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Forum locked This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 13 posts ] 
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 Post subject: Can I get into law school with my criminal record??
PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 6:48 am 

Joined: Sat Oct 03, 2009 6:23 am
Archived Posts: 3
So all my life I have dreamed of going to law school. I've always worked really hard on my education and my grades and test scores reflect this. I currently am in my 4th year of a 5 year accounting masters program at the Universtiy of Missouri. I have a 3.8 GPA and have yet to take the LSAT. I am not overly concerned with the LSAT since I have always tested well and plan on taking prep courses and studying very hard. But before I spend all the time and money to do this I want to make sure i can even get into law school in the first place due to my criminal record.

Unfortunately my success in the classroom hasn't quite carried over into my personal life. I have made some very poor decisions in my life which I hope will not jeopardize my chances of getting into lawschool. My criminal record is as follows:

2007 (Age 19): M.I.P - was given an SIS and successfully completed probation
2008 (Age 20): BAC (blood alcohol content while driving a motor vehicle)
2009 (Age 21): Prohibited Nusaince Party - still in the process of working this out... looks like ill get an SIS
2009 (Age 21): Possession of Marijuana and Paraphanalia - just happend the other night, not sure whats going to happen

I also believe i have a couple of disciplinary files at the univesity of missouri - got kicked out of a football game for being drunk, and being drunk in the dorms when i was a freshman.


I am not a bad person but just put myself in some pretty bad situations, especially when I am drinking. I am planning on disclosing all of this information in my application. Do i have any chance of getting in? I previously had dreams of applying to some of the top law schools depending on my lsat score but now i just dont know. I am very close to giving up hope. I have no one to blame but myself, but if anyone has any suggestions of what i could do to help my cause please let me know.

My biggest concern is spending all the money on the lsat if i wont get admitted no matter what my score is. So do i have a chance... please be honest with me, thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: Can I get into law school with my criminal record??
PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 7:44 am 

Joined: Mon May 18, 2009 8:47 am
Archived Posts: 442
If you were applying in say, 2-3 years and you don't have these things in your recent past, I'd say they could easily be written off as experimentation or a bad time in your life, etc. These things all don't seem that serious but you had better get your act together and show how you've "turned your life around" since these offenses. 4 arrests in 3 years is a trend. You need to break this trend. But I am just another person like you who doesn't know anything so take that for what its worth.

edit: But seriously.. how irresponsible are you? I guarantee there is no way you partied that hard (hell, I was one of the biggest partiers there was and I've NEVER been arrested). Your history reeks of immaturity and irresponsibility, both of which reflect poorly on you. It is incredibly easy to have a good time, drink, smoke pot, etc, without getting in trouble. You really need to distance yourself from this trend.


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 Post subject: Re: Can I get into law school with my criminal record??
PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 8:00 am 

Joined: Sat Oct 03, 2009 6:23 am
Archived Posts: 3
edit: But seriously.. how irresponsible are you? I guarantee there is no way you partied that hard (hell, I was one of the biggest partiers there was and I've NEVER been arrested). Your history reeks of immaturity and irresponsibility, both of which reflect poorly on you. It is incredibly easy to have a good time, drink, smoke pot, etc, without getting in trouble. You really need to distance yourself from this trend.[/quote]


Thank you for your opinion. Yes my choices have been irresponsible, but i cannot change the past. I've been doing some serious soul searching since the latest incident and just want to know if law school is still an option. And trust me, i didnt try to get arrested, call it poor luck or poor judement or a combonation of the two, but without getting into details 2008 to 2009 has been the hardest period of my life. Lost my father, aunt, mom diagnosed with breast cancer (beat it thank god), so yeah i made some bad decisions and im trying to deal with them as best i can.


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 Post subject: Re: Can I get into law school with my criminal record??
PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 8:09 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 7:03 pm
Archived Posts: 1047
Write about the other circumstances (deaths in the family) in your addendum. Go to treatment/AA. Resolve the outstanding cases. Then apply, explaining how the family issues made you lose focus, but you've gotten help and are now working towards dealing with your grief in a healthier way. Be remorseful.

I would think it would take at least a year to complete all of that and distance yourself from this kind of behavior.

