Applying to Law School with a Criminal Record

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TTTGrad
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Re: Applying to Law School with a Criminal Record

Postby TTTGrad » Wed Jun 23, 2010 10:32 pm

HBK wrote:Also, googling "Robert Triffin" only brings up stuff about an economist.

It was only googling "Robert Triffin" character and fitness that brought anything up. That was one article by the National Conference of Bar Examiners. The article is located here: --LinkRemoved--.

This would be a good article for the OP to read. Triffin had committed civil fraud and practiced as an unlicensed attorney. He hadn't paid his debts or judgements, and had made no effort to do so. He was more than a hot check writer.



Here is an actual reported decision from the NJ Supreme Court on Mr. Triffin's bar admission application:

http://www.romingerlegal.com/new_jersey ... 7.opn.html

HBK: I think it was Mr. Triffin's latter actions that have prevented him from gaining admission to the bar (i.e., lack of remorse or rehabilitation). However, it was the civil fraud and check-kiting that kept him out in the first place. There is a pecking order of crimes when it comes to C&F. A murder conviction will keep you out no matter how rehabilitated you are. Crimes involving theft and dishonesty are actually worse than sex crime convictions. I actually know an attorney who was convicted of "endangering the welfare of a minor" which is a euphemism for child molestation who was admitted. However, to this day, I have yet to see an attorney convicted of theft admitted immediately after passing the bar. The theft conviction will remain a hurdle and some judges (that may sit on the C&F committee) believe that once a thief, always a thief. IMO, investing 3 years in law school, taking out enormous loans and with the odds against you that you will not be admitted to the bar is reckless. In fact, being indebted with non-dischargeable student loans with no employment prospects is the type of situation that galvanizes desperate folks to commit bad things, such as theft.

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Mr. Matlock
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Re: Applying to Law School with a Criminal Record

Postby Mr. Matlock » Wed Jun 23, 2010 10:41 pm

TTTGrad wrote:HBK: I think it was Mr. Triffin's latter actions that have prevented him from gaining admission to the bar (i.e., lack of remorse or rehabilitation). However, it was the civil fraud and check-kiting that kept him out in the first place. There is a pecking order of crimes when it comes to C&F. A murder conviction will keep you out no matter how rehabilitated you are. Crimes involving theft and dishonesty are actually worse than sex crime convictions. I actually know an attorney who was convicted of "endangering the welfare of a minor" which is a euphemism for child molestation who was admitted. However, to this day, I have yet to see an attorney convicted of theft admitted immediately after passing the bar. The theft conviction will remain a hurdle and some judges (that may sit on the C&F committee) believe that once a thief, always a thief. IMO, investing 3 years in law school, taking out enormous loans and with the odds against you that you will not be admitted to the bar is reckless. In fact, being indebted with non-dischargeable student loans with no employment prospects is the type of situation that galvanizes desperate folks to commit bad things, such as theft.

Awwwww TTTGrad, you're so good to us. Tell us another one!!

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Prelawtiger
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Re: Applying to Law School with a Criminal Record

Postby Prelawtiger » Wed Jun 23, 2010 10:50 pm

Well all of this has me slightly worried about my future, so I figure this is a good place to ask.

My situation is somewhat unique. Happened 5 years ago (I'm about to enter LS this fall), so there's some distance in-between.

I was new at college, developed a pretty nasty gambling problem, and found myself in a big hole. At the culmination, I created a terrible situation for myself. One of my friends had given me a check to write to myself, as he owed me money. I took additional checks and wrote them to myself, as well, for a few hundred bucks. The banks noticed, things spun out of control quickly, and they called the police. I was arrested for forgery shortly thereafter. At the urging of my buddy and his family, the case was dropped at preliminary hearing a few weeks later. I had paid him back, and they claimed it to be a misunderstanding and that they didn't want to pursue it. Charges dropped, nothing else came of it.

I obviously haven't done anything of that nature since.

Given that my case doesn't involve a conviction and never saw a trial or anything, what's my situation going to look like? I plan to practice in Texas, FWIW.

Have distanced myself from the gambling habits. Overcame that addiction a while back.

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Mr. Matlock
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Re: Applying to Law School with a Criminal Record

Postby Mr. Matlock » Wed Jun 23, 2010 10:54 pm

Prelawtiger wrote:Well all of this has me slightly worried about my future, so I figure this is a good place to ask.

My situation is somewhat unique. Happened 5 years ago (I'm about to enter LS this fall), so there's some distance in-between.

I was new at college, developed a pretty nasty gambling problem, and found myself in a big hole. At the culmination, I created a terrible situation for myself. One of my friends had given me a check to write to myself, as he owed me money. I took additional checks and wrote them to myself, as well, for a few hundred bucks. The banks noticed, things spun out of control quickly, and they called the police. I was arrested for forgery shortly thereafter. At the urging of my buddy and his family, the case was dropped at preliminary hearing a few weeks later. I had paid him back, and they claimed it to be a misunderstanding and that they didn't want to pursue it. Charges dropped, nothing else came of it.

