How Much Info to Disclose

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89vision
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How Much Info to Disclose

Postby 89vision » Sun Oct 09, 2011 5:56 pm

I was placed on disciplinary probation twice- 2 semesters for a drug violation, 1 semester for an alcohol violation. How much detail should I provide when asked to explain any disciplinary violations? Both ended in mandated rehab, the first of which was during school and was the only semester I did not make the Dean's list. I did not have this issue applying to undergrad, and I don't know how much the school wants to know. One admissions counselor stated to be explicit, because the admissions committee has great imaginations. Then again, I do not feel too good about detailing something to complete strangers that is very personal. One application stated it would be beneficial to list the name of a person who had an understanding of the infraction. How big of in issue will this be, and how much should I share?

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JamMasterJ
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Re: How Much Info to Disclose

Postby JamMasterJ » Sun Oct 09, 2011 6:01 pm

Be straightforward and honest. Go into enough detail that the circumstances are clear. Show that you've grown from the situation and that you've put it behind you. Don't try to hide anything, but if you "got drunk as a 19 year old b/c my gf cheated on me with my best friend," you don't need to get that detailed

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northwood
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Re: How Much Info to Disclose

Postby northwood » Sun Oct 09, 2011 6:08 pm

Disclose the relevant facts and details, but keep it short. If you can show how you've grown from it- do so, but tread carefully.

while you may not want to do so, write them out,and post it so people can let you know if you need to disclose more, or if you went into too much detail.

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89vision
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Re: How Much Info to Disclose

Postby 89vision » Sun Oct 09, 2011 6:14 pm

During the Spring 2009 semester, I confided x that I had developed a drug dependency during an end of the year meeting. When I returned to school in August of 2009, I learned that the infraction was reported first to the x, then to Judicial Affairs. I met with the Director of Judicial Affairs before returning for the school year, and the offense was listed as a drug violation. I was placed on disciplinary probation for the Fall 2009 and Spring 2010 semesters, and was required to enter a drug treatment program at University Hospitals following an intake evaluation, and to undergo counseling throughout my probationary period. I was released from probation in May 2010 after complying with all of the university-imposed sanctions.
On March 17, 2011, my Professor reported me to security for drinking underage at the on campus restaurant and bar. Judicial Affairs charged me with violating the universities alcohol policy, and I was placed on disciplinary probation for the remainder of the Spring 2011 semester until my graduation in December of 2011.

The second violation involved me going to class after drinking, which is something I would like to avoid disclosing. Do schools want to hear the "I know I made mistakes but I am a much better person for making them" thing? There's a mental health element involved as well (bi polar), and I would imagine that would be looked upon very negatively as a possible liability issue. All of this is in the school's file, even though it is confidential. I would rather not ask my adviser, because it would be awkward to disclose everything...

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theadvancededit
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Re: How Much Info to Disclose

Postby theadvancededit » Sun Oct 09, 2011 6:30 pm

89vision wrote:The second violation involved me going to class after drinking, which is something I would like to avoid disclosing. Do schools want to hear the "I know I made mistakes but I am a much better person for making them" thing? There's a mental health element involved as well (bi polar), and I would imagine that would be looked upon very negatively as a possible liability issue. All of this is in the school's file, even though it is confidential. I would rather not ask my adviser, because it would be awkward to disclose everything...


Disclosing your bi-polar disorder won't be looked upon negatively. However, your concern should be about your future C&F examination; disclosing only part of the violation could amount to some trouble later on. (I'm assuming part of the charge includes attending class under the influence.) If there is more to it (the mental health issue as well as anything else) then you do want to include it especially if treatment was involved in some way.

In response to your other question, schools don't necessarily need to hear the "I know I made mistakes but I'm a better person for making them" spiel but a sentence ending in "I have not and will not have any further disciplinary issues moving forward from this event" or something to that effect (if that is the case).
Last edited by theadvancededit on Mon Oct 10, 2011 5:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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kwais
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Re: How Much Info to Disclose

Postby kwais » Sun Oct 09, 2011 6:38 pm

the second incident left me with the impression that you had a poor relationship with that professor. I know that may not be the case, by my professors would have never done such a thing. Any way to fix that?

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JamMasterJ
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Re: How Much Info to Disclose

Postby JamMasterJ » Sun Oct 09, 2011 6:39 pm

Until you mentioned that you showed up to class after drinking, I didn't understand the second incident. You probably need to include that

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89vision
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Re: How Much Info to Disclose

Postby 89vision » Sun Oct 09, 2011 6:52 pm

I did not have a problem with him, and received an A in the class, but I do not know if including that will change any potential inferences.

