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Author Topic: Juvenile record- almost 21 years ago--do I disclose?  (Read 1749 times)

Mitch247

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Juvenile record- almost 21 years ago--do I disclose?
« on: January 02, 2006, 09:20:49 AM »
I just read about criminal records in another post and was wondering about this issue.

I have already applied to many law schools and now I am wondering if I need to disclose my sealed juvenile record from the mid 1980's. I never went to jail or anything but I did get community service and probation. This happened when I was in my teens and I am now 36.

Short story- I have since moved on from my past, became a model citizen, went back to school and got a 156 LSAT / 3.87 GPA.

So should I include it? If so how do I go about getting this information on the specific convictions and dates? How do I let the law schools know? Am I taking this too serious?

Also this happened in Hawaii and I am now in California- if this helps.

Added: Researched online and it seems many states destroy juvenile records after so many years- anoyone with info on this?

Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you.


mobo

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Re: Juvenile record- almost 21 years ago--do I disclose?
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2006, 04:40:53 PM »
they won't keep you out for telling the truth, especially if you have obviously changed direction since then. there could be serious repercussions if what you think is sealed isn't sealed, or comes unsealed (don't ask me what THAT means), and you didn't disclose it.

so i vote disclose, with a one para addendum and rest easy.

mobo

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Re: Juvenile record- almost 21 years ago--do I disclose?
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2006, 01:14:28 AM »
they won't keep you out for telling the truth,

Yes they can.

Call me old fashioned, but I believe juvenile records are sealed for a reason and should be respected.  JSIA.

i agree with you that sealed juvi recs should absolutely stay sealed.

that said, i still think there is a strong argument for disclosing the info voluntarily.
first, our system is imperfect, and if the recs don't stay sealed for some reason, then i doubt bar/adcomms will accept an ignorance plea on the part of the OP. second, in this case, an incident that resulted in probation and community service at least 18 years ago is highly unlikely to keep the OP out. thirdly, we are applying to a profession that bases itself on the whole truth, and while it is a personal decision to make, the whole truth is something to consider.

lily, you are right, they can keep someone out for telling the truth, but i think they won't, at least not in this case. and i say this with the utmost respect, having read many of your posts and liking what i read.

lastly, mitch - if you really want to hear it from the horse's mouth, call the admissions office anonymously and ask them for their advice.

gameswizard

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Re: Juvenile record- almost 21 years ago--do I disclose?
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2006, 01:24:36 AM »
I was arrested in a different country.  Do I need to disclose?

mobo

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Re: Juvenile record- almost 21 years ago--do I disclose?
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2006, 01:02:04 PM »
i wonder how it would be possible to lobby the schools to only accept records where you were treated as an adult and specifically exclude juvi recs whether sealed or unsealed? i mean, if a 15 year old commits such a heinous crime that they are tried as an adult, then the info should be admitted, otherwise, no.

could you go through lsac? would you have to go to each school individually? i doubt there is a legel leg to stand on, especially with the private schools - since they are private they have more leeway in doing what they want. the public schools, though, might be subject to a state law that could be applied. or maybe you would just have to appeal to reason. (like that would work.)

to the OP - good luck...

mobo

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Re: Juvenile record- almost 21 years ago--do I disclose?
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2006, 04:35:00 PM »
i wonder how it would be possible to lobby the schools to only accept records where you were treated as an adult and specifically exclude juvi recs whether sealed or unsealed? i mean, if a 15 year old commits such a heinous crime that they are tried as an adult, then the info should be admitted, otherwise, no.

could you go through lsac? would you have to go to each school individually? i doubt there is a legel leg to stand on, especially with the private schools - since they are private they have more leeway in doing what they want. the public schools, though, might be subject to a state law that could be applied. or maybe you would just have to appeal to reason. (like that would work.)

to the OP - good luck...

Knowing how the ABA works, it would take some serious arm-twisting from the Department of Education.

huh. do we know anyone in the dept of ed we can blackmail into doing this? oh. wait. i'm too old to blackmail anyone. do we know anyone who is fifteen who can blackmail our dept of ed contact?

mobo

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Re: Juvenile record- almost 21 years ago--do I disclose?
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2006, 12:39:53 PM »
 ;D

NH

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Re: Juvenile record- almost 21 years ago--do I disclose?
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2006, 08:42:28 PM »
I was in a similiar situation, had my record sealed and contacted an attorney for advice.  There is a difference between being "arrested" and being "convicted." Read each application carefully and mention the request to your lawyer. 

ABA

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Re: Juvenile record- almost 21 years ago--do I disclose?
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2006, 12:35:20 PM »
I just read about criminal records in another post and was wondering about this issue.

I have already applied to many law schools and now I am wondering if I need to disclose my sealed juvenile record from the mid 1980's. I never went to jail or anything but I did get community service and probation. This happened when I was in my teens and I am now 36.

Short story- I have since moved on from my past, became a model citizen, went back to school and got a 156 LSAT / 3.87 GPA.

So should I include it? If so how do I go about getting this information on the specific convictions and dates? How do I let the law schools know? Am I taking this too serious?

Also this happened in Hawaii and I am now in California- if this helps.

Added: Researched online and it seems many states destroy juvenile records after so many years- anoyone with info on this?

Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you.



Despite what you have read online, records never disappear. We will enjoy torturing you during your C&F review.
The Mission of the American Bar Association is to be the national representative of the legal profession, serving the public and the profession by promoting justice, professional excellence and respect for the law.

Mitch247

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Re: Juvenile record- almost 21 years ago--do I disclose?
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2006, 07:26:10 AM »
Thank you everyone for the friendly advice (except ABA)! I ended up writing a short addendum explaining my juvenile record after I consulted the schools I was applying to, a lawyer, and my state bar.

Full disclosure..guess I can now sleep at nights knowing there will be no torture from someone hiding behind the ABA logo posting a threat. Way to represent the ABA.