for plagiarism is not the death-knell for an application and the Bar, but it is a very serious matter. You do not have to disclose to us what the "external circumstances" were, but you have to understand and take responsibility for them.

The issue with getting the prior credits in could be a huge one, cost-wise (that's a full year of tuition). Unfortunately, there's not enough information here to go on, and there's too many factors to really analyze. If you really want to be an attorney, then you should follow up on this. Just make sure you're completely candid during the application(s) process.

Re: formally reapplying after withdrawing from law school?
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2016, 11:04:01 AM »
I agree, it is not an automatic block to becoming an attorney but it will require you to answer a bunch of questions. How you answer is very, very important.

In CA this would slow down your bar application. You have to provide an addendum explaining the whole sordid affair, they would take extra time investigating, and you may be asked to attend an committee review. But, assuming that you have otherwise kept your nose clean, you'd probably be admitted.

Each state has it's own rules. Some are stricter, some are easier. Check with your state bar.