Address my Felony head on or save it for the addendum?

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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FutureCongress
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Address my Felony head on or save it for the addendum?

Postby FutureCongress » Wed Jun 19, 2013 3:22 pm

I have more than one criminal conviction. Nothing dishonest... theft, assault etc.. but 2 specifically that are a little more than harmless fun...

Background:
One Indecent Exposure ticket from my 21st birthday, not registered, no minors present... committed in the spirit of harmless fun, from what I remember, but a serious crime on paper; and a Felony conviction of possession for sale of a Schedule 1 Drug... I am not and have never been a drug dealer but I was at a music festival and said yes to the wrong guy..
The Felony was 2 years ago and my 21st was over 3 years ago

Just to be clear... I won't bother with the details but I was the seller. Extremely Small Quantities... though that's not the point of the post. I find it hard to believe enough time has gone by to make a credible appeal to my changed life... I'm not even off probation yet.

This is a weakness, and so should not be a addressed in the slightest in my personal statement? I can't really allude to it without being specific or it looks like I don't take it seriously... But it's significant enough I'm afraid I won't be able to convey the significance of the experiences I've had from my legal troubles unless I give them a more complete analysis.

Suggestions?

Maybe I write the "risky" essay taking my criminal history head on for the Dream schools, hope I get a bite based on diversity and leave it for the addendum for safer and par schools? GPA 3.28 LSAT waiting... maybe 165
Last edited by FutureCongress on Wed Jun 19, 2013 11:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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DKjunior
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Re: Address my Felony head on or save it for the addendum?

Postby DKjunior » Wed Jun 19, 2013 7:08 pm

Is the point you're trying to make to adcomms when they read your personal statement "I've matured and learned from my mistakes. Now I want law school." If not, then I would not mention these at all in the PS.

An addendum would be the best route to disclose this information in your application. Whatever you end up doing, disclose.

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cinephile
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Re: Address my Felony head on or save it for the addendum?

Postby cinephile » Wed Jun 19, 2013 8:35 pm

Your PS takes the place of your interview. Would you walk into an interview and just start talking about your drug conviction and trying to spin it? I wouldn't, I'd wait until asked about it -- and address it in an addendum. Might as well use this opportunity to portray the best in yourself.

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jas1503
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Re: Address my Felony head on or save it for the addendum?

Postby jas1503 » Wed Jun 19, 2013 10:03 pm

FutureCongress wrote:I have more than one criminal conviction. Nothing dishonest... theft, assault etc.. but 2 specifically that are a little more than harmless fun...

Background:
One Indecent Exposure ticket from my 21st birthday, not registered, no minors present... committed in the spirit of harmless fun, from what I remember, but a serious crime on paper; and a Felony conviction of possession for sale of a Class A Drug... I am not and have never been a drug dealer but I was at a music festival and said yes to the wrong guy
The Felony was almost 2 years ago and my 21st was over 3 years ago


This is a weakness, and so should not be a addressed in the slightest in my personal statement? I can't really allude to it without being specific or it looks like I don't take it seriously... But it's significant enough I'm afraid I won't be able to convey the significance of the experiences I've had from my legal troubles unless I give them a more complete analysis.

Suggestions?

Maybe I write the "risky" essay taking my criminal history head on for the Dream schools, hope I get a bite based on diversity and leave it for the addendum for safer and par schools? GPA 3.28 LSAT waiting... maybe 165


Wait...Wat?

You want to go to law school with a Class A felony drug conviction? Possession with the intent to distribute makes you a drug dealer, dude. We're not talking like selling Addy or Oxy to college kids, we are talking about a conviction for selling...Attempting to sell hard narcotics...Possibly buying so much hard narcotics that your charge may have been bumped from "possession" to "possession with the intent to distribute."

How do you expect to get past C&F dude? You would have been better off with a theft or an assault charge; at least then you could say it was an emotional, immature incident.

I never thought I'd say this (because after scoring low on my first LSAT this was the over-dramatic advice that I received from TLS) but you probably shouldn't go to law school bro.

You would probably sooner murder someone, then become a lawyer than get convicted for dealing Cocaine, then become a lawyer.
Last edited by jas1503 on Wed Jun 19, 2013 10:30 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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stillwater
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Re: Address my Felony head on or save it for the addendum?

Postby stillwater » Wed Jun 19, 2013 10:06 pm

jas1503 wrote:
FutureCongress wrote:I have more than one criminal conviction. Nothing dishonest... theft, assault etc.. but 2 specifically that are a little more than harmless fun...

