Top 5 percent 1L, T14, worried about background check

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rando
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Re: Top 5 percent 1L, T14, worried about background check

Postby rando » Sat Mar 20, 2010 9:54 am

Anonymous User wrote:
I'm honestly not trying to play a pity card. Just frustrated with myself. It's so late in the game, and I have no clue what to do if the two judge possibilities fall through.


Seriously. RA. I know it seems like employers may look down on it. They don't. And if you have any inclination to clerk, you will be in a terrific position to do so as top 5% at T14 and working closely with a prof over the summer (and getting meagerly paid) will get you a fantastic LOR.
I am working on clerkship apps now and wish I had RA'd for a prof last summer. I have the numbers but my LOR's are bland. "... got an A in my class blah blah blah."

mhernton
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Re: Top 5 percent 1L, T14, worried about background check

Postby mhernton » Sat Mar 20, 2010 10:39 am

I won't beat you up about the DUI. There is no point. Shit happens don't relive it. Having worked in the federal government for the past 16 years or so, I can tell you that you're taking this a little more seriously than everyone else does. I don't mean to deny the seriousness of the issue, but the DSS (Defense Security Service) investigation is irritating. The will ask about the incident, the details etc, and ask people who know you about it. I'm assuming they'll use the DSS. If they like you as a candidate, and they believe you've learned your lesson, and the circumstances of the Reckless Driving are such that you didn't drive through a storefront window or something like that, you still have a pretty good shot at getting the position. I live in California, where I can through a rock randomly into a crowd of people and hit someone who has a DUI. They all still have jobs, and left and been rehired at positions. Its a pain in the ass and its a lesson in life to learn, (the I've luckily avoided learning) but its certainly not the end of the world, or the end of your legal career. I'd be more concerned about the state bar where you plan on practicing. If they'll still accept you, you have a good shot practicing law where ever you want. Remember President Bush has a couple of DUIs on his record, he still became governor of Texas. Not to say that we all have the advantage of having Bush as our last name, but the point is, DUIs are something you can move past, as long as no one was killed, maimed or property destroyed, which it wasn't because you pleaded down to Reckless Driving. Relax, take a deep breath and do some research on the subject...Good Luck

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KibblesAndVick
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Re: Top 5 percent 1L, T14, worried about background check

Postby KibblesAndVick » Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:07 am

mhernton wrote:I won't beat you up about the DUI. There is no point. Shit happens don't relive it. Having worked in the federal government for the past 16 years or so, I can tell you that you're taking this a little more seriously than everyone else does. I don't mean to deny the seriousness of the issue, but the DSS (Defense Security Service) investigation is irritating. The will ask about the incident, the details etc, and ask people who know you about it. I'm assuming they'll use the DSS. If they like you as a candidate, and they believe you've learned your lesson, and the circumstances of the Reckless Driving are such that you didn't drive through a storefront window or something like that, you still have a pretty good shot at getting the position. I live in California, where I can through a rock randomly into a crowd of people and hit someone who has a DUI. They all still have jobs, and left and been rehired at positions. Its a pain in the ass and its a lesson in life to learn, (the I've luckily avoided learning) but its certainly not the end of the world, or the end of your legal career. I'd be more concerned about the state bar where you plan on practicing. If they'll still accept you, you have a good shot practicing law where ever you want. Remember President Bush has a couple of DUIs on his record, he still became governor of Texas. Not to say that we all have the advantage of having Bush as our last name, but the point is, DUIs are something you can move past, as long as no one was killed, maimed or property destroyed, which it wasn't because you pleaded down to Reckless Driving. Relax, take a deep breath and do some research on the subject...Good Luck


Blatant anti-POTUS trolling

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thalassocrat
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Re: Top 5 percent 1L, T14, worried about background check

Postby thalassocrat » Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:20 am

Anonymous User wrote:
rando wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I honestly am leaning toward dropping out at this point. Just sucks because I'll probably never even have another drink in my life, but I can't expect employers to believe me or even care. What's done is done.


Dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb ...


As much as your situation sucks try not to play the pity card too much. You dropping out being in the position that you are is ridiculous. Most employers won't even check and if you just anything this summer you will be fine come 2L OCI. You not getting a 1L summer firm job and playing the drop out card when the govt checks into your background is silly.


I'm honestly not trying to play a pity card. Just frustrated with myself. It's so late in the game, and I have no clue what to do if the two judge possibilities fall through.[/quote]

Mind us asking what T14 you're at, as a warning against their Career Services office?* If they're any good, I should think they'd be able to give you a hand finding something if this falls through. If they aren't any good, those of us making our decisions would like the warning. Are there any volunteer positions you could take to get legal experience, combining that with non-legal paying work if you need the money (and can find them, true)?

