expunged record disclosure on law school application???

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amk1787
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expunged record disclosure on law school application???

Postby amk1787 » Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:46 am

Hi everyone, It is about that time in my academic career to start applying to different law schools. I have 171 LSAT and 3.74 GPA but that is not the issue. When I was 20 years old I received a Minor in Possesion (MIP) conviction. statute 28-1-5 in alabama... I have since gotten the misdemeanor expunged. My question is whether or not i have to answer yes on law school apps when asked if I have ever been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor? My instinct is no but I have read otherwise so I offer the question up to discussion. What affect will this have on my acceptance chances?

thank you for your responses.

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emciosn
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Re: expunged record disclosure on law school application???

Postby emciosn » Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:52 am

I would say that you absolutely have to disclose it, even if it was expunged. Better to be honest about everything upfront. The fact that it was expunged does not change the fact that you were convicted of a misdemeanor. I don't think an isolated incident would have much of an effect. If you have a whole string of these sorts of incidents that would be another story. Just briefly address it in an addendum and say you made changes in your life to make sure it never happens again as evidenced by the past two years of clean record etc...

Just my thought.

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robotclubmember
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Re: expunged record disclosure on law school application???

Postby robotclubmember » Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:54 am

the app will expressly specify, most in the T14 said that expunged offenses should be included in your app.

if you fail to disclose, a background check will not be conducted by the school. however the bar to which you seek admission will have access to your application and will conduct a background check and will investigate the discrepancy. in all likelihood they will not deny you admission to the bar, but it would be within their right to do so and i am aware of at least one instance in my state (ohio) where failure to disclose an expunged offense resulted in a candidate being denied entry to the bar for three years, at which time he was eligible to apply again. not sure if you want to take that risk.

if you want to roll the dice, get an fbi background check on yourself: http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/background-checks

if it shows up on that, then the bar will see it also. also, look up the definition of expungement. for example, in many states it simply means "sealed." sealed means that it can be retrieved in a background check by the bar and the fbi. example, in ohio, adult offenses that are expunged are "sealed." juvenile offenses that are expunged are "irretrievably destroyed" five years after the offense and file could not be accessed by the bar or fbi. arizona, for example, has no statute for "expungement'" though they often call it that. they "set aside" the record which means civil rights are restored, however, anyone can still see the conviction.

you should report the offense. if you choose not to report it anyway, at least make sure it doesn't show up on an fbi background check first and that you are clear on what "expungement" means in your state.

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asunshinee
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Re: expunged record disclosure on law school application???

Postby asunshinee » Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:50 pm

If you look at your expungement documents it should specify. I had something expunged, and it stated that I did not have to disclose when filling out applications, or even if pulled over by a police officer. The only time I ever have to disclose that is under oath. Even if I'm searched by the FBI, it will not turn up. Look into the fine print on your expungement. If the FBI can't even see it, I doubt a law school would be able to find it. But that is just in my case, look more in depth into your own. Good luck.

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sabenser
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Re: expunged record disclosure on law school application???

Postby sabenser » Tue Jun 28, 2011 2:17 pm

I had the same issue.

My take on it was that if the law school app specifically mentions to include expunged crimes, then I included it. Mine was just writing in cement when I was 14 years old and was charged with malicious mischief in the state of Washington.

Your crime seems different though and something that the bar would car more about, considering you were over 18 and involves possession.

When the law schools would interview me about it, they would say that they didn't care what the crime was, they just cared that I was forthcoming with it.

bp shinners
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Re: expunged record disclosure on law school application???

Postby bp shinners » Tue Jun 28, 2011 10:29 pm

Definitely err on the side of disclosure.

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futurelawyer413
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Re: expunged record disclosure on law school application???

Postby futurelawyer413 » Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:42 pm

bp shinners wrote:Definitely err on the side of disclosure.


This. better to be safe than sorry.

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nids333
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Re: expunged record disclosure on law school application???

Postby nids333 » Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:16 am

In the grand scheme of violations, such as a DUI, grand larceny, and other felony convictions yours does not seem that bad. Just disclose it and write an addendum about how you have since matured from this incident. Costs benefits analysis wise, the costs of not disclosing (not gaining bar acceptance) is outweighs the benefits (minor if at all advantage of not having this on your record). My pre-law school advisor tells us that generally ad comms are very forgiving about minor alcoholic related issues.

sashatheturk
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Re: expunged record disclosure on law school application???

Postby sashatheturk » Thu Jun 30, 2011 1:58 am

My buddy has a strike (violent felony) in California that was expunged. Didnt disclose. Went to UCLA law, graduated and got a job in big law. It took 2 years, 3k in legal fees and a hearing before he finally got his bar card. Roll the dice with the bar after you graduate (youll be fine) rather than leave it in admissions hands. A board of practicing attorneys, judging your moral character to practice law, is far less apt to black ball you for getting caught with a keystone ice than board of academics, with a god complex, trying to whittle down candidates because they dont want to read any more applications at the end of the day. Good luck.

