Law Firm Background Checks

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Anonymous User
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Law Firm Background Checks

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:39 pm

Anyone go through this this year for a biglaw summer associateship with something embarrassing in your past? How was it handled?

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Re: Law Firm Background Checks

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 27, 2012 2:06 am

bump

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Re: Law Firm Background Checks

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:10 pm

No one?

Sup Kid
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Re: Law Firm Background Checks

Postby Sup Kid » Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:12 pm

Try the search function, there are literally 10 pages of search results for the term "background checks" -- I'm sure many of them have to do with law firms.

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Re: Law Firm Background Checks

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:18 pm

Yeah, but they're a bunch of people without anything wrong with their background and one felon who was mad that his offer was revoked. I was hoping there were some people this year with negative things that aren't felonies and who have been through the process.

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Re: Law Firm Background Checks

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 27, 2012 3:47 pm

I have something on my record- shoplifting from 2004. I wasn't doing it, but I was with a guy who did, and we both got charged. I ended up doing one of those classes (like driving school), and they dismissed the charge, but it's still on my record.

I was upfront about it when I was given the offer, and they didn't think it was a big deal. I also informed the human resources department when they called for my information for the background check, and they also didn't seem to think it was an issue, they were just glad I was upfront about it. As long as you were honest you should be okay. My impression was that as long as some time has passed, and you don't surprise them with it, you should be good.

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Re: Law Firm Background Checks

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 27, 2012 4:35 pm

When in doubt disclose.

Always.

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Re: Law Firm Background Checks

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 27, 2012 5:28 pm

I have a dismissed misdemeanor from high school. Career services said NOT to disclose unless they ask and then, of course, to be totally honest. Filled out the background info this week (just basic ID stuff: Driver License and ssn etc) and haven't heard anything yet.

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Re: Law Firm Background Checks

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 27, 2012 5:33 pm

Yeah, but they're a bunch of people without anything wrong with their background and one felon who was mad that his offer was revoked. I was hoping there were some people this year with negative things that aren't felonies and who have been through the process.
I have been extremely frustrated with the dearth of information on this topic as well. Even simple questions like what I ask below get ignored.

Anonymous User wrote:I have something on my record- shoplifting from 2004. I wasn't doing it, but I was with a guy who did, and we both got charged. I ended up doing one of those classes (like driving school), and they dismissed the charge, but it's still on my record.

I was upfront about it when I was given the offer, and they didn't think it was a big deal. I also informed the human resources department when they called for my information for the background check, and they also didn't seem to think it was an issue, they were just glad I was upfront about it. As long as you were honest you should be okay. My impression was that as long as some time has passed, and you don't surprise them with it, you should be good.
When did they conduct the background check? Did you receive any indication that they did? I have some things I am concerned about, but have no idea whether the firm conducted the check or not. I am a 2L with an upcoming SA.

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Re: Law Firm Background Checks

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 27, 2012 5:49 pm

Anonymous User wrote:When did they conduct the background check? Did you receive any indication that they did? I have some things I am concerned about, but have no idea whether the firm conducted the check or not. I am a 2L with an upcoming SA.


Sorry, I should have been more clear. I am also a 2L with an upcoming SA. They contacted me in March for my information. I called the person in charge of the background checks and explained my situation, and that's when they told me they didn't think there would be any issue, especially since I disclosed. I was left under the assumption that if there was an issue, they would let me know. Since then, they've taken care of my travel arrangements, and I'm supposed to start in three weeks, so I can only assume everything is fine. I haven't explicitly asked them if the check is finished, but I don't want to nag them, and again, if there was a problem, I'm sure I would have heard by now.

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Re: Law Firm Background Checks

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 27, 2012 6:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:When did they conduct the background check? Did you receive any indication that they did? I have some things I am concerned about, but have no idea whether the firm conducted the check or not. I am a 2L with an upcoming SA.


Sorry, I should have been more clear. I am also a 2L with an upcoming SA. They contacted me in March for my information. I called the person in charge of the background checks and explained my situation, and that's when they told me they didn't think there would be any issue, especially since I disclosed. I was left under the assumption that if there was an issue, they would let me know. Since then, they've taken care of my travel arrangements, and I'm supposed to start in three weeks, so I can only assume everything is fine. I haven't explicitly asked them if the check is finished, but I don't want to nag them, and again, if there was a problem, I'm sure I would have heard by now.

Thank you, very much appreciated.