I obviously haven't done anything of that nature since.

Given that my case doesn't involve a conviction and never saw a trial or anything, what's my situation going to look like? I plan to practice in Texas, FWIW.

Have distanced myself from the gambling habits. Overcame that addiction a while back.

IMHO, as long as you were forthcoming on your applications, you should be ok. Although, as stated above, I would CERTAINLY consult an attorney about this from your states bar.

TTTGrad
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Re: Applying to Law School with a Criminal Record

Postby TTTGrad » Wed Jun 23, 2010 11:10 pm

Prelawtiger wrote:Well all of this has me slightly worried about my future, so I figure this is a good place to ask.

My situation is somewhat unique. Happened 5 years ago (I'm about to enter LS this fall), so there's some distance in-between.

I was new at college, developed a pretty nasty gambling problem, and found myself in a big hole. At the culmination, I created a terrible situation for myself. One of my friends had given me a check to write to myself, as he owed me money. I took additional checks and wrote them to myself, as well, for a few hundred bucks. The banks noticed, things spun out of control quickly, and they called the police. I was arrested for forgery shortly thereafter. At the urging of my buddy and his family, the case was dropped at preliminary hearing a few weeks later. I had paid him back, and they claimed it to be a misunderstanding and that they didn't want to pursue it. Charges dropped, nothing else came of it.

I obviously haven't done anything of that nature since.

Given that my case doesn't involve a conviction and never saw a trial or anything, what's my situation going to look like? I plan to practice in Texas, FWIW.

Have distanced myself from the gambling habits. Overcame that addiction a while back.


You will have to disclose the arrest even if there was no conviction. Your situation is not half as bad as the OP's. However, the bar dislikes applicants with a gambling past.

Attorneys with gambling problems are more likely to raid trust accounts. Are you sure you are cured of your gambling problem? I wouldn't take a chance entrusting a child with a reformed pedophile. Why should the bar entrust a gambler with clients' money?

Here is a recent story involving an attorney who gambled her law license away for the rush of winning on the craps tables:

http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1202424713260

--Attorney who was disbarred for dipping into trust accounts to finance her gambling addiction. She latter sued the casinos for $20M claiming they owed her a duty of care and should have stopped her. Needless to say, her lawsuit was dismissed.

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PlugInBaby
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Re: Applying to Law School with a Criminal Record

Postby PlugInBaby » Wed Jun 23, 2010 11:21 pm

I like this Cassandra better...

Image

Anyway OP disclose and be honest and forthright about the errors you have made. In additon to the good advice on this thread I would also recommend applying to many schools as cycles with those with criminal convictions can be quite unpredictable. Don't be afraid to look outside of LA. The more shots you take, the more likely you will hit the bullseye.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Applying to Law School with a Criminal Record

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Jun 24, 2010 10:27 am

Although you are likely to find law schools that will take your tuition dollars, bar membership is going to be a hurdle with a major obstacle in your situation. Consult with an attorney who specializes in bar disciplinary proceedings in the jurisdiction where you plan to practice law. Due in part to malpractice concerns, any reputable attorney consulted in this matter should advise you that spending three years and over $100,000 on law school attendance is a significant gamble on your part. Embezzlement is a very serious matter and I would be shocked if you were admitted to any bar within 10 years of your conviction and surprised if you were admitted to any state bar at any time. Consider getting an MBA degree & self employment as most or all major employers perform criminal background checks on applicants and the terms of their fidelity bond coverage would prohibit hiring you.
In my opinion, you should not waste your time & money on law school if your goal in attending is to become a member of the bar.

EDIT: My response is to the OP, lion24, and not to the other poster seeking advice about an arrest that didn't involve a conviction.
Last edited by CanadianWolf on Thu Jun 24, 2010 10:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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thecilent
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Re: Applying to Law School with a Criminal Record

Postby thecilent » Thu Jun 24, 2010 10:36 am

TTTGrad wrote:You will have to disclose the arrest even if there was no conviction. Your situation is not half as bad as the OP's. However, the bar dislikes applicants with a gambling past.


Will only have to disclose the arrest on applications that ask for arrests as well as convictions, not all of them do.

Also, the bar doesn't have to know that he had a gambling problem. It was a misunderstanding with checks being cashed.

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380yarddrives
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Re: Applying to Law School with a Criminal Record

Postby 380yarddrives » Thu Jun 24, 2010 10:43 am

Sounds like this happened in 2008? That wasn't very long ago.

ReadingNation
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Re: Applying to Law School with a Criminal Record

Postby ReadingNation » Thu Jun 24, 2010 11:10 am

OP ... I haven't read the entirety of the thread (i.e. other people's responses) but you may want to check this out ... http://today.brown.edu/articles/2008/06/andres-idarraga and consider contacting the guy ... he may be sympathetic to your case/situation ... I know of him but don't know him personally so take my advice with a grain of salt ... below is another article about him ... good luck

http://www.browndailyherald.com/feature ... -1.1670774




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