Advice re: unusual disclosure/PS topic?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
User avatar
LegallyBlonde923
Posts: 261
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 8:35 pm

Advice re: unusual disclosure/PS topic?

Postby LegallyBlonde923 » Thu May 20, 2010 7:51 pm

DELETED
Last edited by LegallyBlonde923 on Fri Aug 13, 2010 2:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

cartercl
Posts: 454
Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2009 1:08 am

Re: Advice re: unusual disclosure/PS topic?

Postby cartercl » Thu May 20, 2010 8:05 pm

LegallyBlonde923 wrote:I'm not going to delve into too many details here, but right before I started college (after I turned 18), I was charged with several serious misdemeanors (not involving drinking or anything typical). Long story short, I was in the wrong place at the wrong time and had nothing to do with the criminal acts. The judge knew this and the charges were dismissed at the preliminary hearing. My record was later expunged.

I obviously have to disclose this incident, and I'm planning on writing my personal statement about it, since it was the spark for my interest in public interest law. My question is, do I need an addendum to add to the disclosure if I am going to write about the incident in detail in my PS? Does anyone have suggestions regarding this situation?

Thanks!


The bolded... yeah, I wouldn't say that. I think if you were truly innocent adcomms are smart enough to arrive at this conclusion on their own. Honestly, adcomms know charges get dismissed everyday for reasons other than actual innocence, so they might not believe you. Some applications even say this to justify their request for disclosure.

I'm not saying you're not innocent; I'm just saying you run the risk of appearing as if you're not accepting responsibility if you say "I had nothing to do with the incident." Maybe there was something you could have done differently to avoid the situation? I would focus on what I learned from the incident, and focus on how the incident sparked your interest in public interest law. Just my two cents. (I had to address 3 misdemeanors in my PS by the way, one of which I felt wasn't my fault, but I took this approach.)

Edit: Grammar

User avatar
LegallyBlonde923
Posts: 261
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 8:35 pm

Re: Advice re: unusual disclosure/PS topic?

Postby LegallyBlonde923 » Thu May 20, 2010 8:09 pm

The bolded... yeah, I wouldn't say that. I think if you were truly innocent adcomms are smart enough to arrive at this conclusion on their own. Honestly, adcomms know charges get dismissed everyday for reasons other than actual innocence, so they might not believe you. Some applications even say this to justify their request for disclosure.

I'm not saying you're not innocent; I'm just saying you run the risk of appearing as is you're not accepting responsibility if you say "I had nothing to do with the incident." Maybe there was something you could have done differently to avoid the situation? I would focus on what I learned from the incident, and focus on how the incident sparked your interest in public interest law. Just my two cents. (I had to address 3 misdemeanors in my PS by the way, one of which I felt wasn't my fault, but I took this approach)


Thanks! I will definitely take your advice in my PS... once the situation is described in detail the "I had nothing to do with it" commentary becomes irrelevant. Did you feel that having misdemeanors in your PS got you dinged anywhere or didn't affect you?

cartercl
Posts: 454
Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2009 1:08 am

Re: Advice re: unusual disclosure/PS topic?

Postby cartercl » Thu May 20, 2010 8:22 pm

LegallyBlonde923 wrote:
Thanks! I will definitely take your advice in my PS... once the situation is described in detail the "I had nothing to do with it" commentary becomes irrelevant. Did you feel that having misdemeanors in your PS got you dinged anywhere or didn't affect you?


Honestly, I don't think they affected me that much. I was either at median, 75th, or above 75th (LSAT) at almost all the schools I applied to. If I got dinged it was because I applied super late (the end of Feb./beginning of March) or because my GPA wasn't up to par. Even applying late w/ a criminal record, I still got a T2 scholly, but I'm reapplying first thing next cycle with a much better overall application.

ScaredWorkedBored
Posts: 409
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 12:39 pm

Re: Advice re: unusual disclosure/PS topic?

Postby ScaredWorkedBored » Fri May 21, 2010 12:10 pm

Don't put it in your personal statement. It just consumes space and you're just repeating yourself from your required addendum.

This should probably actually be a pretty short addendum, something like this:

Addendum to [Question Number re: criminal history]

"My arrest record consists of X. During [year] I was [circumstances of arrest]. I do not know any specifics beyond [your actual activities] because I was not responsible for this. The charges were dismissed by the judge at a preliminary hearing on [date]."

I'm not really sure what you're talking about in terms of your record being expunged. I think what you mean is you had your fingerprint card of the arrest returned/destroyed. That's different from an expungement.

Be advised that your narrative as to what you were actually doing shouldn't be completely off on Mars compared to how the police actually arrested you. They may well still have that police report on file and in a few years, the Bar *will* request it. Whatever the police narrative was is irrelevent but if you were at the scene and you said in your addendum you were at home, you've just created a totally unnecessary serious problem for yourself.




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], hwwong and 4 guests