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Does anyone know if law schools do background checks?

Posted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 2:14 pm
by calizner
My boyfriend is applying to law schools in Boston and apparently didn't read the questions very well when it discussed his record. Apparently he was supposed to disclose if he had ever been on probation for a misdemeanor. How he forgot to read this, I will never know. Now he is concerned that the law school will do a background check and discover his misstatement. Despite my desire to not get involved, he doesn't even know this forum exists, so I thought I'd send out a quick question if anyone knows the answer. Do law schools do background checks?
(and yes, I have warned him about the undeniable issue of the bar ethics review)

Re: Does anyone know if law schools do background checks?

Posted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 2:23 pm
by Supernova
Law Schools won't likely discover this fact....until after he applies to the bar. At that time, not only can he be denied admittance to the bar, the state bar could inform the school that he lied on his application, which could result in the revocation of his degree.

At this point, the smart thing to do would be to immediately have him send in an addendum explaining he forgot to mention it, but ....blah, blah, blah (his explanation of the misdemeanor).

Re: Does anyone know if law schools do background checks?

Posted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 2:30 pm
by YCrevolution
Supernova wrote:Law Schools won't likely discover this fact....until after he applies to the bar. At that time, not only can he be denied admittance to the bar, the state bar could inform the school that he lied on his application, which could result in the revocation of his degree.

At this point, the smart thing to do would be to immediately have him send in an addendum explaining he forgot to mention it, but ....blah, blah, blah (his explanation of the misdemeanor).

Not necessarily revocation of his degree, but it is possible that he wouldn't be allowed to sit for the bar and that would make the degree worthless. As Supernova, said, send an addendum immediately explaining the misdemeanor.

Re: Does anyone know if law schools do background checks?

Posted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 2:35 pm
by calizner
haha thanks, i've already told him all of this. just looking for back up.

Re: Does anyone know if law schools do background checks?

Posted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 2:56 pm
by jgg1974
From what I hear, it's not the offense that was done, it is more if he has the ethics to fess up, it shows that he is an honest person, and the like..blabla...i had a DUI when I was young, and I put it down and wrote about it..Every school I called to find out if this was going to be an issue told me that there are a lot of students who have DUI's and it would not cause me to be denied, BUT, if i didnt tell them about it, like the above said, I can kicked out, cant take the bar.. etc etc.. ANd lose all that money and time... NOT WORTH IT!!! You cant hide from paper work ya know.. And if he doesnt want to tell, maybe he shouldn't be a lawyer....

Re: Does anyone know if law schools do background checks?

Posted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 3:10 pm
by scantronix
Eh I just realized I made a similar error. I have what I *think* is a conviction for something that happened when I was 15. I didn't disclose it and checked no on the "have you ever been convicted" of a crime thing. It could have been deferred adjudication or dismissed honestly I don't remember, it was 13 years ago. I'm not hiding it and don't mind disclosing it - the incident was actually somewhat of a focal point of my addendum and personal statement. I just checked 'no' on the box. I've already been admitted to my top choice. Should I call them, mail them a letter or email them?

Edit: Also, do I need to do this with every school I applied to or just the one I will be attending? Does the Bar look at all your apps? I don't really see the point in sending out twelve disclaimers to law schools I won't be attending but I will if it will be a problem later...

Re: Does anyone know if law schools do background checks?

Posted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 3:27 pm
by Supernana
Scantronix ... if you wrote about it in an addendum and in your personal statement I don't think its as big of a deal. If it will help you sleep better at night call the school and ask them ... but its not like you were hiding it.