Effect of 2 DUIs on Law School Admissions

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BlueLotus
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Effect of 2 DUIs on Law School Admissions

Postby BlueLotus » Mon Mar 11, 2013 3:46 pm

My cousin is interested in attending law school, however, unfortunately he has 2 DUIs under his belt--both occurred within the past ~6 years. In addition, his overall GPA is not too hot (sub-3.0) though he has a very strong upward trend and over 5 years of work experience in a "hard" science field. Please let me know what kind of effect the 2 DUIs would have on his prospects. Sorry I can't provide any more details, but I want to protect his anonymity as much as possible.

LDVM4334
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Re: Effect of 2 DUIs on Law School Admissions

Postby LDVM4334 » Mon Mar 11, 2013 4:48 pm

was he Superdrunk?

ramsdancer1
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Re: Effect of 2 DUIs on Law School Admissions

Postby ramsdancer1 » Mon Mar 11, 2013 5:02 pm

Someone asked a very similar question to my Kaplan LSAT teacher. He said and I quote "If you don't have a DUI before you attend law school you will have one before you’re finished". Granted he was kidding but he still assured us that DUI's would not prevent someone from attending law school. He attended U Chicago. He said that before he applied he was arrested for aggravated assault and battery. He expalined the incident and it wasn't really held against him. I'd explain the incident if he was just over the limit or something but if he was wasted I wouldn't say anything.

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BlueLotus
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Re: Effect of 2 DUIs on Law School Admissions

Postby BlueLotus » Mon Mar 11, 2013 5:49 pm

He was not completely wasted.

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Re: Effect of 2 DUIs on Law School Admissions

Postby bp shinners » Tue Mar 12, 2013 12:32 pm

2 DUIs will hurt. I've had several people with whom I've worked in that situation, and they definitely underperformed. Your cousin should get himself involved in some type of alcohol treatment program that is voluntary (i.e. not mandated by the sentencing/plea agreement) to show that he's trying to get the problem under control, even if he doesn't agree that he has a drinking problem.

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mvonh001
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Re: Effect of 2 DUIs on Law School Admissions

Postby mvonh001 » Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:07 pm

I have 1 dui that was reduced to a reckless, how will that effect me? Also, do i list that i got a dui or do i put it down as a reckless driving?

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Aawaldrop
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Re: Effect of 2 DUIs on Law School Admissions

Postby Aawaldrop » Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:13 pm

I think the sub 3.0 GPA will be a bigger hurdle

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mvonh001
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Re: Effect of 2 DUIs on Law School Admissions

Postby mvonh001 » Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:16 pm

Aawaldrop wrote:I think the sub 3.0 GPA will be a bigger hurdle



I'm a stupid idiot
I'm a stupid idiot
I'm a stupid idiot
I'm a stupid idiot
I'm a stupid idiot
I'm a stupid idiot
Last edited by mvonh001 on Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Dmini7
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Re: Effect of 2 DUIs on Law School Admissions

Postby Dmini7 » Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:20 pm

mvonh001 wrote:
Aawaldrop wrote:I think the sub 3.0 GPA will be a bigger hurdle


Is that referring to me? Because I have GPA of 3.3, thank you very much, and after this summer I will be at a 3.45. I know it's not great or even good, but its better than a sub 3.0.


Sub 3.0 is referring to the OP.

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Aawaldrop
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Re: Effect of 2 DUIs on Law School Admissions

Postby Aawaldrop » Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:20 pm

mvonh001 wrote:
Aawaldrop wrote:I think the sub 3.0 GPA will be a bigger hurdle


Is that referring to me? Because I have GPA of 3.3, thank you very much, and after this summer I will be at a 3.45. I know it's not great or even good, but its better than a sub 3.0.


Someone is testy. No, I was referring to the OP.