*I don't actually expect you to answer that, as that'd pretty well out you. If you haven't asked them yet though, since this most recent development, they might be able to give you more specific help?

MD622
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Re: Top 5 percent 1L, T14, worried about background check

Postby MD622 » Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:50 am

I went through all the annoyance of finding out my password for this site because I wanted to add weight to the "take it easy" argument so you don't drop out.

If it was reduced to reckless driving, then it shows up as reckless driving. I would try and get a copy of the record to see how it looks, I think you're being a baby over nothing. It sounds like you are in an excellent position by virtue of your credentials, don't throw it out. Plus I think you're scared straight(I believe you).
Also, why are you asking us? If you were open about it with your law school, wouldn't they have someone with better answers? Gotta love that about this site I guess.

Stay in school

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fastforward
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Re: Top 5 percent 1L, T14, worried about background check

Postby fastforward » Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:53 am

I know someone that experienced this very thing. It's going to be okay. The smartest thing you did was tell your dean of students right away. Your T14 school needs to protect its employment numbers and will not let a top student slip through the cracks. Based on what I know from the similar situation, you stand an excellent chance of getting the clerkship. If, not, then by all means ask your dean of students to help you get an RA position, and then rock it. Also, volunteer your ass off (habitat for humanity, legal services, etc: ALL OF THESE). You are not the only highly-ranked student without a summer job. Show your character by making the best of it.

Dropping out is not an option. You've worked for this your entire life. Taking a year off would look like you have a major problem, if not with drinking then with coping -- or at least that you do not face problems head-on.

Practically every judge, lawyer, etc. has foolishly passed on the couch, the taxi, etc. at some point and not got caught. Just write your thank-you note for the interview and devise a Plan B, as you would be without the DUI, while you wait to hear.

I repeat: It's going to be okay.

BTW, what exactly did you disclose during the interview? (So others can learn from your experience)

Anonymous User
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Re: Top 5 percent 1L, T14, worried about background check

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 20, 2010 4:08 pm

I disclosed that it was a DUI that got pleaded down, because he flat-out asked: "What did you get the reckless driving for?" I also told him what I got pulled over for - speeding.

Also, the reason I came here instead of my school is because the interview was on Friday, and it was after business hours and I was out of town anyway, so no way to go to the school administration or career services between the interview and now.

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Mattalones
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Re: Top 5 percent 1L, T14, worried about background check

Postby Mattalones » Sat Mar 20, 2010 5:16 pm

You aren't going to like this, but it is what you need to hear

Quit being a baby!

You are going to be fine if you keep hustling. If you quit, your DUI wouldn't screw you; you'd screw you.

Man up and make some moves here!

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A'nold
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Re: Top 5 percent 1L, T14, worried about background check

Postby A'nold » Sat Mar 20, 2010 9:23 pm

Flame....although I don't know what the point was. Nobody would drop out if they were in the top 5% of their class at a t14 just b/c they are having difficulty finding 1L employment, unless they are totally clueless or just looking for a reason to leave law school and a law career in general.

Anonymous User
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Re: Top 5 percent 1L, T14, worried about background check

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 21, 2010 7:04 am

A'nold wrote:Flame....although I don't know what the point was. Nobody would drop out if they were in the top 5% of their class at a t14 just b/c they are having difficulty finding 1L employment, unless they are totally clueless or just looking for a reason to leave law school and a law career in general.


Not a flame. Just shaken up in the aftermath of having an interviewer's tone seem to totally change when that came up. I mean, I'm the same person I was two seconds before, but it sure didn't feel like it.

Not that it makes a difference, but the crazy thing is I was just having a laid-back night at a family member's house that I hadn't seen in a while. I know it's out there that if someone gets a DUI, it's just the one time they got caught out of probably hundreds. For me, the reason I probably was speeding was because I didn't ever drink and drive and clearly was impaired without even thinking about it. Everyone I talked to afterward was like, "You were speeding?! Everyone knows that the cardinal rule of drunk driving is, 'don't speed!!'"

In other words, if it's just an automatic disqualifier to an employer to have a criminal record, that's one thing. If it's because it serves as a proxy for someone's character, discipline, maturity, etc., that just sucks because it was completely, completely not who I am. But how can you convince someone of that, you know?

But, yeah, the overall point stands. I guess I have to man up and just go forward and deal with it. I just don't know how up front to be about it now. Everything I apply for I'm going to be wondering if it's pointless because you can't have a record, especially such a recent record.