Background:
One Indecent Exposure ticket from my 21st birthday, not registered, no minors present... committed in the spirit of harmless fun, from what I remember, but a serious crime on paper; and a Felony conviction of possession for sale of a Class A Drug... I am not and have never been a drug dealer but I was at a music festival and said yes to the wrong guy
The Felony was almost 2 years ago and my 21st was over 3 years ago


This is a weakness, and so should not be a addressed in the slightest in my personal statement? I can't really allude to it without being specific or it looks like I don't take it seriously... But it's significant enough I'm afraid I won't be able to convey the significance of the experiences I've had from my legal troubles unless I give them a more complete analysis.

Suggestions?

Maybe I write the "risky" essay taking my criminal history head on for the Dream schools, hope I get a bite based on diversity and leave it for the addendum for safer and par schools? GPA 3.28 LSAT waiting... maybe 165


Wait...Wat?

You want to go to law school with a Class A felony drug conviction? Possession with the intent to distribute makes you a drug dealer, dude. We're not talking like selling Addy or Oxy to college kids, we are talking about about a conviction for selling hard narcotics.

How do you expect to get past C&F dude? You would have been better off with a theft or an assault charge; at least then you could say it was an emotional, immature incident.

I never thought I'd say this (because after scoring low on my first LSAT this was the over-dramatic advice that I received from TLS) but you probably shouldn't go to law school bro.

You would probably sooner murder someone, then become a lawyer than get convicted for dealing Cocaine, then become a lawyer.


easy with the moralizing. but ya dude btw waving your winkie around and slinging drugs, you are up against it. talk to a C&F attorney and see if you can get admitted to the bar in the state you desire to practice in.

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ScottRiqui
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Re: Address my Felony head on or save it for the addendum?

Postby ScottRiqui » Wed Jun 19, 2013 10:20 pm

OP said his drug conviction was for "possession for sale". That could be as simple as buying a large-enough quantity from the undercover officer that the charge got bumped up to "possession with intent to distribute", even though he never actually tried (or even intended) to sell anything to anyone.

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Ixiion
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Re: Address my Felony head on or save it for the addendum?

Postby Ixiion » Wed Jun 26, 2013 6:48 am

ScottRiqui wrote:OP said his drug conviction was for "possession for sale". That could be as simple as buying a large-enough quantity from the undercover officer that the charge got bumped up to "possession with intent to distribute", even though he never actually tried (or even intended) to sell anything to anyone.


In OP's post he said "I won't bother with details but I was the seller" -- so it wasn't as though he was buying drugs for himself and the charge simply got upped. He actually sold the drugs.

--
I agree with everyone here. Contact a C&F lawyer and see what they say. With the combination of those two, you don't want to risk going to law school, accumulating all that debt, and then finding out that you can't even become a lawyer because C&F turns you down.

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ScottRiqui
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Re: Address my Felony head on or save it for the addendum?

Postby ScottRiqui » Wed Jun 26, 2013 7:01 am

Ixiion wrote:
ScottRiqui wrote:OP said his drug conviction was for "possession for sale". That could be as simple as buying a large-enough quantity from the undercover officer that the charge got bumped up to "possession with intent to distribute", even though he never actually tried (or even intended) to sell anything to anyone.


In OP's post he said "I won't bother with details but I was the seller" -- so it wasn't as though he was buying drugs for himself and the charge simply got upped. He actually sold the drugs.


I think that part was added in after my post, possibly in response to it. Regardless, OP's gotten the advice he needs, and it doesn't look like he's been back.

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Ixiion
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Re: Address my Felony head on or save it for the addendum?

Postby Ixiion » Wed Jun 26, 2013 7:18 am

ScottRiqui wrote:
Ixiion wrote:
ScottRiqui wrote:OP said his drug conviction was for "possession for sale". That could be as simple as buying a large-enough quantity from the undercover officer that the charge got bumped up to "possession with intent to distribute", even though he never actually tried (or even intended) to sell anything to anyone.


In OP's post he said "I won't bother with details but I was the seller" -- so it wasn't as though he was buying drugs for himself and the charge simply got upped. He actually sold the drugs.


I think that part was added in after my post, possibly in response to it. Regardless, OP's gotten the advice he needs, and it doesn't look like he's been back.


Whooops. Didn't actually look at the date, just browsing. My bad. :)

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FutureCongress
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Re: Address my Felony head on or save it for the addendum?