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mvonh001
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Re: Effect of 2 DUIs on Law School Admissions

Postby mvonh001 » Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:24 pm

Aawaldrop wrote:
mvonh001 wrote:
Aawaldrop wrote:I think the sub 3.0 GPA will be a bigger hurdle


Is that referring to me? Because I have GPA of 3.3, thank you very much, and after this summer I will be at a 3.45. I know it's not great or even good, but its better than a sub 3.0.


Someone is testy. No, I was referring to the OP.


Oops... MY BAD!! lol, I thought you were insulting me. My apologies to you, good sir.

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BlueLotus
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Re: Effect of 2 DUIs on Law School Admissions

Postby BlueLotus » Fri Mar 15, 2013 8:38 am

Unfortunately, my cousin's GPA is quite far off from the 3.0 line. 2.5ish. Dream is Northwestern because I put the idea in his head that they are splitter friendly, but with the rap sheet I am worried that dream will not materialize.

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Re: Effect of 2 DUIs on Law School Admissions

Postby llachans » Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:10 am

How long ago did the most recent one occur?

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BlueLotus
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Re: Effect of 2 DUIs on Law School Admissions

Postby BlueLotus » Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:11 am

llachans wrote:How long ago did the most recent one occur?


Between '08 and '09.

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DocHawkeye
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Re: Effect of 2 DUIs on Law School Admissions

Postby DocHawkeye » Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:18 am

PinkLotus wrote:
llachans wrote:How long ago did the most recent one occur?


Between '08 and '09.


Recently, we have had a bar commissioner and the state bar counsel for discipline come and speak to my legal ethics class over the past few weeks and they both indicated that 2 DUIs in the past 10 years would be a serious, if not insurmountable hurdle to bar admission. I suspect that this isn't true in every jurisdiction, but I would expect that it would close at least some law school doors.

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BlueLotus
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Re: Effect of 2 DUIs on Law School Admissions

Postby BlueLotus » Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:26 am

DocHawkeye wrote:
PinkLotus wrote:
llachans wrote:How long ago did the most recent one occur?


Between '08 and '09.


Recently, we have had a bar commissioner and the state bar counsel for discipline come and speak to my legal ethics class over the past few weeks and they both indicated that 2 DUIs in the past 10 years would be a serious, if not insurmountable hurdle to bar admission. I suspect that this isn't true in every jurisdiction, but I would expect that it would close at least some law school doors.


Yikes, thanks for letting me know. :cry:

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Re: Effect of 2 DUIs on Law School Admissions

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:28 am

DocHawkeye wrote:
PinkLotus wrote:
llachans wrote:How long ago did the most recent one occur?


Between '08 and '09.


Recently, we have had a bar commissioner and the state bar counsel for discipline come and speak to my legal ethics class over the past few weeks and they both indicated that 2 DUIs in the past 10 years would be a serious, if not insurmountable hurdle to bar admission. I suspect that this isn't true in every jurisdiction, but I would expect that it would close at least some law school doors.

Gosh - the message in my state was pretty much, "as long as you disclose, and have put it behind you and taken responsibility for/dealt with the issue, you'll be fine," for basically everything. Heck, felony convictions were fine, if you'd done your time (you just couldn't get barred while, you know, actually in prison). Good to know that's not universal (not that I am planning on getting DUIs, of course!).

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DocHawkeye
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Re: Effect of 2 DUIs on Law School Admissions

Postby DocHawkeye » Fri Mar 15, 2013 10:16 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
DocHawkeye wrote:
PinkLotus wrote:
llachans wrote:How long ago did the most recent one occur?


Between '08 and '09.


Recently, we have had a bar commissioner and the state bar counsel for discipline come and speak to my legal ethics class over the past few weeks and they both indicated that 2 DUIs in the past 10 years would be a serious, if not insurmountable hurdle to bar admission. I suspect that this isn't true in every jurisdiction, but I would expect that it would close at least some law school doors.

