Will Big Law background check me?

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Anonymous User
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Will Big Law background check me?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 27, 2011 3:30 pm

I got kicked out of the U.S. Marines with a General Discharge a few years ago for a single instance of misconduct. I have worked since then (overseas). I know military discharge is a protected status in Chicago, but what will happen to me if I try to interview with firms in other places? Does Big Law do a comprehensive background check and use it to distinguish similar candidates, or do they just check for serious criminal stuff?

I don't think a single instance of non-criminal institutional misconduct and a discharge "under honorable conditions" will preclude me from passing the bar, but I'm a lot more concerned about the employment implications.

I need to clear this issue prior to choosing a law school because, if I feel like it might be a problem, I will only consider midwest T14's that place well in Chicago, unless I really could go to Chicago from Penn or UVA just as easily (?).

Renzo
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Re: Will Big Law background check me?

Postby Renzo » Thu Jan 27, 2011 3:47 pm

(some) Firms do perform background checks, but they're not particularly extensive. It's usually criminal history and credit report. I've never heard of a firm using the background as a screening tool; that sounds like asking for a lawsuit. Rather, it's usually an offer contingent on passing the background check.

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Re: Will Big Law background check me?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 27, 2011 3:55 pm

Renzo wrote:(some) Firms do perform background checks, but they're not particularly extensive. It's usually criminal history and credit report. I've never heard of a firm using the background as a screening tool; that sounds like asking for a lawsuit. Rather, it's usually an offer contingent on passing the background check.


No employment background checks?

Renzo
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Re: Will Big Law background check me?

Postby Renzo » Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Renzo wrote:(some) Firms do perform background checks, but they're not particularly extensive. It's usually criminal history and credit report. I've never heard of a firm using the background as a screening tool; that sounds like asking for a lawsuit. Rather, it's usually an offer contingent on passing the background check.


No employment background checks?

There's no way for anyone to know what every firm might do. But, mine didn't call any employers, although they did ask for employment history. I figure most law students have not ever had meaningful jobs, so spending a bunch of effort to do employment verification probably isn't worth the work.

How bad was the misconduct?

CanadianWolf
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Re: Will Big Law background check me?

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:12 pm

Discharged "...for a single instance of misconduct" = suggests that it was a fairly serious matter.

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Re: Will Big Law background check me?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:15 pm

Renzo wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Renzo wrote:(some) Firms do perform background checks, but they're not particularly extensive. It's usually criminal history and credit report. I've never heard of a firm using the background as a screening tool; that sounds like asking for a lawsuit. Rather, it's usually an offer contingent on passing the background check.


No employment background checks?

There's no way for anyone to know what every firm might do. But, mine didn't call any employers, although they did ask for employment history. I figure most law students have not ever had meaningful jobs, so spending a bunch of effort to do employment verification probably isn't worth the work.

How bad was the misconduct?


Allegedly getting a prostitute while stationed overseas. Do they request documents like military records or a DD 214?

I actually resigned, so I will answer "no" to all the "were you ever fired questions?" It should only be a problem if they request a DD 214 or other military records. In Chicago, there's a local law that protects me, but what is the SOP for firms in locations without such protections?

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Kohinoor
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Re: Will Big Law background check me?

Postby Kohinoor » Thu Jan 27, 2011 6:37 pm

Renzo wrote:(some) Firms do perform background checks, but they're not particularly extensive. It's usually criminal history and credit report. I've never heard of a firm using the background as a screening tool; that sounds like asking for a lawsuit. Rather, it's usually an offer contingent on passing the background check.

Don't all firms do a background check. Seems dumb not to.

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ScrabbleChamp
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Re: Will Big Law background check me?

Postby ScrabbleChamp » Thu Jan 27, 2011 7:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Renzo wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Renzo wrote:(some) Firms do perform background checks, but they're not particularly extensive. It's usually criminal history and credit report. I've never heard of a firm using the background as a screening tool; that sounds like asking for a lawsuit. Rather, it's usually an offer contingent on passing the background check.


