Question about character and fitness disclosures

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Amazon1994
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Question about character and fitness disclosures

Postby Amazon1994 » Thu Mar 16, 2017 7:14 pm

Hopeful future JD here,

Just wanted to get a general opinion here. I have an LSAT of 166 and will probably end up with a GPA around 3.75. My issue is that I have two disciplinary issues that im afraid will hurt my chances.

In summary:

2013 - MIP, plead no contest, was dismissed after completing an alcohol awareness program

2017 - was taken to detox after having too much to drink, was booked but no charges were filed, and no record exists on the court system.

I have some speeding tickets in high school as well but I've stayed out of trouble in that arena for the last 5 or so years so hopefully those won't be relevant. I fully intend to disclose both of these but I guess my question is, what affect would this have on my chances of getting into a top 40 school?

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Platopus
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Re: Question about character and fitness disclosures

Postby Platopus » Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:15 pm

The actual offenses are likely nothing to be concerned about. Almost everybody drinks underage at some point in college, some of those people get caught. Not a big deal. Everyone speeds; again, not a big deal.

BUT, having two separate incidences of misuse of alcohol over a 4 year period is going to raise some eyebrows. You need to write a strong addendum explaining the situations, especially your most recent issue. However, convincing an admissions officer that you can maturely control your relationship to alcohol is going to be an uphill battle since it is very recent. If you can put together an addendum that explains the situation, and how you changed, then you should be fine. I don't see either of these as very serious, and no one will care about speeding tickets. However, you definitely need to find a way to come across as mature, and ready to pursue a career as a professional.

Legallylawyer2020
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Re: Question about character and fitness disclosures

Postby Legallylawyer2020 » Fri Mar 17, 2017 12:25 pm

I agree with the above. It's the pattern of alcohol related incidents that's going to be a problem/raise eyebrows. If you write a strong addendum it will help but since the most recent incident was very very recent it may be a little more difficult to overcome. I don't think it will sink your apps though.

chicagoburger
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Re: Question about character and fitness disclosures

Postby chicagoburger » Fri Mar 17, 2017 12:55 pm

Amazon1994 wrote:Hopeful future JD here,

Just wanted to get a general opinion here. I have an LSAT of 166 and will probably end up with a GPA around 3.75. My issue is that I have two disciplinary issues that im afraid will hurt my chances.

In summary:

2013 - MIP, plead no contest, was dismissed after completing an alcohol awareness program

2017 - was taken to detox after having too much to drink, was booked but no charges were filed, and no record exists on the court system.

I have some speeding tickets in high school as well but I've stayed out of trouble in that arena for the last 5 or so years so hopefully those won't be relevant. I fully intend to disclose both of these but I guess my question is, what affect would this have on my chances of getting into a top 40 school?


Why would you disclose the second one if there is no record at all?

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guybourdin
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Re: Question about character and fitness disclosures

Postby guybourdin » Fri Mar 17, 2017 6:43 pm

chicagoburger wrote:
Amazon1994 wrote:Hopeful future JD here,

Just wanted to get a general opinion here. I have an LSAT of 166 and will probably end up with a GPA around 3.75. My issue is that I have two disciplinary issues that im afraid will hurt my chances.

In summary:

2013 - MIP, plead no contest, was dismissed after completing an alcohol awareness program

2017 - was taken to detox after having too much to drink, was booked but no charges were filed, and no record exists on the court system.

I have some speeding tickets in high school as well but I've stayed out of trouble in that arena for the last 5 or so years so hopefully those won't be relevant. I fully intend to disclose both of these but I guess my question is, what affect would this have on my chances of getting into a top 40 school?


Why would you disclose the second one if there is no record at all?


Because he wants to become a lawyer, not just get into law school... Not disclosing if the question necessitates it could result in his inability to sit for the bar or worse. Don't ask questions like this

NonTrad82
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Re: Question about character and fitness disclosures

Postby NonTrad82 » Fri Mar 17, 2017 7:16 pm

Amazon1994 wrote:Hopeful future JD here,

Just wanted to get a general opinion here. I have an LSAT of 166 and will probably end up with a GPA around 3.75. My issue is that I have two disciplinary issues that im afraid will hurt my chances.

