Plagiarism please help!

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
tommy99
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:39 pm

Plagiarism please help!

Postby tommy99 » Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:19 am

Thanks for the help everybody.
Last edited by tommy99 on Fri Apr 15, 2011 7:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

woeisme
Posts: 781
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 8:39 pm

Re: Plagiarism please help!

Postby woeisme » Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:26 am

So you'll have to disclose this to the bar. And I'd think all law schools will ask you about. Generally, this requires disclosure even if it were expunged from your record. You should face this head on. This will certainly require you to write an addendum of some sort. And it may affect your admissions. It won't necessarily mean that you won't get into as good of a school as you otherwise would though. It just means that various schools react differently to those types of things. If you've already scored the 169, It's still probably worth applying and seeing what happens. No harm no foul. I'd be very surprised if you didn't still get in places ... this is surmountable, especially since you say it was early in your college career.

I can't speak about other programs because that would be even more conjecture than what I've already supplied. Good luck and keep your chin up. At least you have a solid GPA and a clean record since then. Also, people get into graduate programs having done a lot worse than you. You did fuck up, and it's going to come back and bite you now, ... but you'll be fine in the long run. And this is overcome-able. Just be sincere about it all.

User avatar
minnbills
Posts: 3153
Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2010 2:04 pm

Re: Plagiarism please help!

Postby minnbills » Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:27 am

In before lock!

Sandro
Posts: 2526
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2009 12:12 am

Re: Plagiarism please help!

Postby Sandro » Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:29 am

You deserve what you get, for sure - but the extent that it will hurt you depends on the individual adcomms. Anecdotal advice from people with the same issue as yourself will help, but im not sure how many of them there are to be able to provide a clear enough picture.


I would say it would hurt, but with that GPA and LSAT you will still wind up getting into some good schools. Dont be too down on yourself.

User avatar
Muenchen
Posts: 1197
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 4:42 pm

Re: Plagiarism please help!

Postby Muenchen » Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:30 am

Please surrender yourself to your local police station for arrest. This is srs bzns.

rose711
Posts: 287
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2011 11:57 pm

Re: Plagiarism please help!

Postby rose711 » Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:34 am

Did the professor report this to anyone else? Did you get an honor code violation? Did you get expelled? Am I missing something here? Is it because you got an "F"?

And, I mean, cheating is bad - but you can't spend the rest of your life thinking about what a loser you are for doing it -- there are much worse things to have done. I'm sure your parents have moved on and forgiven you for this. What is the real deal here?

d34d9823
Posts: 1915
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2010 2:52 pm

Re: Plagiarism please help!

Postby d34d9823 » Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:37 am

^^

Did you just get an F or is there an academic misconduct violation on your record? In the former case, I wouldn't even bother to write an addendum. In the latter, you will have to disclose and submit a full explanation, which may or may not hurt you severely.

tommy99
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:39 pm

Re: Plagiarism please help!

Postby tommy99 » Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:41 am

Thanks for the help everybody.
Last edited by tommy99 on Fri Apr 15, 2011 7:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

d34d9823
Posts: 1915
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2010 2:52 pm

Re: Plagiarism please help!

Postby d34d9823 » Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:44 am

tommy99 wrote:I got an honors code violation and received a grade of "F" on my transcript. Nothing else happened. I feel like an F stands out in a sea of A's and B+'s.

Just the F, who cares. Most schools require you to submit an explanation for any misconduct citations, and I assume that the honor code violation will fall into that. That is what will hurt you. Good luck, man.

tommy99
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:39 pm

Re: Plagiarism please help!

Postby tommy99 » Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:47 am

Thanks for the help everybody.
Last edited by tommy99 on Fri Apr 15, 2011 7:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

rose711
Posts: 287
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2011 11:57 pm

Re: Plagiarism please help!

Postby rose711 » Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:54 am

I know this will only hurt but I want to know if I will still get into my target schools.


I don't know the answer to this question but there must be a way to research it. Can you ask an advisor at your school? Can you anonymously contact the schools that you are going to apply to?

Have you had any contact with the professor since that time? Would you consider talking to him about this and seeing if he might write something mitigating on your behalf as you have done so well since this class? It will be a difficult conversation - but it can't be more difficult than conversations you and the professor have already had about this incident. Or possibly a Dean might help you out?

I don't know if there is a way to predict in advance what adcomm's will do. I think you just have to write a fantastic explanation of what happened - With no excuse at all -- taking full responsibility and telling them how sorry you are. But try to sound sorry without sounding suicidal about it.

But I think you should still apply to the schools you want to get into. You will never know how much this will hurt your individual case unless you try.

2 more points - you could draft some submission and post it here for review by people - but please be careful to not out yourself. Be very careful of your personal information. You don't want students at whatever school you end up in to figure out who you are from this post. Put this incident in your rear view mirror and don't look back.
Last edited by rose711 on Fri Apr 15, 2011 1:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

tommy99
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:39 pm

Re: Plagiarism please help!

Postby tommy99 » Fri Apr 15, 2011 1:01 am

Thanks for the help everybody.
Last edited by tommy99 on Fri Apr 15, 2011 7:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

woeisme
Posts: 781
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 8:39 pm

Re: Plagiarism please help!

Postby woeisme » Fri Apr 15, 2011 1:17 am

tommy99 wrote:I know this will only hurt but I want to know if I will still get into my target schools.