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fastforward
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Re: Top 5 percent 1L, T14, worried about background check

Postby fastforward » Sun Mar 21, 2010 10:38 am

I hope you feel better after you've had another night to sleep on it (I was going to say sleep it off but you've been subjected to enough cruel humor). You've handled the situation the best way you possibly could IMO. Now, get cracking on that thank-you note, emphasizing the positive aspects of the interview.

I'm new to the board. I'm glad it's a place you can come to, to vent and regroup. Let us know how it goes.

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sunshinefairy
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Re: Top 5 percent 1L, T14, worried about background check

Postby sunshinefairy » Sun Mar 21, 2010 11:46 am

Hi, me again:

Please don't beat yourself up! There have been some really good suggestions and comments already posted. As for summer employment, being a RA, volunteering/interning with a nonprofit organization, etc (maybe for one that works with people with convictions?) will be great for your resume and personal growth.

As for the conviction, depending on what state you are in there may be expungement laws? Get online and check your state's statutes. What are the state's pardon laws? Write a letter to the Governor and try to get a pardon. There may also be a criminal offender employment statute that offer protections (such as affirming rehabilitations, etc) for people with convictions - just check your state's statutes or administrative code and see what you can find. Please note that you would still have to disclose the arrest and conviction for the BAR, but if the record is officially expunged then you do not have to disclose to employers. (Also, depending what database the employer is using, the original arrest record may show up - which would say DUI. Most states have laws forbidding employers from using arrest records to disqualify an applicant, however. Again - do some research about the laws in your state.)

And just a thought: you don't necessarily have to see the conviction as an automatic impairment - how have you learned, changed, grown? How has this impacted your view of the law/criminal justice system/judicial discretion? You have a unique perspective now because of your own experience - be honest. Be prepared with this answer for future interviews/applications. You will feel more prepared and caught less of guard. I would be happy to share with you my "statement."

As for the judge changing his tone, try not to take it personally. His job is to judge. He was probably taken off guard just as much as you were - thus his unprofessional demeanor. If he believes you are the right candidate for the job, you will get it - do not let your conviction dominate your life decisions, don't give up, and don't use it as an excuse.

You are already in law school, you've already achieved so much, do not let this incident prevent you from being the best law student/lawyer you know you are capable of being. If an employer is going to simply dismiss your merits, passions, qualifications, and job experiences because of one mistake that you made (and completed conditions of the sentence without further incidence), is that really the right place for you to find a mentor? learn and grow?

PM me and let me know if you need help developing a statement or looking up statutes or have any questions. This is my job, so I bet I can fit some research in tomorrow at work...or I'll make an intern do it =)

Stay positive and don't feel sorry for yourself. Use this experience to be an agent of change.

~ SunshineFairy

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Corsair
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Re: Top 5 percent 1L, T14, worried about background check

Postby Corsair » Mon Mar 22, 2010 12:18 am

..

Anonymous User
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Re: Top 5 percent 1L, T14, worried about background check

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 22, 2010 7:29 pm

Judge's clerk, who I interviewed with, emailed me asking for a personal statement about my conviction, what happened and "anything else you'd like to add."

So hopefully that means I'm still in the running.

roadkilllaw
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Re: Top 5 percent 1L, T14, worried about background check

Postby roadkilllaw » Mon Mar 22, 2010 7:35 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Judge's clerk, who I interviewed with, emailed me asking for a personal statement about my conviction, what happened and "anything else you'd like to add."

So hopefully that means I'm still in the running.


That sounds promising!!
Just be careful about how you word it :)

Anonymous User
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Re: Top 5 percent 1L, T14, worried about background check

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Mar 22, 2010 7:51 pm

roadkilllaw wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Judge's clerk, who I interviewed with, emailed me asking for a personal statement about my conviction, what happened and "anything else you'd like to add."

So hopefully that means I'm still in the running.


That sounds promising!!
Just be careful about how you word it :)


I'm trying to! I'm just explaining every detail of what happened that evening, followed by what I learned from it and why it will never happen again.

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sunshinefairy
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Re: Top 5 percent 1L, T14, worried about background check

Postby sunshinefairy » Mon Mar 22, 2010 8:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
roadkilllaw wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Judge's clerk, who I interviewed with, emailed me asking for a personal statement about my conviction, what happened and "anything else you'd like to add."

So hopefully that means I'm still in the running.


That sounds promising!!
Just be careful about how you word it :)


I'm trying to! I'm just explaining every detail of what happened that evening, followed by what I learned from it and why it will never happen again.


Excellent news! So proud of you for not giving up!! Let me know if you need any help with your statement. Yay!

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BradyToMoss
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Re: Top 5 percent 1L, T14, worried about background check

Postby BradyToMoss » Mon Mar 22, 2010 9:11 pm

sunshinefairy wrote:
Excellent news! So proud of you for not giving up!! Let me know if you need any help with your statement. Yay!