No employment background checks?

There's no way for anyone to know what every firm might do. But, mine didn't call any employers, although they did ask for employment history. I figure most law students have not ever had meaningful jobs, so spending a bunch of effort to do employment verification probably isn't worth the work.

How bad was the misconduct?


Allegedly getting a prostitute while stationed overseas. Do they request documents like military records or a DD 214?

I actually resigned, so I will answer "no" to all the "were you ever fired questions?" It should only be a problem if they request a DD 214 or other military records. In Chicago, there's a local law that protects me, but what is the SOP for firms in locations without such protections?


I don't mean to be an ass, but, there is more to the story. I've sat in on several NJP proceedings, and if you are a good Marine, they are usually pretty lenient on you, especially for misdemeanor-like infractions. If you were discharged for allegedly soliciting a prostitute, there was something else going on. Either your CO or First Sergeant hated you for some reason, or you weren't performing to the best of your abilities. If you are applying for jobs with a company that has a military hiring attorney, they'd probably figure out something was going on and you'd not be hired. And, from my experiences applying to law school, most schools request a copy of your DD214 if you mention you've been in the military... Most likely because they know anything other than "Honorable" discharges will be issues with the ABA.

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Re: Will Big Law background check me?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 27, 2011 11:46 pm

I don't mean to be an ass, but, there is more to the story. I've sat in on several NJP proceedings, and if you are a good Marine, they are usually pretty lenient on you, especially for misdemeanor-like infractions. If you were discharged for allegedly soliciting a prostitute, there was something else going on. Either your CO or First Sergeant hated you for some reason, or you weren't performing to the best of your abilities. If you are applying for jobs with a company that has a military hiring attorney, they'd probably figure out something was going on and you'd not be hired. And, from my experiences applying to law school, most schools request a copy of your DD214 if you mention you've been in the military... Most likely because they know anything other than "Honorable" discharges will be issues with the ABA.


1. Things have changed in the past few years with respect to overseas prostitution. Talk to a current JAG lawyer. Even if there were more to the story, the incident itself is not directly referenced in my 201 file or other military records, so I should be mainly concerned with the implications of the discharge itself, not as much the events behind it.

2. Not in the T14, though 6 of them require disclosure of anything other than an honorable discharge.

3. I am asking about law firms' hiring practices, not law school admissions.

Is it standard for Big Law firms to request copies of a DD 214, or can they see what an applicant disclosed on the LS application?

Seriously, am I better off only considering schools that place well in Chicago where military discharge is a protected status? I would like to pay off my loans with a Big Law job, and so far, I'm trying to decide between offers from Penn and Michigan.

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Re: Will Big Law background check me?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 27, 2011 11:51 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
I don't mean to be an ass, but, there is more to the story. I've sat in on several NJP proceedings, and if you are a good Marine, they are usually pretty lenient on you, especially for misdemeanor-like infractions. If you were discharged for allegedly soliciting a prostitute, there was something else going on. Either your CO or First Sergeant hated you for some reason, or you weren't performing to the best of your abilities. If you are applying for jobs with a company that has a military hiring attorney, they'd probably figure out something was going on and you'd not be hired. And, from my experiences applying to law school, most schools request a copy of your DD214 if you mention you've been in the military... Most likely because they know anything other than "Honorable" discharges will be issues with the ABA.


1. Things have changed in the past few years with respect to overseas prostitution. Talk to a current JAG lawyer. Even if there were more to the story, the incident itself is not directly referenced in my 201 file or other military records, so I should be mainly concerned with the implications of the discharge itself, not as much the events behind it.

2. Not in the T14, though 6 of them require disclosure of anything other than an honorable discharge.

3. I am asking about law firms' hiring practices, not law school admissions.

Is it standard for Big Law firms to request copies of a DD 214, or can they see what an applicant disclosed on the LS application?