In summary:

2013 - MIP, plead no contest, was dismissed after completing an alcohol awareness program

2017 - was taken to detox after having too much to drink, was booked but no charges were filed, and no record exists on the court system.

I have some speeding tickets in high school as well but I've stayed out of trouble in that arena for the last 5 or so years so hopefully those won't be relevant. I fully intend to disclose both of these but I guess my question is, what affect would this have on my chances of getting into a top 40 school?


First off, guy_bourdin is right. The conventional wisdom is DISCLOSE EVERYTHING on your LS apps--that way when/if you go before state bar C&F board, they can't dig up some dirt and then make you look bad for failing to disclose. I spoke to a lawyer who told me "Candor is everything"--that is, failing to disclose is often viewed as a worse transgression than whatever it is that you failed to disclose (obviously barring exotic examples).

Second, I have a misdemeanor assault and a shoplifting charge. When I contacted the OR and WA state bar C&F boards, they told me that although they can't predict the boards actions, they felt confident that my record wouldn't preclude bar admittance, because of: (i) the duration of time that had passed since these convictions; (ii) the fact that I hadn't been in any further trouble; (iii) my academic successes.

You can probably go to the bar website for the state in which you're thinking of practicing, and find a list of criteria that they use to assess those who have criminal records, as well as contact info for C&F board. Keeping your nose clean after your mistakes, and doing well in undergrad and law school are pretty big considerations here.

I disclosed the above convictions and more (minor stuff) and got admitted to 16 of the 18 schools I applied to, including a few T40 schools. If anything, I'd be less worried about how this impacts LS acceptances, and more concerned about the bar admittance. Just my three cents.

chicagoburger
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Re: Question about character and fitness disclosures

Postby chicagoburger » Sun Mar 19, 2017 8:26 pm

guybourdin wrote:
chicagoburger wrote:
Amazon1994 wrote:Hopeful future JD here,

Just wanted to get a general opinion here. I have an LSAT of 166 and will probably end up with a GPA around 3.75. My issue is that I have two disciplinary issues that im afraid will hurt my chances.

In summary:

2013 - MIP, plead no contest, was dismissed after completing an alcohol awareness program

2017 - was taken to detox after having too much to drink, was booked but no charges were filed, and no record exists on the court system.

I have some speeding tickets in high school as well but I've stayed out of trouble in that arena for the last 5 or so years so hopefully those won't be relevant. I fully intend to disclose both of these but I guess my question is, what affect would this have on my chances of getting into a top 40 school?


Why would you disclose the second one if there is no record at all?


Because he wants to become a lawyer, not just get into law school... Not disclosing if the question necessitates it could result in his inability to sit for the bar or worse. Don't ask questions like this


I asked a legit question: there is no record of the 2nd incident. The bar has no way to know about it.

chicagoburger
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Re: Question about character and fitness disclosures

Postby chicagoburger » Sun Mar 19, 2017 8:28 pm

If you abused your wife but have no police record, and now divorced, will you disclose that on your LS application?

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guybourdin
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Re: Question about character and fitness disclosures

Postby guybourdin » Sun Mar 19, 2017 8:40 pm

chicagoburger wrote:
guybourdin wrote:
chicagoburger wrote:
Amazon1994 wrote:Hopeful future JD here,

Just wanted to get a general opinion here. I have an LSAT of 166 and will probably end up with a GPA around 3.75. My issue is that I have two disciplinary issues that im afraid will hurt my chances.

In summary:

2013 - MIP, plead no contest, was dismissed after completing an alcohol awareness program

2017 - was taken to detox after having too much to drink, was booked but no charges were filed, and no record exists on the court system.

I have some speeding tickets in high school as well but I've stayed out of trouble in that arena for the last 5 or so years so hopefully those won't be relevant. I fully intend to disclose both of these but I guess my question is, what affect would this have on my chances of getting into a top 40 school?


Why would you disclose the second one if there is no record at all?


Because he wants to become a lawyer, not just get into law school... Not disclosing if the question necessitates it could result in his inability to sit for the bar or worse. Don't ask questions like this


I asked a legit question: there is no record of the 2nd incident. The bar has no way to know about it.