Postby FutureCongress » Tue Feb 11, 2014 3:02 pm

UPDATE

I have been admitted to 3 TLS top~120 Ranked schools, and 1 top 25. I left my criminal past in the addendum. LSAT 163 GPA 3.28 Feb 14 LSAT Pending for dream schools.... Now I just have to blow it out of the park and deal with the bar in 3 years.

Don't let Uncle Sam get you down kids.

EDIT

My research (asking attorney's I work for that serve on the bar review board) has indicated that I will have to appear at a special hearing when applying to the bar. It is up to me to make the case that I never morally or ethically wronged another person and I've moved my life in a different direction. There is no law in place that outright denies me entry...

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cinephile
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Re: Address my Felony head on or save it for the addendum?

Postby cinephile » Tue Feb 11, 2014 5:00 pm

FutureCongress wrote:UPDATE

I have been admitted to 3 TLS top~120 Ranked schools, and 1 top 25. I left my criminal past in the addendum. LSAT 163 GPA 3.28 Feb 14 LSAT Pending for dream schools.... Now I just have to blow it out of the park and deal with the bar in 3 years.

Don't let Uncle Sam get you down kids.

EDIT

My research (asking attorney's I work for that serve on the bar review board) has indicated that I will have to appear at a special hearing when applying to the bar. It is up to me to make the case that I never morally or ethically wronged another person and I've moved my life in a different direction. There is no law in place that outright denies me entry...


That's a pretty big gamble to take -- spending 3 years and quite a bit of money on law school when you don't know whether or not you'll be admitted to the bar. I suppose if you don't have your heart set on being a lawyer and just want the degree then it's not a huge deal, but the way you're phrasing it makes it sound like it is risky.

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FutureCongress
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Re: Address my Felony head on or save it for the addendum?

Postby FutureCongress » Tue Feb 11, 2014 5:57 pm

It's a risk, there's no doubt about that, but it's one I'm willing to take. I just wanted to update this so others have an example to draw from.

When I pass the bar I'll come back again ; )

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SemperLegal
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Re: Address my Felony head on or save it for the addendum?

Postby SemperLegal » Tue Feb 11, 2014 6:49 pm

FutureCongress wrote:It's a risk, there's no doubt about that, but it's one I'm willing to take. I just wanted to update this so others have an example to draw from.

When I pass the bar I'll come back again ; )



Sincere: Good luck.

Although it will be a rougher road that most to get past C&F, there are certainly people who have been admitted with much more significant legal issues.

I would be the most cautious about convincing the Bar that you are not a substance abuser. It might make sense for you to have a good record of counseling or volunteer work that shows that substance abuse won't lead you into ethical violations (which is remarkably common among lawyers).

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patogordo
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Re: Address my Felony head on or save it for the addendum?

Postby patogordo » Tue Feb 11, 2014 6:53 pm

did the tulane murderer ever get admitted?

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cinephile
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Re: Address my Felony head on or save it for the addendum?

Postby cinephile » Tue Feb 11, 2014 10:17 pm

FutureCongress wrote:
When I pass the bar I'll come back again ; )


Good luck. I really mean it. Law school is too horrible to experience without at least getting something out of it.

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FutureCongress
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Re: Address my Felony head on or save it for the addendum?

Postby FutureCongress » Wed Mar 05, 2014 2:35 pm

At the least I can put JD after my name...

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SemperLegal
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Re: Address my Felony head on or save it for the addendum?

Postby SemperLegal » Wed Mar 05, 2014 8:09 pm

FutureCongress wrote:At the least I can put JD after my name...



Sorry to hear that. Wish there was something else I could say.

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TLSanders
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Re: Address my Felony head on or save it for the addendum?

Postby TLSanders » Fri Mar 07, 2014 11:03 pm

Never address a negative in your personal statement to "take it head on" or anything of that nature. There are rare instances in which a negative forms the basis for a strong personal statement, but not in the way that you seem to be presenting that possibility here.

Your personal statement is a limited opportunity to showcase what is unique, positive, interesting and promising about you, and unless the negative does that in some way (ie; you spent a year in prison, during which time you were exposed to issues you'd never considered before and you came out and became deeply involved in a related charity or founded a halfway house or some such). this isn't the place for it.

In addition to that general (but important) rule, you will be required to address this in specific addenda for most schools, and the last thing you want to do is repeat yourself. In addition to wasting the opportunity to talk about something you really want them to know, you'll be drawing their attention back to this issue and virtually ensuring that it becomes your main identifier. That may happen anyway, but if you talk about it twice in the limited amount of material you submit with your application, you'll virtually guarantee it.




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