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Re: Law Firm Background Checks

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 27, 2012 7:42 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I have a dismissed misdemeanor from high school. Career services said NOT to disclose unless they ask and then, of course, to be totally honest. Filled out the background info this week (just basic ID stuff: Driver License and ssn etc) and haven't heard anything yet.


Yeah they would tell you that. It depends on what is asked of you. Most law schools I know ask about "all arrests even if dismissed or expunged"

If they don't ask that way, then don't anwer it. If they do, then don't lie.

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Re: Law Firm Background Checks

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 27, 2012 7:57 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I have a dismissed misdemeanor from high school. Career services said NOT to disclose unless they ask and then, of course, to be totally honest. Filled out the background info this week (just basic ID stuff: Driver License and ssn etc) and haven't heard anything yet.


Yeah they would tell you that. It depends on what is asked of you. Most law schools I know ask about "all arrests even if dismissed or expunged"

If they don't ask that way, then don't anwer it. If they do, then don't lie.


As other posters ITT, I also had a small blip on my record from high school. At some point before receiving an offer I was required to fill out a disclosure form. I didn't disclose because it was very clearly not covered by the question; however, after I received my offer, but before the background check was completed, I decided to disclose out of fear of coming across as dishonest if it came up in the background check. This was consistent with the advice of my career adviser when I talked to him about the situation. In the end, it did come up on the background check, and the firm was glad I disclosed it and indicated it wouldn't be a problem.

Lesson? DISCLOSE. As an attorney, your'e only as good as your reputation, and dishonest practices are a surefire way to ruin it.

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Re: Law Firm Background Checks

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 27, 2012 8:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:As other posters ITT, I also had a small blip on my record from high school. At some point before receiving an offer I was required to fill out a disclosure form. I didn't disclose because it was very clearly not covered by the question; however, after I received my offer, but before the background check was completed, I decided to disclose out of fear of coming across as dishonest if it came up in the background check. This was consistent with the advice of my career adviser when I talked to him about the situation. In the end, it did come up on the background check, and the firm was glad I disclosed it and indicated it wouldn't be a problem.

Lesson? DISCLOSE. As an attorney, your'e only as good as your reputation, and dishonest practices are a surefire way to ruin it.


Which offer? SA? Permanent?

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Re: Law Firm Background Checks

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 27, 2012 8:08 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:As other posters ITT, I also had a small blip on my record from high school. At some point before receiving an offer I was required to fill out a disclosure form. I didn't disclose because it was very clearly not covered by the question; however, after I received my offer, but before the background check was completed, I decided to disclose out of fear of coming across as dishonest if it came up in the background check. This was consistent with the advice of my career adviser when I talked to him about the situation. In the end, it did come up on the background check, and the firm was glad I disclosed it and indicated it wouldn't be a problem.

Lesson? DISCLOSE. As an attorney, your'e only as good as your reputation, and dishonest practices are a surefire way to ruin it.


Which offer? SA? Permanent?


SA.

Anonymous User
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Re: Law Firm Background Checks

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Apr 27, 2012 8:28 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I have a dismissed misdemeanor from high school. Career services said NOT to disclose unless they ask and then, of course, to be totally honest. Filled out the background info this week (just basic ID stuff: Driver License and ssn etc) and haven't heard anything yet.


Yeah they would tell you that. It depends on what is asked of you. Most law schools I know ask about "all arrests even if dismissed or expunged"

If they don't ask that way, then don't anwer it. If they do, then don't lie.


As other posters ITT, I also had a small blip on my record from high school. At some point before receiving an offer I was required to fill out a disclosure form. I didn't disclose because it was very clearly not covered by the question; however, after I received my offer, but before the background check was completed, I decided to disclose out of fear of coming across as dishonest if it came up in the background check. This was consistent with the advice of my career adviser when I talked to him about the situation. In the end, it did come up on the background check, and the firm was glad I disclosed it and indicated it wouldn't be a problem.

Lesson? DISCLOSE. As an attorney, your'e only as good as your reputation, and dishonest practices are a surefire way to ruin it.



Yeah, I didn't have any disclosure forms or anything and I didn't think anything of it. Now that I've already filled out official background check forms, it feels too late to preemptively disclose.

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Re: Law Firm Background Checks

Postby Jhuen_the_bird » Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:03 am

I was hired in the fall as a staff attorney at a big law firm ... I'm not sure how "embarrassing" of a past this is, but I was arrested during law school for a sort of "drunk in public" type of thing - it ended up being just a citation that I paid, though (it was a ridiculously stupid situation and I still resent that the cops were such assholes). I was also named in a malpractice lawsuit for a firm I contracted for (among many other attorneys, and the firm in general, of course) - the firm settled with the plaintiff on everyone's behalf.