Okay, so this is upsetting. You did NOT ask a legit question. You asked a question that suggested or at least pointed towards the possibility of not being honest on some character and fitness disclosures.

You do not know what you're talking about. Most people here know you do not know what you are talking about. I'm pretty sure you know you don't know what you're talking about. Unfortunately, someone new to this board who doesn't know you're clueless could come across your post and think there are times it is okay to not disclose an incident simply because there is no record. Putting an idea like that out there is not a harmless question, it's a dangerous one. Do you understand that?

No one here cares when you ask questions. You can ask all the questions you want to. People respond Just make a new post. Don't slip your question into responses to other posts like this.

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guybourdin
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Re: Question about character and fitness disclosures

Postby guybourdin » Sun Mar 19, 2017 8:45 pm

chicagoburger wrote:If you abused your wife but have no police record, and now divorced, will you disclose that on your LS application?


You need to be responsive to the questions as they are given. C&F disclosures are all basically slightly different. One school might ask about convictions, another arrests, and so you can disclose more to one than another. I do not believe any c&f questions are broad enough to cover unreported assault, so probably no to answer your question, but there's probably a situation where you could tell one school you have a restraining order against you without telling another one (because they didn't ask).

chicagoburger
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Re: Question about character and fitness disclosures

Postby chicagoburger » Sun Mar 19, 2017 9:28 pm

guybourdin wrote:
chicagoburger wrote:
guybourdin wrote:
chicagoburger wrote:
Amazon1994 wrote:Hopeful future JD here,

Just wanted to get a general opinion here. I have an LSAT of 166 and will probably end up with a GPA around 3.75. My issue is that I have two disciplinary issues that im afraid will hurt my chances.

In summary:

2013 - MIP, plead no contest, was dismissed after completing an alcohol awareness program

2017 - was taken to detox after having too much to drink, was booked but no charges were filed, and no record exists on the court system.

I have some speeding tickets in high school as well but I've stayed out of trouble in that arena for the last 5 or so years so hopefully those won't be relevant. I fully intend to disclose both of these but I guess my question is, what affect would this have on my chances of getting into a top 40 school?


Why would you disclose the second one if there is no record at all?


Because he wants to become a lawyer, not just get into law school... Not disclosing if the question necessitates it could result in his inability to sit for the bar or worse. Don't ask questions like this


I asked a legit question: there is no record of the 2nd incident. The bar has no way to know about it.


Okay, so this is upsetting. You did NOT ask a legit question. You asked a question that suggested or at least pointed towards the possibility of not being honest on some character and fitness disclosures.

You do not know what you're talking about. Most people here know you do not know what you are talking about. I'm pretty sure you know you don't know what you're talking about. Unfortunately, someone new to this board who doesn't know you're clueless could come across your post and think there are times it is okay to not disclose an incident simply because there is no record. Putting an idea like that out there is not a harmless question, it's a dangerous one. Do you understand that?

No one here cares when you ask questions. You can ask all the questions you want to. People respond Just make a new post. Don't slip your question into responses to other posts like this.


What's your point? You don't like my question so I can't post it?
If OP reports the 2nd incident, I bet he has less than 50-50 chance to sit for the bar.
So my question is, again, why do you want to disclose something that has no record? If it's a serious problem, it will have record. If not, then you are just asking for trouble.

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bmathers
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Re: Question about character and fitness disclosures

Postby bmathers » Sun Mar 19, 2017 10:15 pm

Amazon1994 wrote:Hopeful future JD here,

Just wanted to get a general opinion here. I have an LSAT of 166 and will probably end up with a GPA around 3.75. My issue is that I have two disciplinary issues that im afraid will hurt my chances.

In summary:

2013 - MIP, plead no contest, was dismissed after completing an alcohol awareness program

2017 - was taken to detox after having too much to drink, was booked but no charges were filed, and no record exists on the court system.

I have some speeding tickets in high school as well but I've stayed out of trouble in that arena for the last 5 or so years so hopefully those won't be relevant. I fully intend to disclose both of these but I guess my question is, what affect would this have on my chances of getting into a top 40 school?