Seriously, am I better off only considering schools that place well in Chicago where military discharge is a protected status? I would like to pay off my loans with a Big Law job, and so far, I'm trying to decide between offers from Penn and Michigan.
My biglaw background check consent form required me to grant consent for a search of my "personal history, educational background, military record, motor vehicle records, criminal records and credit history" I can't say definitively that they checked ALL those things but it seems very likely since the check took an extra week while they had to like retrieve in person my court records from a backwoods state.

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wiseowl
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Re: Will Big Law background check me?

Postby wiseowl » Fri Jan 28, 2011 1:10 am

you'll have to bring it up to C&F.

christmas mouse
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Re: Will Big Law background check me?

Postby christmas mouse » Fri Jan 28, 2011 1:26 am

Pretty sure you just had a thread about this get locked like 3 weeks ago. Also pretty sure you were asking about getting into Stanford with a 2.9 and a 155. Also pretty sure the details of your discharge portrayed you as a pro sex slave douche. Finally, pretty sure that the advice I gave you last time still stands.

"2.9/155 with no moral reservations about paying for sex. Why waist 3 years with law school when you're a shoo-in for equity partner at any V5?"

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Re: Will Big Law background check me?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 28, 2011 1:46 am

christmas mouse wrote:Pretty sure you just had a thread about this get locked like 3 weeks ago. Also pretty sure you were asking about getting into Stanford with a 2.9 and a 155. Also pretty sure the details of your discharge portrayed you as a pro sex slave douche. Finally, pretty sure that the advice I gave you last time still stands.

"2.9/155 with no moral reservations about paying for sex. Why waist 3 years with law school when you're a shoo-in for equity partner at any V5?"


Not sure what you are talking about. My numbers are above median at all MVPCD law schools, and I have already been accepted to two of them. So my question is highly relevant: do I choose Penn/Duke (for NYC) or Michigan (for Chicago)?

Illinois has a law that prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of military discharge. I am fairly sure New York does not. Thus, I need to settle this question before I settle on a law school (if any).

So far, most of the answers I've gotten indicate that I might even be better off completely leaving the country and getting a clean start.

But does anyone know anything more about how effectively the state of Illinois enforces the law against military discharge discrimination? Anyone with personal experience applying for Big Law with a less-than-honorable military discharge, particularly in Illinois?

Like I said, I'm not worried about C&F. I'm worried about legal employment.

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Kohinoor
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Re: Will Big Law background check me?

Postby Kohinoor » Fri Jan 28, 2011 3:02 am

Anonymous User wrote:
christmas mouse wrote:Pretty sure you just had a thread about this get locked like 3 weeks ago. Also pretty sure you were asking about getting into Stanford with a 2.9 and a 155. Also pretty sure the details of your discharge portrayed you as a pro sex slave douche. Finally, pretty sure that the advice I gave you last time still stands.

"2.9/155 with no moral reservations about paying for sex. Why waist 3 years with law school when you're a shoo-in for equity partner at any V5?"


Not sure what you are talking about. My numbers are above median at all MVPCD law schools, and I have already been accepted to two of them. So my question is highly relevant: do I choose Penn/Duke (for NYC) or Michigan (for Chicago)?

Illinois has a law that prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of military discharge. I am fairly sure New York does not. Thus, I need to settle this question before I settle on a law school (if any).

So far, most of the answers I've gotten indicate that I might even be better off completely leaving the country and getting a clean start.

But does anyone know anything more about how effectively the state of Illinois enforces the law against military discharge discrimination? Anyone with personal experience applying for Big Law with a less-than-honorable military discharge, particularly in Illinois?

Like I said, I'm not worried about C&F. I'm worried about legal employment.
If it's anything like the rest of employment discrimination law, it's impossible to enforce absent blinding stupidity of the employer.

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Re: Will Big Law background check me?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 28, 2011 3:05 am

Kohinoor wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
christmas mouse wrote:Pretty sure you just had a thread about this get locked like 3 weeks ago. Also pretty sure you were asking about getting into Stanford with a 2.9 and a 155. Also pretty sure the details of your discharge portrayed you as a pro sex slave douche. Finally, pretty sure that the advice I gave you last time still stands.