Okay look, this isn't the type of thing that will keep you from passing the bar. So at the end of the day, this isn't the type of things that schools are universally going to be unforgiving about. There us likely to be a couple that don't look past this, but many (maybe most?) will. So your concern that this may hurt your chances at places is definitely warranted, but there's nothing you can do now except deal with it, right? Apply, be honest about it, and see what happens. You'll be fine.

User avatar
esq
Posts: 571
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 9:59 pm

Re: Plagiarism please help!

Postby esq » Fri Apr 15, 2011 1:32 am

tommy99 wrote:Early in my college career, I plagiarized parts of an essay for a class. The professor gave me the most stern punishment he could, an F. This incident resulted from gross time mismanagement. On the night before the paper was due, I panicked and cheated. Up until now, I didn't realize what wonderful opportunities I had pissed away due to one serious lapse of judgment. Many doors have closed because of what happened. My psyche was destroyed as well. Consequently, I ended up with a cumulative GPA of around an A- and an LSAT of 169. I feel like a failure. No, I am a failure. Worst of all, I let my parents down who did everything they could to put me through college.

^There's your addendum, for the most part. I think that that way you say it here makes it sound very reasonable, and if you can communicate it in a similar manner to the adcomms, I don't think that it will hurt you as much as you think it will.

User avatar
Kohinoor
Posts: 2756
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2008 5:51 pm

Re: Plagiarism please help!

Postby Kohinoor » Fri Apr 15, 2011 1:36 am

cees
Last edited by Kohinoor on Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Kohinoor
Posts: 2756
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2008 5:51 pm

Re: Plagiarism please help!

Postby Kohinoor » Fri Apr 15, 2011 1:40 am

bees
Last edited by Kohinoor on Fri Apr 15, 2011 12:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
gothamm
Posts: 506
Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2010 12:10 am

Re: Plagiarism please help!

Postby gothamm » Fri Apr 15, 2011 4:58 am

How does anyone not realize this is an epic flame?

tommy99?!??


4 posts?


get outta here...

User avatar
minnbills
Posts: 3153
Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2010 2:04 pm

Re: Plagiarism please help!

Postby minnbills » Fri Apr 15, 2011 7:21 am

gothamm wrote:How does anyone not realize this is an epic flame?

tommy99?!??


4 posts?


get outta here...


I called it first!

A- GPA and 169 LSAT was the tipoff.

tommy99
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2011 11:39 pm

Re: Plagiarism please help!

Postby tommy99 » Fri Apr 15, 2011 7:44 am

Thanks Kohinoor for the feedback. As for the rest of you, if I wasn't sincere enough for you, there is not much else I can do.

User avatar
AntipodeanPhil
Posts: 1300
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2011 7:02 pm

Re: Plagiarism please help!

Postby AntipodeanPhil » Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:22 am

I've taught at a number of universities, and caught probably two dozen cases of plagiarism, so I think I can provide an alternative point of view here.

The problem, in my view, is what this indicates about your character. Through my interactions with plagiarists, I have come to the conclusion that many are chronically lazy and dishonest - just awful, nasty people. I have found that these people are often very good at lying and other forms of deceit, and when I find one case of plagiarism, I often look through work I have previously graded by the student and find more. So I suspect that many students who are only found guilty of plagiarism once or twice engage in it as common practice.

There have been some cases where I have found plagiarism without forming a strongly negative view of the person's character, but they are rare. In one case, I came to the conclusion that the student had no previous experience with the kind of assessment I used, and panicked / didn't know what else to do. But if it's not an issue of character, it's usually an issue of intelligence, and you don't want that conclusion either.

You need some way of convincing law schools that this isn't indicative of your character - that is was entirely anomalous. A convincing story might help. Could you also make sure your letters attest to your character (hardworking, honest, etc)?

User avatar
AntipodeanPhil
Posts: 1300
Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2011 7:02 pm

Re: Plagiarism please help!

Postby AntipodeanPhil » Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:25 am

Kohinoor wrote:If you want constructive feedback, try not to make it look like the incident happened for an external reason ("This incident resulted from gross time mismanagement.") and like the worst part of your cheating was the consequences of getting caught

Yeah, you have to make it look like this was anomalous - not indicative of your character. The problem with the time management excuse is that you will presumably be pressed for time at various points in law school.

rose711
Posts: 287
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2011 11:57 pm

Re: Plagiarism please help!

Postby rose711 » Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:27 am

tommy99 wrote:Thanks Kohinoor for the feedback. As for the rest of you, if I wasn't sincere enough for you, there is not much else I can do.



It isn't that you aren't sincere, it is just the way you expressed yourself. I agree with Kohinoor that you can't use what you wrote here.

No one really cares what caused you to cheat - explaining why you did something wrong just sounds like an excuse 100% of the time. The reality is that cheating was the expedient way to get out of a situation, as it always is, it doesn't matter how you got into that situation. You had alternatives and you chose cheating.

The fact is that you cheated, got caught, suffered consequences and terrible guilt for hurting yourself and your family and have never done it again. The part about "rehabilitating yourself" in that you learned your lesson and would never cheat again is very important. That is why I thought a letter from someone in support of your addendum might be a good thing. I think minimizing the guilt you still feel is important because it comes across as excessive - not because you don't feel that guilty - but just reading it sounds like too much.

User avatar
quakeroats
Posts: 1399
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 8:34 am

Re: Plagiarism please help!

Postby quakeroats » Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:33 am

I wouldn't worry. You can be admitted to the Bar even after a felony conviction and a prison sentence:

http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case? ... 1065009627




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: crookedsmile, LewD33 and 6 guests