Personally, I received 2 underage drinking citations and a furnishing alcohol to a minor misdemeanor (expunged) over the course of 4 years (3 separate incidents). It didn't seem to have an impact on my cycle - I still was able to get 3 fulls tuition ships from T2 schools, and one stipend (and partial ships from some lower T1 schools - which, with my numbers, is not bad: 158 3.3 GPA).

You have nothing to worry about - none of that stuff will hold you from being able to sit for the bar. Disclose and move on, not a big deal.

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bmathers
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Re: Question about character and fitness disclosures

Postby bmathers » Sun Mar 19, 2017 10:20 pm

chicagoburger wrote:If OP reports the 2nd incident, I bet he has less than 50-50 chance to sit for the bar.

That's possibly the most irrational comment I have read on this forum. Making a mountain out of a mole hill, and completely inaccurate. I have spoken with people who know a bit about the bar about this stuff before - being that I have more of a "record" than this.

NonTrad82
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Re: Question about character and fitness disclosures

Postby NonTrad82 » Sun Mar 19, 2017 11:32 pm

bmathers wrote:
chicagoburger wrote:If OP reports the 2nd incident, I bet he has less than 50-50 chance to sit for the bar.

That's possibly the most irrational comment I have read on this forum. Making a mountain out of a mole hill, and completely inaccurate. I have spoken with people who know a bit about the bar about this stuff before - being that I have more of a "record" than this.


Agree--a 50/50 seems astonishingly bad. Famously, there are a couple folks who had committed homocide, and then later went to LS and passed the bar! Ultimately OP will have to make his own decision whether to disclose.

Whats more, I would suggest that it is possible for the bar to discover the jail booking, despite a lack of court records. At least for WA bar, C&F scrutiny of a candidate can even include the FBI's background check, AND often times jail-bookings are catalogued in the FBI database. If this happens, you'll be stuck explaining the thing you failed to disclose, and trying to explain to C&F why you failed to disclose.

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guybourdin
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Re: Question about character and fitness disclosures

Postby guybourdin » Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:07 am

chicagoburger wrote:What's your point? You don't like my question so I can't post it?
If OP reports the 2nd incident, I bet he has less than 50-50 chance to sit for the bar.
So my question is, again, why do you want to disclose something that has no record? If it's a serious problem, it will have record. If not, then you are just asking for trouble.


my point is this is dangerous advice and if you don't understand it, start a new topic instead of telling someone this toxic bullshit that could result in someone wasting 3 years and hundreds of thousands of dollars for nothing. Someone reads this and thinks it might be reasonable to not disclose and it isn't! When they aren't able to sit for the bar because they lied on their application, they can't say, well some idiot on TLS said it was okay, so I didn't disclose. I didn't know! we cool?

ruin your life, or don't, I don't care, but don't post shit like this.

chicagoburger
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Re: Question about character and fitness disclosures

Postby chicagoburger » Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:32 pm

guybourdin wrote:

my point is this is dangerous advice and if you don't understand it, start a new topic instead of telling someone this toxic bullshit that could result in someone wasting 3 years and hundreds of thousands of dollars for nothing. Someone reads this and thinks it might be reasonable to not disclose and it isn't! When they aren't able to sit for the bar because they lied on their application, they can't say, well some idiot on TLS said it was okay, so I didn't disclose. I didn't know! we cool?

ruin your life, or don't, I don't care, but don't post shit like this.


Your advice is a way more hurtful one for OP's sake. Why do you think it's okay to appear to have a serious drinking problem before the bar? OP could have overcome it personally. If there is no record (not my burden to prove it but OP's), then the bar will not question his judgment, and his 3 years will not be wasted.

It's stupid to disclose more than required.

Your advice will put him in a position that both the school and the bar will look into his drinking record, which will seriously harm him of becoming a lawyer now or 3 years later.

Don't give me your ethics/morals bs. That's not what this world runs on.

cavalier1138
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Re: Question about character and fitness disclosures

Postby cavalier1138 » Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:36 pm

chicagoburger wrote:Your advice is a way more hurtful one for OP's sake. Why do you think it's okay to appear to have a serious drinking problem before the bar? OP could have overcome it personally. If there is no record (not my burden to prove it but OP's), then the bar will not question his judgment, and his 3 years will not be wasted.