I disclosed both of these things, and the firm where I work now didn't even bat an eye or ever say anything to me about either "issue."

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ben4847
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Re: Law Firm Background Checks

Postby ben4847 » Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:09 am

How about if I used to run a million dollar drug ring? I put it on my resume in vague terms, and usually when asked I just say we distributed pharmaceuticals. (which we did, they were just not prescribed, hee hee).

So will it be an extra problem when they discover that the business on my resume was really that? Should I disclose?

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Re: Law Firm Background Checks

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:36 am

ben4847 wrote:How about if I used to run a million dollar drug ring? I put it on my resume in vague terms, and usually when asked I just say we distributed pharmaceuticals. (which we did, they were just not prescribed, hee hee).

So will it be an extra problem when they discover that the business on my resume was really that? Should I disclose?


If you're serious, you may have problems. What happens if they wonder what pharma company you worked for?

If you're not serious, gtfo.

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Re: Law Firm Background Checks

Postby Anonymous User » Tue May 01, 2012 1:41 pm

For those of you who heard back after filling out background check forms (either positively or with further questions) how long did it take for them to get back to you?

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Re: Law Firm Background Checks

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 02, 2012 5:25 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Sorry, I should have been more clear. I am also a 2L with an upcoming SA. They contacted me in March for my information. I called the person in charge of the background checks and explained my situation, and that's when they told me they didn't think there would be any issue, especially since I disclosed. I was left under the assumption that if there was an issue, they would let me know. Since then, they've taken care of my travel arrangements, and I'm supposed to start in three weeks, so I can only assume everything is fine. I haven't explicitly asked them if the check is finished, but I don't want to nag them, and again, if there was a problem, I'm sure I would have heard by now.

OP here.

Anonymous User wrote:For those of you who heard back after filling out background check forms (either positively or with further questions) how long did it take for them to get back to you?

I just heard from them in the last week with my schedule for the summer. After I talked to them about my issue (in March), I never heard another thing about it.

If you're really nervous, you can email your contact person, and ask some BS question (but try to make it sound legit) about something, and see how they respond.

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Re: Law Firm Background Checks

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 02, 2012 6:17 pm

I am sort off in a similar situation... I am working for big law this summer, and the firm got in touch with me a few months ago asking me to fill out previous employment information, conflict of interest etc forms... and after I turned it in, its almost like the firm disappeared!! I distinctly remember NOT giving them consent to do a background check because there was no form which said something around the lines that I give them permission to do a background check.

My question is:
a) Can they still do a background check even without letting the SA know about it?
b) Why havent they still gotten back to me? I mean, the Summer program starts in about 2 weeks, and yet, I havent heard anything back... I am kinda freaking out (serious comments only please)
c) would they tell you if you've failed the background check and that they dont plan on hiring you?

Reprisal
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Re: Law Firm Background Checks

Postby Reprisal » Wed May 02, 2012 11:00 pm

No news is good news.

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Re: Law Firm Background Checks

Postby Anonymous User » Wed May 02, 2012 11:06 pm

what about answering the other questions?? And by the way, I suspect my firm doesnt even do a background check-- even though they pay top compensation, they appear to be not that much interested in their SA. The only hire like a handful SA (say like 16) in all their offices (and this firm has offices all around the world)

Is that even possible??^^

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Re: Law Firm Background Checks

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jun 07, 2012 2:52 pm

Sorry to bring this thread back up again, but I'm in a weird situation and it's freaking me out.

I went to take my driving test the other day and got my permit revoked by the DMV (long story, it's embarrassing and I made a stupid mistake on the test — it was not life-threatening or related to alcohol) with a letter telling me I could request a hearing (which I did). Thing is, I'm a 0L attending undergrad out-of-state so I can't actually have my hearing until winter break in December.

Three questions:
1) Will the record bar me from any internships (law-related or otherwise) before December or even after the hearing (assuming the officer has mercy on me and lets me take the test again)?
2) Will law school admissions care about this when I apply?
3) Will the bar or any law firms care about the blemish on my driving record when I apply for a job (assuming I make it there)?

I'm probably the only person in the world stupid enough to get myself into this situation, but if anyone knows about this, I'd be really grateful. I've got nothing else on my record (driving or otherwise) and this isn't a criminal charge, but I'm worried if adcoms and employers will see it on my record and/or if it might be a problem in the future.




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