"2.9/155 with no moral reservations about paying for sex. Why waist 3 years with law school when you're a shoo-in for equity partner at any V5?"


Not sure what you are talking about. My numbers are above median at all MVPCD law schools, and I have already been accepted to two of them. So my question is highly relevant: do I choose Penn/Duke (for NYC) or Michigan (for Chicago)?

Illinois has a law that prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of military discharge. I am fairly sure New York does not. Thus, I need to settle this question before I settle on a law school (if any).

So far, most of the answers I've gotten indicate that I might even be better off completely leaving the country and getting a clean start.

But does anyone know anything more about how effectively the state of Illinois enforces the law against military discharge discrimination? Anyone with personal experience applying for Big Law with a less-than-honorable military discharge, particularly in Illinois?

Like I said, I'm not worried about C&F. I'm worried about legal employment.
If it's anything like the rest of employment discrimination law, it's impossible to enforce absent blinding stupidity of the employer.


So I'm better off leaving the country, I suppose. Time to start learning how to be good at math to compete in the Asian job market.

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Kohinoor
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Re: Will Big Law background check me?

Postby Kohinoor » Fri Jan 28, 2011 3:08 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Kohinoor wrote:If it's anything like the rest of employment discrimination law, it's impossible to enforce absent blinding stupidity of the employer.


So I'm better off leaving the country, I suppose. Time to start learning how to be good at math to compete in the Asian job market.

If people with civilian criminal records can find legal jobs I don't see why you wouldn't be able to.

christmas mouse
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Re: Will Big Law background check me?

Postby christmas mouse » Fri Jan 28, 2011 3:10 am

Well in that case my mistake. That last thread turned into a crap festival ending in an epic edit job, thread lock by a moderator, and a ban for the OP. On it's face his story was similar to yours, I figured the chances were slim of such similar situations in such a short period of time. Don't know your story, so not gonna judge. The other guy received a general discharge for something along the lines of human trafficking and had no remorse, just looking for a way not to disclose.

Don't know enough about this topic so I don't have any real advice, good luck though.

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JPrezy87
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Re: Will Big Law background check me?

Postby JPrezy87 » Fri Jan 28, 2011 1:26 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I got kicked out of the U.S. Marines with a General Discharge a few years ago for a single instance of misconduct. I have worked since then (overseas). I know military discharge is a protected status in Chicago, but what will happen to me if I try to interview with firms in other places? Does Big Law do a comprehensive background check and use it to distinguish similar candidates, or do they just check for serious criminal stuff?

I don't think a single instance of non-criminal institutional misconduct and a discharge "under honorable conditions" will preclude me from passing the bar, but I'm a lot more concerned about the employment implications.

I need to clear this issue prior to choosing a law school because, if I feel like it might be a problem, I will only consider midwest T14's that place well in Chicago, unless I really could go to Chicago from Penn or UVA just as easily (?).



hmmm...i don't know about a job at a firm...but you BETTER ADMIT IT when applying for your state's bar Bar...cause they do ask about prior military service and the type of discharge...so go on head and list it on the bar application...I'm sure the C & F committee will be more than willing to overlook it :).

CanadianWolf
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Re: Will Big Law background check me?

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:09 pm

The best course of action is to seek the advice of a licensed attorney in Illinois who has familiarity with such matters as bar disciplinary proceedings &/or employment matters.
The difficulty with your method of sharing information is that you raise suspicions that there is more to the story than you are willing to share. For example, some may wonder whether there was a profit motive involved or whether it was a same sex prostitute hired that would constitute an additional offense/infraction.

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TTH
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Re: Will Big Law background check me?

Postby TTH » Sat Jan 29, 2011 10:49 am

If you get the sense your interviewer is a liberal, tell 'em you got rang up for DADT. You'll be a hero.