It's stupid to disclose more than required.

Your advice will put him in a position that both the school and the bar will look into his drinking record, which will seriously harm him of becoming a lawyer now or 3 years later.

Don't give me your ethics/morals bs. That's not what this world runs on.


Please stop giving anyone advice about anything ever. Seriously.

State bars have access to all kinds of records that aren't accessed in standard background checks for employment, and a lie by omission can be an extremely serious problem for your C&F. Half the attorneys in a given state bar probably have a serious drinking problem. None of them had any trouble getting admitted to the bar if they disclosed any minor offenses. What does stop someone from being admitted to the bar and does waste three years of their time is going to law school and applying for admission to the bar while concealing information about a past incident.

chicagoburger
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Re: Question about character and fitness disclosures

Postby chicagoburger » Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:47 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
chicagoburger wrote:Your advice is a way more hurtful one for OP's sake. Why do you think it's okay to appear to have a serious drinking problem before the bar? OP could have overcome it personally. If there is no record (not my burden to prove it but OP's), then the bar will not question his judgment, and his 3 years will not be wasted.

It's stupid to disclose more than required.

Your advice will put him in a position that both the school and the bar will look into his drinking record, which will seriously harm him of becoming a lawyer now or 3 years later.

Don't give me your ethics/morals bs. That's not what this world runs on.


Please stop giving anyone advice about anything ever. Seriously.

State bars have access to all kinds of records that aren't accessed in standard background checks for employment, and a lie by omission can be an extremely serious problem for your C&F. Half the attorneys in a given state bar probably have a serious drinking problem. None of them had any trouble getting admitted to the bar if they disclosed any minor offenses. What does stop someone from being admitted to the bar and does waste three years of their time is going to law school and applying for admission to the bar while concealing information about a past incident.


Which part don't you understand from OP's "no public record" claim? It's OP's burden to prove it true.
"Half the attorneys in a given state bar probably have a serious drinking problem. None of them had any trouble getting admitted to the bar if they disclosed any minor offenses."
1. You don't know about those attorneys, whether or not they disclosed their drinking problem, so please stop bs
2. Your claim doesn't cover those people who failed bar because of their drinking problem and never became attorneys. Go figure.

cavalier1138
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Re: Question about character and fitness disclosures

Postby cavalier1138 » Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:50 pm

chicagoburger wrote:Which part don't you understand from OP's "no public record" claim? It's OP's burden to prove it true.
"Half the attorneys in a given state bar probably have a serious drinking problem. None of them had any trouble getting admitted to the bar if they disclosed any minor offenses."
1. You don't know about those attorneys, whether or not they disclosed their drinking problem, so please stop bs
2. Your claim doesn't cover those people who failed bar because of their drinking problem. Go figure.


The OP was not clear about whether there was a record (they were booked, so there's something in the system), which is completely understandable, because they were very drunk. Better to disclose a minor issue than to risk it coming to light later.

And since you know absolutely fuck-all about law school, much less the C&F process, please stop. Just in general, please stop. Go back to ranting about how the LSAT destroys families, because giving people shit advice on this topic can actually wreck their future career.

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guybourdin
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Re: Question about character and fitness disclosures

Postby guybourdin » Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:51 pm

chicagoburger wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:
chicagoburger wrote:Your advice is a way more hurtful one for OP's sake. Why do you think it's okay to appear to have a serious drinking problem before the bar? OP could have overcome it personally. If there is no record (not my burden to prove it but OP's), then the bar will not question his judgment, and his 3 years will not be wasted.

It's stupid to disclose more than required.

Your advice will put him in a position that both the school and the bar will look into his drinking record, which will seriously harm him of becoming a lawyer now or 3 years later.

Don't give me your ethics/morals bs. That's not what this world runs on.


Please stop giving anyone advice about anything ever. Seriously.