Oh, and stop getting arrested.


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 Post subject: Re: Can I get into law school with my criminal record??
PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 1:04 pm 
Lord Protector of the Forums and Board

Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2008 1:25 am
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 Post subject: Re: Can I get into law school with my criminal record??
PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 1:09 pm 
The Texas Hammer

Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 3:02 am
Archived Posts: 2379
You're in a master's program now... how old are you? It makes a big difference. If you're 30, you have a much stronger chance than if you're 25. The more time you can put between now and what you did, the stronger you can claim that you've outgrown and learned from those mistakes and aren't that person anymore. And honestly, that's the argument you have to make, and it has to be convincing enough.

Beyond that there won't be a problem. As long as you fully and completely disclose things, the offenses by themselves likely won't hurt you. The only thing that will hurt you is not being able to show that you're not that type of person anymore.


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 Post subject: Re: Can I get into law school with my criminal record??
PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 1:11 pm 
Lord Protector of the Forums and Board

Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2008 1:25 am
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 Post subject: Re: Can I get into law school with my criminal record??
PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 1:17 pm 
The Texas Hammer

Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 3:02 am
Archived Posts: 2379
YCrevolution wrote:
OP is 21 or 22, according to the charges and his age in the original post.


I totally missed that. RC fail.

"Just happened the other night"?? Seriously, OP? Wait 10 years (WHILE STAYING CLEAN) and try again.


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 Post subject: Re: Can I get into law school with my criminal record??
PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 1:20 pm 

Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2009 11:56 pm
Archived Posts: 514
The best thing you can do is wait to apply for at least a few years. Get some noble extra curricular activities under your belt or volunteer for something like Habitat for Humanity.

The problem I see, and I think the reason why some posters are being harsh on you, is because there is a pattern to your behavior. We all have skeletons in our closets and our run ins with the law, but you appear to have been caught for all of them.

There are repeated red flags, public drunkenness, possession of marijuana, public nuisance complaints. It all reeks of irresponsibility beyond the norm of "common dumb mistakes". One of these charges by itself would be another matter altogether, but they add up and continue over the course of years...

I would call or email some school admissions officers and even look up state BAR admissions criteria. Someone who has more experience than all but a few of the posters on this board should be able to give you a better answer. Try a practicing attorney, admissions office, state BAR, undergrad school counselor.

Good luck.


Last edited by jetlagz28 on Sat Oct 03, 2009 1:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Can I get into law school with my criminal record??
PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 1:21 pm 

Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2008 10:04 pm
Archived Posts: 531
You've done some serious soul searching in the FEW DAYS since your last incident? Honestly, you're not ready to go to law school right now and no law school is going to accept you. As someone else in this thread suggested, lay off the booze completely, go to AA, take steps in your life so you can show in 3-5 years that you've overcome your vices and become a better person because of it.


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 Post subject: Re: Can I get into law school with my criminal record??
PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 1:23 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2009 6:18 pm
Archived Posts: 728
You need to put some time and distance between these incidents and your application and make sure this is just young guy stupidity and not a problem with substance abuse. Try this test: go sober for two years from now till you enter law school, if you can do that for the betterment of your future odds are good your just partying too much, if you can’t give up just two years of partying for the betterment of your future than odds are you might have a problem with substance abuse. I was the latter.


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 Post subject: Re: Can I get into law school with my criminal record??
PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2009 8:22 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 03, 2009 6:23 am
Archived Posts: 3
Well i have some good news. My nusiance party prohibited charge got completely dissmissed. Which i think means i do not have to enclose it in my application?? Does anyone know if thats correct?

I know not many of you think very much of me but hopefully this helps out my situation a little bit. I have a meeting set up with the Universtiy of Missouri Law School admissions officer to ask the same questions I've asked on here so maybe i will find out more soon.


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 Post subject: Re: Can I get into law school with my criminal record??
PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2009 8:30 pm 

Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2009 11:19 pm
Archived Posts: 160
I feel that this is getting bloated out of proportion. Just take a few years off to clear up your name a bit, and then apply to law school. Plus, if you're in an accounting program, just work for an accy firm for two years or so and then start prepping for the LSATs. Everything'll be fine.


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