Gosh - the message in my state was pretty much, "as long as you disclose, and have put it behind you and taken responsibility for/dealt with the issue, you'll be fine," for basically everything. Heck, felony convictions were fine, if you'd done your time (you just couldn't get barred while, you know, actually in prison). Good to know that's not universal (not that I am planning on getting DUIs, of course!).


Clearly, I am not a bar examiner nor do I sit on the supreme court of any state so I can only relay what I have been told.

Bar admission standards vary widley from state to state, which is, in part why I intend to apply for admission in Iowa rather than Nebraska. Nebraska has a reputation of being one of the most demanding and conservative bars in the nation. A significant number of cases in our legal ethics casebook are from Nebraska and I don't think that the books was chosen for that reason. My advice, I think, would be to contact the supreme court of the state in which you (or your friend) would like to practice and just ask. The supreme court normally has the final say on bar admissions and there is usually an office that can answer such questions. They may only be able to tell you if it would be an absolute bar or not, There is also some information on the national council of bar examiners website, I think. It may not be as bad as you think, especially, if the most recent was five or six years old at the time of law school application and the older one was five or six years before that, but I would be prepared to write an explanatory memorandum at the very least.

Good luck!

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BlueLotus
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Re: Effect of 2 DUIs on Law School Admissions

Postby BlueLotus » Fri Mar 15, 2013 12:24 pm

Wow, thank you for such a thoughtful and detailed response. And thanks all for not being judgmental. What my cousin did was terrible (tho he hurt no one but himself) but he is a good human being who is trying to turn his life around for the better.

What about C&F re: being prescribed antidepressants? This is for me, not him. :|

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DocHawkeye
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Re: Effect of 2 DUIs on Law School Admissions

Postby DocHawkeye » Fri Mar 15, 2013 12:31 pm

PinkLotus wrote:Wow, thank you for such a thoughtful and detailed response. And thanks all for not being judgmental. What my cousin did was terrible (tho he hurt no one but himself) but he is a good human being who is trying to turn his life around for the better.

What about C&F re: being prescribed antidepressants? This is for me, not him. :|


Again with the caveats I stated above, my feeling is that this wouldn't be a problem. Depression is common and having been prescribed medication to control is would likely be seen as a positive step. I know that in some extreme cases, the Nebraska Bar will require an evaluation by a third party psychologist before recommending your an application, but this is rare.

For what it's worth, the bar examiner we had come and speak in my legal ethics class last week indicated that only about 1-3% of bar applications spur a follow-up interview for C&F reasons. He also said that in his tenure on the board, they have never denied an application without first having a follow-up although they have the power to do so. Most follow-up interviews result in the candidate being recommended to the bar.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Effect of 2 DUIs on Law School Admissions

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Mar 15, 2013 12:44 pm

PinkLotus wrote:What about C&F re: being prescribed antidepressants? This is for me, not him. :|

I'm pretty sure most C&Fs have a question about mental health treatment in the previous [however many - maybe 7?] years, so you'd have to disclose it (there may be an exemption for situational counseling, such as grief counseling, post-divorce, domestic abuse - that kind of thing). And if you disclose, you may need to get your mental health provider to sign a form that your treatment/condition doesn't cause any problems for your practice of law. But I don't think it's generally a problem - again, in my state, the emphasis was on dealing with your problems, so if you had, you were okay (that is, it was much better to be seeing a provider who could say you were doing great, then to struggle with depression and let it interfere with your practice).

I did hear of one person having problems with e.g. depression stuff, but IIRC the issue was that this person didn't want to have to disclose any of it - argued it was a violation of privacy - so it was more about what you should have to disclose than the actual impact of the disclosure. (This wasn't someone I knew personally, I think it someone who came to talk about C&F mentioned it.)

(Full disclosure: I used to be an anti-depressants, but it was outside the timeframe required by C&F, so I don't remember exactly what my state asked. I have had to address it in other background checks, though.)




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