Criminal Record and T14

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check23
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2010 9:35 am

Criminal Record and T14

Postby check23 » Fri Oct 01, 2010 9:44 am

Hi all, I didn't realize until just this minute that expunged records need to be reported, and I'm kinda freaked out. Basically, about 7 or 8 years ago I was picked up for felony drug possession (small amount of bad stuff). The conviction was thrown out and the arrest was expunged, because the search was illegal. So... in my mind I'd kind of dismissed it as a relevant item, but now that I'm looking at the applications, some of them clearly ask for expunged items as well. I am definitely going to be completely honest about this (still need to figure out exactly how to formulate the disclosure statement - I don't want to go on at length, but don't want to leave open questions in the adcom's minds), but how bad is this for my odds? I had been thinking I had a pretty good shot at CCN before this (and an outside shot at maybe Harvard or Stanford), based on the numbers... Now I'm just not sure at all how this is going to go.

Any advice is appreciated. :(

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grrrstick
Posts: 137
Joined: Thu Oct 01, 2009 2:58 pm

Re: Criminal Record and T14

Postby grrrstick » Fri Oct 01, 2010 9:52 am

Likely a non-issue as far as admissions go. Be sure to read things very carefully, and disclose if it is requested. Also, if you do not have a document from the state you were arrested in saying the offense was expunged, you need to make absolutely certain the offense was in fact expunged.

There is a small chance this might matter when you apply to the bar (as in your C&F might take a little longer to get done, not as in "do not pass go"). You should contact the state bar association where you plan to practice to see what documentation you will need when you apply, and begin the process of obtaining it.

bjc314
Posts: 65
Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2010 11:20 pm

Re: Criminal Record and T14

Postby bjc314 » Fri Oct 01, 2010 10:41 am

I'm dealing with similar disclosures and its important to read each school's requirements carefully. If they only ask for convictions, and nothing more, you do not need to disclose since your case was dismissed. If, however, they ask if you have ever been "arrested", "taken into custody" or "charged with' or "cited for a a crime" then you must disclose. By my recollection most of the T14 only inquire about the former. But in the case that you do have to disclose, be brief and to the point. I honestly doubt that an arrest which did not result in a conviction would carry much weight so long as the rest of your application is strong.

On another note, I think its bullshit that one should have disclose arrests which did not result in convictions. In principle, one is "innocent until proven guilty". Clearly the only purpose of disclosing arrests without convictions creates the potential that schools could use it against you--which is a blatant violation of the aforementioned.

check23
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2010 9:35 am

Re: Criminal Record and T14

Postby check23 » Fri Oct 01, 2010 1:20 pm

Yeah... I quickly scanned at the applications for all of the top ten except for Yale, and only Chicago and NYU appear to be interested in arrests, rather than convictions. So my panic level dropped a tad, I suppose... Probably just need to cut back on the coffee over here. :)

As far as their right to include or exclude arrests versus convictions, I would have to think that anything the bar uses for their C&F review would be fair game. Of course I've never personally undergone a C&F review, but if they're asking about arrests, I'm surprised more schools aren't asking about it. Anything that would impact their bar pass rate would be something I personally would include in there. Perhaps for schools like Columbia those pass rates aren't really that much of a concern.

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ArchRoark
Posts: 1000
Joined: Sat Jul 03, 2010 2:53 pm

Re: Criminal Record and T14

Postby ArchRoark » Fri Oct 01, 2010 1:22 pm

On the lower half of the T14, Northwestern/Cornell/Duke all ask for arrests/charges/everything.

check23
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2010 9:35 am

Re: Criminal Record and T14

Postby check23 » Fri Oct 01, 2010 1:28 pm

Tiva wrote:On the lower half of the T14, Northwestern/Cornell/Duke all ask for arrests/charges/everything.


Boo. Thanks for the info. I guess I'll be explaining how the immense amount of wisdom I gained from the experience will make me a better attorney... :roll:

It very possibly could, but nevertheless this is one of those "if I knew then what I know now" scenarios. And not in that "wow, why didn't I 'help' that cute Russian girl in college with her 'laundry' when she asked" type of way. Bah, sometimes I want a redo on life.




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