Your handle definitely doesn't match your attitude.

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SpaceDawg
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Re: Top 5 percent 1L, T14, worried about background check

Postby SpaceDawg » Mon Mar 22, 2010 9:52 pm

I'm a recruiter in NYC and I can attest that many companies do a background check. However, most do not care about something like a DUI or reckless driving as long as you disclose it. I have seen people denied a job because they weren't up front about it but not because of the charge itself. They are more concerned with sexual and violent charges.

sperry
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Re: Top 5 percent 1L, T14, worried about background check

Postby sperry » Tue Mar 23, 2010 1:30 am

People understand. Hell, most people from older generations grew up in a time when driving drunk wasn't a big deal at all.

It's doubtful you'll be precluded from anything.

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PDaddy
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Re: Top 5 percent 1L, T14, worried about background check

Postby PDaddy » Tue Mar 23, 2010 1:41 am

Anonymous User wrote:(1) The incident happened after I started law school. I know, I know. Idiot who deserves anything coming to me. But I did tell my dean of students the following Monday, and took all necessary steps, etc. It will never, ever, ever happen again. But that's my answer to why I didn't think about this prior to beginning law school. I was afraid of it coming up for summer employment, but I didn't get any bites from law firms, so that was that.

(2) I know that it won't preclude hiring at a firm. But not working my 1L summer will. I will have no valid explanation next fall at OCI if I don't have any 1L summer legal experience. Thus, no callbacks. Thus, no offers.

(3) So all joking aside, I'm dead serious. If I have, through my own idiocy, closed off all paths to a legal career, and particularly all paths to government work at all, I need to figure out if I should drop out and try to get into a plumber's union or carpenter's union or something else. Or at least take a year off for "personal reasons" and perhaps try again next summer.


Does the admissions office know about it? You are under a continuing obligation to tell the adcoms about incidents that happen while enrolled in school from 1L to 3L.

roadkilllaw
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Re: Top 5 percent 1L, T14, worried about background check

Postby roadkilllaw » Tue Mar 23, 2010 2:20 am

Anonymous User wrote:
roadkilllaw wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Judge's clerk, who I interviewed with, emailed me asking for a personal statement about my conviction, what happened and "anything else you'd like to add."

So hopefully that means I'm still in the running.


That sounds promising!!
Just be careful about how you word it :)


I'm trying to! I'm just explaining every detail of what happened that evening, followed by what I learned from it and why it will never happen again.


Make sure you don't go overboard- best idea would be to edit it yourself a few times and get someone else (@ career services?) to look over it too.

Anonymous User
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Re: Top 5 percent 1L, T14, worried about background check

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 23, 2010 6:10 am

To answer a couple questions that came up:

(1) I told the dean of students the next school day. He didn't say anything about telling admissions, though, just that I'd have to tell the bar. Now that you bring it up, though, I suppose it wouldn't hurt to tell admissions, as well.

(2) I guess I did go "overboard" in the letter, but I'm not particularly concerned because there wasn't too much craziness to report. It wasn't like, "Then I started doing shots off a stripper." I drank a few beers at my brother's apartment after we went to a sporting event, probably four or five, then instead of spending the night at his place like I was planning (we were doing something the next day together, too), I decided wrongly that I was "OK to drive." It's the most boring DUI story in history.

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edgarderby
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Re: Top 5 percent 1L, T14, worried about background check

Postby edgarderby » Tue Mar 23, 2010 1:02 pm

Corsair wrote:The background checks for internships with judges are fairly superficial. Nothing like C+F.


Will they find my shirtless internet pics?

Will they consider this a + or - ?

roadkilllaw
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Re: Top 5 percent 1L, T14, worried about background check

Postby roadkilllaw » Tue Mar 23, 2010 3:17 pm

Anonymous User wrote:To answer a couple questions that came up:

(1) I told the dean of students the next school day. He didn't say anything about telling admissions, though, just that I'd have to tell the bar. Now that you bring it up, though, I suppose it wouldn't hurt to tell admissions, as well.

(2) I guess I did go "overboard" in the letter, but I'm not particularly concerned because there wasn't too much craziness to report. It wasn't like, "Then I started doing shots off a stripper." I drank a few beers at my brother's apartment after we went to a sporting event, probably four or five, then instead of spending the night at his place like I was planning (we were doing something the next day together, too), I decided wrongly that I was "OK to drive." It's the most boring DUI story in history.


If you talked to the dean of students, I'd get him or someone else at career services to read it over to make sure you have added everything that's needed because this statement is going to be the difference between employment and unemployment




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