Criminal past in PS or separate?

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
Dave
Posts: 48
Joined: Thu Oct 23, 2008 6:31 pm

Criminal past in PS or separate?

Postby Dave » Wed Jan 27, 2010 2:27 pm

Quick question for you guys. Should I include my criminal past in my personal statement, or in a separate letter just detailing my criminal past? I ask because my "issues" are what got me motivated and inspired for the whole world of law.

User avatar
jks289
Posts: 1415
Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2009 9:42 pm

Re: Criminal past in PS or separate?

Postby jks289 » Wed Jan 27, 2010 2:31 pm

Dave wrote:Quick question for you guys. Should I include my criminal past in my personal statement, or in a separate letter just detailing my criminal past? I ask because my "issues" are what got me motivated and inspired for the whole world of law.


Impossible to answer without furthur information. Why type of offense? How long ago? Do you take responsibility or do you feel justice wasn't served, etc. I think the safe bet is to write you PS on something positive and disclose any criminal stuff in an honest, short, and direct addendum. If you want better advice, we'll need at least general details.

Dave
Posts: 48
Joined: Thu Oct 23, 2008 6:31 pm

Re: Criminal past in PS or separate?

Postby Dave » Wed Jan 27, 2010 2:56 pm

jks289 wrote:
Dave wrote:Quick question for you guys. Should I include my criminal past in my personal statement, or in a separate letter just detailing my criminal past? I ask because my "issues" are what got me motivated and inspired for the whole world of law.


Impossible to answer without furthur information. Why type of offense? How long ago? Do you take responsibility or do you feel justice wasn't served, etc. I think the safe bet is to write you PS on something positive and disclose any criminal stuff in an honest, short, and direct addendum. If you want better advice, we'll need at least general details.


Computer/cc fraud. Some retarded hacking stuff. I was given 5 yearfelony deferred adjudication in 2004. I completed early termination successfully 2 1/2 years later in 2007. The judge told me that if I ever completed law school successfully and she was still on the bench, that she would swear me in. I took responsibility telling the secret service everything I did, and that is why they decided to hand me over to the state rather than federal court. The state prosecutor didn't want to prosecute me because he thought I just made a stupid, childish mistake, so we worked out a plea deal. I spent about 3 months in county jail. At first I thought the punishment I received was severe, but then realized that others got a far worse fate than me(ie felony conviction).

User avatar
jks289
Posts: 1415
Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2009 9:42 pm

Re: Criminal past in PS or separate?

Postby jks289 » Wed Jan 27, 2010 3:00 pm

Dave wrote:
jks289 wrote:
Dave wrote:Quick question for you guys. Should I include my criminal past in my personal statement, or in a separate letter just detailing my criminal past? I ask because my "issues" are what got me motivated and inspired for the whole world of law.


Impossible to answer without furthur information. Why type of offense? How long ago? Do you take responsibility or do you feel justice wasn't served, etc. I think the safe bet is to write you PS on something positive and disclose any criminal stuff in an honest, short, and direct addendum. If you want better advice, we'll need at least general details.


Computer/cc fraud. Some retarded hacking stuff. I was given 5 yearfelony deferred adjudication in 2004. I completed early termination successfully 2 1/2 years later in 2007. The judge told me that if I ever completed law school successfully and she was still on the bench, that she would swear me in. I took responsibility telling the secret service everything I did, and that is why they decided to hand me over to the state rather than federal court. The state prosecutor didn't want to prosecute me because he thought I just made a stupid, childish mistake, so we worked out a plea deal. I spent about 3 months in county jail. At first I thought the punishment I received was severe, but then realized that others got a far worse fate than me(ie felony conviction).


If you can speak insightfully about your experience as a character building event, then I think it is ok to use in a personal statement. But I think you need to be really clear about "I take responsibility for my actions" etc. Also if it landed you in jail for 3 months, it is probably serious enough to not be referred to as a childish mistake. You should demonstrate you understand the gravity of the crime. I think the most important thing is for a PS to discuss why you will be a good law student (more so than why you will be a good lawyer) so as long as you can touch on things like motivation, insight, and the like, I think it could work. Good luck!




Return to “Law School Personal Statements”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.