State bars have access to all kinds of records that aren't accessed in standard background checks for employment, and a lie by omission can be an extremely serious problem for your C&F. Half the attorneys in a given state bar probably have a serious drinking problem. None of them had any trouble getting admitted to the bar if they disclosed any minor offenses. What does stop someone from being admitted to the bar and does waste three years of their time is going to law school and applying for admission to the bar while concealing information about a past incident.


Which part don't you understand from OP's "no public record" claim? It's OP's burden to prove it true.
"Half the attorneys in a given state bar probably have a serious drinking problem. None of them had any trouble getting admitted to the bar if they disclosed any minor offenses."
1. You don't know about those attorneys, whether or not they disclosed their drinking problem, so please stop bs
2. Your claim doesn't cover those people who failed bar because of their drinking problem. Go figure.


this is crazy. Your advice isn't just bad, it's malicious. YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT.

btw, OP never even said "no public record" they said no court record. there may be a police report or an arrest record that OP doesn't know about. OPs information was incomplete and we have to respond accordingly.

it is really sad that you are so stupid you have no problem going out of your way to give someone advice that could see them waste hundreds of thousands of dollars and multiple years of their life.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Question about character and fitness disclosures

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:54 pm

chicagoburger wrote:
guybourdin wrote:

my point is this is dangerous advice and if you don't understand it, start a new topic instead of telling someone this toxic bullshit that could result in someone wasting 3 years and hundreds of thousands of dollars for nothing. Someone reads this and thinks it might be reasonable to not disclose and it isn't! When they aren't able to sit for the bar because they lied on their application, they can't say, well some idiot on TLS said it was okay, so I didn't disclose. I didn't know! we cool?

ruin your life, or don't, I don't care, but don't post shit like this.


Your advice is a way more hurtful one for OP's sake. Why do you think it's okay to appear to have a serious drinking problem before the bar? OP could have overcome it personally. If there is no record (not my burden to prove it but OP's), then the bar will not question his judgment, and his 3 years will not be wasted.

It's stupid to disclose more than required.

Your advice will put him in a position that both the school and the bar will look into his drinking record, which will seriously harm him of becoming a lawyer now or 3 years later.

Don't give me your ethics/morals bs. That's not what this world runs on.

You don't understand legal ethics (which is fine; 0Ls never do). Stop giving advice about it. You are failing to understand that legal ethics has profession-specific rules that are not the same as common understanding of what's ethical and that failure to disclose is ALWAYS worse than what you're not disclosing. Anyway, consider this a warning not to give advice about disclosure here.

Amazon1994
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Re: Question about character and fitness disclosures

Postby Amazon1994 » Tue Mar 21, 2017 5:37 pm

Wow. This really blew up.

I think it's a foregone conclusion that I disclose everything, the coverup is worse than the crime.

My other question would be... Does admissions look at the rest of your application when trying to ascertain the severity of potential C&F issues? For example, I feel that my softs, GPA, and LSAT paint a different picture than the two issues I described in my original post. Is that going to help me so long as I take responsibility in my addendum?

NonTrad82
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Re: Question about character and fitness disclosures

Postby NonTrad82 » Tue Mar 21, 2017 6:44 pm

Amazon1994 wrote:Wow. This really blew up.

I think it's a foregone conclusion that I disclose everything, the coverup is worse than the crime.

My other question would be... Does admissions look at the rest of your application when trying to ascertain the severity of potential C&F issues? For example, I feel that my softs, GPA, and LSAT paint a different picture than the two issues I described in my original post. Is that going to help me so long as I take responsibility in my addendum?


Admissions is a bunch of people, so YMMV depending on admissions officer/school, etc. BUT, I'd say admissions will likely want to contextualize the disclosed issues, which would certainly include your academic successes. They're trying to assess your total character, which is not simply composed of/represented by the bad things you've done, but rather your whole life. So, try to use the rest of your app to convince them of what you think would help them understand your "true" character (which I'm presuming is otherwise probably pretty good). Meanwhile, use the disclosure addendum to explain the issue, and, yes, take responsibility. In Anne Ivey's book she basically recommends that you try to find a golden mean: taking responsibility/displaying mature retrospection, and doing so without either raking yourself over the coals for being a terrible person, nor acting like it was all "the system" unjustly victimizing you. Hope that's helpful.




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