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Bildungsroman
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Re: expunged record disclosure on law school application???

Postby Bildungsroman » Thu Jun 30, 2011 2:09 am

sashatheturk wrote:My buddy has a strike (violent felony) in California that was expunged. Didnt disclose. Went to UCLA law, graduated and got a job in big law. It took 2 years, 3k in legal fees and a hearing before he finally got his bar card. Roll the dice with the bar after you graduate (youll be fine) rather than leave it in admissions hands. A board of practicing attorneys, judging your moral character to practice law, is far less apt to black ball you for getting caught with a keystone ice than board of academics, with a god complex, trying to whittle down candidates because they dont want to read any more applications at the end of the day. Good luck.

oh lord

notanumber
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Re: expunged record disclosure on law school application???

Postby notanumber » Thu Jun 30, 2011 2:20 am

sashatheturk wrote:My buddy has a strike (violent felony) in California that was expunged. Didnt disclose. Went to UCLA law, graduated and got a job in big law. It took 2 years, 3k in legal fees and a hearing before he finally got his bar card. Roll the dice with the bar after you graduate (youll be fine) rather than leave it in admissions hands. A board of practicing attorneys, judging your moral character to practice law, is far less apt to black ball you for getting caught with a keystone ice than board of academics, with a god complex, trying to whittle down candidates because they dont want to read any more applications at the end of the day. Good luck.


Disclose. Nobody is going to care that you drank in college. It will probably come to nothing in either case, but disclosing now will save you from worrying about it until you pass the bar.

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fatduck
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Re: expunged record disclosure on law school application???

Postby fatduck » Thu Jun 30, 2011 2:25 am

Bildungsroman wrote:
sashatheturk wrote:My buddy has a strike (violent felony) in California that was expunged. Didnt disclose. Went to UCLA law, graduated and got a job in big law. It took 2 years, 3k in legal fees and a hearing before he finally got his bar card. Roll the dice with the bar after you graduate (youll be fine) rather than leave it in admissions hands. A board of practicing attorneys, judging your moral character to practice law, is far less apt to black ball you for getting caught with a keystone ice than board of academics, with a god complex, trying to whittle down candidates because they dont want to read any more applications at the end of the day. Good luck.

oh lord

look, someone has to defend the rapists, and it may as well be someone who knows the basics of raping

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asunshinee
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Re: expunged record disclosure on law school application???

Postby asunshinee » Fri Jul 08, 2011 5:27 pm

Consulted with my lawyer on this one..

He said that for applying to law school if it has been expunged, you do NOT need to answer yes.

But he did say that you should definitely disclose on the Bar by answering yes with an addendum at the bottom.

Hope that helps.

schooner
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Re: expunged record disclosure on law school application???

Postby schooner » Fri Jul 08, 2011 5:47 pm

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Last edited by schooner on Sun May 03, 2015 12:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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sunynp
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Re: expunged record disclosure on law school application???

Postby sunynp » Fri Jul 08, 2011 5:52 pm

This is such a minor problem you should just disclose it. Why create an issue for yourself? How far under 21 were you? How much were you buying? Was this a lesser charge from something more serious you did?

I think you are foolish to not disclose. I think your lawyer is not giving you the best advice for admission/ethics purposes. Is your lawyer an expert on bar admissions? Is there more to this than you are saying?

Also, I don't know how your lawyer can give you a blanket answer when you can't specify a school or a state.

dkt4
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Re: expunged record disclosure on law school application???

Postby dkt4 » Sat Jul 09, 2011 5:16 pm

there's some stupid advice in this thread.

disclose it, if you don't you're just a maroon.

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Bronte
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Re: expunged record disclosure on law school application???

Postby Bronte » Sat Jul 09, 2011 5:29 pm

Disclose precisely what is requested on the application. Nothing more, nothing less. If it's ambiguous, disclose. Most applications are very clear on what they want. If you were convicted of this MIP, you will probably have to disclose it on every application regardless of expungement. (People are vary rarely convicted of first-time MIPs absent extenuating circumstances.) If you were not convicted, it was dismissed, and then you had it expunged, you will not have to disclose on some applications.

If you do not know whether or not you were convicted, you should either disclose on every application or consult an attorney. Assuming this is your only offense, it should not significantly affect your cycle. However, the TLS mantra (that has been regurgitated by 0Ls for years) that you should "disclose everything" is terrible advice. You should disclose precisely what is requested. If you do not understand what is requested, you should disclose. Disclosures can have a negative effect on your cycle, and thus the TLS advice of "disclose everything" can be very damaging, and 0Ls should stop spewing it.




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