Terms of probation included continued pysch treatment in both instances, therefore the mental health aspect was relevant in both cases, although I feel that including that aspect would be akin to excusing my actions. Although I can only make assumptions of how that information would be received.

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kwais
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Re: How Much Info to Disclose

Postby kwais » Sun Oct 09, 2011 6:58 pm

oh, just read more closely. Having a drink at a restaurant and being drunk in class are not that closely related. I think this is essentially unthruthful

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89vision
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Re: How Much Info to Disclose

Postby 89vision » Sun Oct 09, 2011 7:31 pm

I wrote it based on what policy the university stated I violated. They charged me with drinking at the bar underage-consumption, not public intoxication. Should I focus on the actual charge or the details of the charge? Should I state that it was on St. Patrick's Day? Security stated I was completely competent, illustrating that the level of intoxication was low to moderate. I took a quiz in class and received an A. I do not know how to explain it in a way that makes it look less severe, because I would imagine going to class after drinking is viewed as very disrespectful.

Is that all relevant? Writing more than a paragraph about each seems self indulgent, but is it better to write 1/2-3/4 of a page about every single tiny detail, or a brief summary? A dean of admissions stated that writing too much in an addendum is viewed negatively, but also hearing not to leave things up to the imagination of the admissions committee. How do I strike a reasonable balance between the two?

I plan to explain a 3.0 semester as related to rehab, because it was .5 lower than any other semester.

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northwood
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Re: How Much Info to Disclose

Postby northwood » Sun Oct 09, 2011 8:11 pm

state the facts. dont try to explain it, or make excuses. you can note that security said you were completely competant ( so you were not drunk in class) but dont go further than that

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89vision
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Re: How Much Info to Disclose

Postby 89vision » Mon Oct 10, 2011 5:15 pm

Okay. Do I need to disclose the mental health element since it is in my file? If so, what is the best way to do so?

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theadvancededit
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Re: How Much Info to Disclose

Postby theadvancededit » Mon Oct 10, 2011 5:55 pm

89vision wrote:I wrote it based on what policy the university stated I violated. They charged me with drinking at the bar underage-consumption, not public intoxication. Should I focus on the actual charge or the details of the charge? Should I state that it was on St. Patrick's Day? Security stated I was completely competent, illustrating that the level of intoxication was low to moderate. I took a quiz in class and received an A. I do not know how to explain it in a way that makes it look less severe, because I would imagine going to class after drinking is viewed as very disrespectful.


You need to talk about the details of the charge. Meaning, you need to describe what happened for you to be charged with it to begin with. So, yes, you do have to go into it as this is all relevant information. As you can see from my response as well as others above, you've left out a number of details that caused nearly all of us to misunderstand what your circumstances and actual charges were.

As for your mental health issues, you have to describe how it had adversely affected you, as this is to explain your disciplinary actions and treatment. Talk about what your treatment has been in order to show that you are continuing and will continue to monitor your condition and to assuage any concerns that this will be a problem in the future.

Seneca
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Re: How Much Info to Disclose

Postby Seneca » Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:36 pm

I agree with all of the above about being concise, but honest. I would call your Judicial Affairs office to discuss your cases and find out exactly what they have on file, and what exactly will be sent with your applications. I believe in some cases, if you complete a probationary period without incident, it's expunged from your disciplinary record, while in other cases, the report may include anything from a notation of the violation, to potentially a brief summary of the incident report and action taken (in this case, your mandated treatment).

Please note, though, that finding out specifically what your school will send should absolutely NOT be considered an "out" from disclosing (if you discover that the report mentions far less than you think), but it may help you be more consistent and use the proper terminology for the violation, the process, and the disciplinary action. The last thing you want is for adcoms to draw their own conclusions, and you definitely don't want any discrepancies between your version of the facts and the school's report.

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Hippononymous
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Re: How Much Info to Disclose

Postby Hippononymous » Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:51 pm

Think of it this way: Your law school only wants to make sure that you don't screw up their numbers by being refused admission to the bar when you have your C&F eval during 3L. Sure, they don't want you to binge your way out of law school, but I get the distinct impression that's not their main concern.

The Board of Bar Examiners WILL find ALL of this information out. So either way, they will know that you had an underage ticket in 2007 (for example). BUT, it looks much, much worse if you had an underage ticket in 2007 AND you lied about it in 2011. They will view this as two separate infractions, one of which is directly related to your attending law school.

Disclose, disclose, disclose.




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