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JPrezy87
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Re: Will Big Law background check me?

Postby JPrezy87 » Sat Jan 29, 2011 12:38 pm

TTH wrote:If you get the sense your interviewer is a liberal, tell 'em you got rang up for DADT. You'll be a hero.


or say you were a conscientous objector :).

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fatduck
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Re: Will Big Law background check me?

Postby fatduck » Thu Mar 24, 2011 3:59 am

ScrabbleChamp wrote:I don't mean to be an ass, but, there is more to the story. I've sat in on several NJP proceedings, and if you are a good Marine, they are usually pretty lenient on you, especially for misdemeanor-like infractions. If you were discharged for allegedly soliciting a prostitute, there was something else going on. Either your CO or First Sergeant hated you for some reason, or you weren't performing to the best of your abilities. If you are applying for jobs with a company that has a military hiring attorney, they'd probably figure out something was going on and you'd not be hired. And, from my experiences applying to law school, most schools request a copy of your DD214 if you mention you've been in the military... Most likely because they know anything other than "Honorable" discharges will be issues with the ABA.

Wait, really? Even for an honorable discharge? No school I've applied to has requested my DD214.

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ScrabbleChamp
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Re: Will Big Law background check me?

Postby ScrabbleChamp » Thu Mar 24, 2011 7:19 am

fatduck wrote:
ScrabbleChamp wrote:I don't mean to be an ass, but, there is more to the story. I've sat in on several NJP proceedings, and if you are a good Marine, they are usually pretty lenient on you, especially for misdemeanor-like infractions. If you were discharged for allegedly soliciting a prostitute, there was something else going on. Either your CO or First Sergeant hated you for some reason, or you weren't performing to the best of your abilities. If you are applying for jobs with a company that has a military hiring attorney, they'd probably figure out something was going on and you'd not be hired. And, from my experiences applying to law school, most schools request a copy of your DD214 if you mention you've been in the military... Most likely because they know anything other than "Honorable" discharges will be issues with the ABA.

Wait, really? Even for an honorable discharge? No school I've applied to has requested my DD214.


Yep. I applied mostly to public schools, and they wanted the DD-214 for tuition reasons. I don't think any private schools I applied to asked for it.

bocephus84
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Re: Will Big Law background check me?

Postby bocephus84 » Thu Mar 24, 2011 3:00 pm

ScrabbleChamp wrote:
fatduck wrote:
ScrabbleChamp wrote:I don't mean to be an ass, but, there is more to the story. I've sat in on several NJP proceedings, and if you are a good Marine, they are usually pretty lenient on you, especially for misdemeanor-like infractions. If you were discharged for allegedly soliciting a prostitute, there was something else going on. Either your CO or First Sergeant hated you for some reason, or you weren't performing to the best of your abilities. If you are applying for jobs with a company that has a military hiring attorney, they'd probably figure out something was going on and you'd not be hired. And, from my experiences applying to law school, most schools request a copy of your DD214 if you mention you've been in the military... Most likely because they know anything other than "Honorable" discharges will be issues with the ABA.

Wait, really? Even for an honorable discharge? No school I've applied to has requested my DD214.


Yep. I applied mostly to public schools, and they wanted the DD-214 for tuition reasons. I don't think any private schools I applied to asked for it.


I thought I heard/read somewhere that veterans can receive in-state tuition at public schools, regardless of residency. Any truth to this?

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ScrabbleChamp
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Re: Will Big Law background check me?

Postby ScrabbleChamp » Thu Mar 24, 2011 3:08 pm

bocephus84 wrote:I thought I heard/read somewhere that veterans can receive in-state tuition at public schools, regardless of residency. Any truth to this?


As a blanket statement, no truth. Some states do have good programs, though. Colorado gives you in-state, Washington gives OOS veterans 50% off the in-state rate, Connecticut is free if you served in combat (at least that's what they told me), Iowa has something, and on and on. Not all states have stuff.




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