Arrest record and effect on career (Govt/clerk/firm options)

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 273254
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Arrest record and effect on career (Govt/clerk/firm options)

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 21, 2012 12:30 am

If I have 2 misdemeanor arrests (non-violent alcohol related, not DUI) what effect will this have on my employment opportunities? Specifically clerkship opportunities and the ability to work for a state office such as a District Attorney?

Any input would be appreciated.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273254
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Arrest record and effect on career (Govt/clerk/firm options)

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 21, 2012 3:34 am

Anonymous User wrote:If I have 2 misdemeanor arrests (non-violent alcohol related, not DUI) what effect will this have on my employment opportunities? Specifically clerkship opportunities and the ability to work for a state office such as a District Attorney?

Any input would be appreciated.

Ask career services at your school.

The best you can do is disclose when asked and hope for the best. How recent were these arrests? Did anything result of them? Those might factor in. I don't think it would be an automatic bar from getting a clerkship or other government job, though it may marginally affect a DA application under depending on how recent it was, what the offense was, and the quirks of that particular office. Even then, I don't think it would be an auto-ding.

If anyone more knowledgeable than me has any insights, please inform the OP.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273254
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Arrest record and effect on career (Govt/clerk/firm options)

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 21, 2012 9:24 am

Anonymous User wrote:If I have 2 misdemeanor arrests (non-violent alcohol related, not DUI) what effect will this have on my employment opportunities? Specifically clerkship opportunities and the ability to work for a state office such as a District Attorney?

Any input would be appreciated.



I had an MIC when I was 20, and disclosed it to the recruiting coordinator shortly after accepting my summer position. Something along the lines of "In the full interest of disclosure . . . ." She just thanked me for my candor and said not to worry about it. One of the more "uppity" firms too, for what that's worth. Two may be a little differ, but my personal advise would be to disclose after accepting an offer but before declining your other offers, just to be safe.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273254
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Arrest record and effect on career (Govt/clerk/firm options)

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 21, 2012 11:44 am

OP here:

The arrests are prior to law school. They are both MIP's. Never convicted (never even went to trial).
Any other input?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273254
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Arrest record and effect on career (Govt/clerk/firm options)

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 21, 2012 12:38 pm

I have an MIP. I did a diversion program, so the charges were dismissed. Having an MIP has not hurt me for background checks that have been completed by Fed. Ct. and DOJ. No one cared either that I used marijuana back in college.

Were your charges dismissed for both? It might look slightly bad that you got caught a second time, but I think most employers realize underage drinking is NBD.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273254
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Arrest record and effect on career (Govt/clerk/firm options)

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 21, 2012 12:54 pm

OP again, yes charges for both were dismissed.
I imagine the biggest potential problem would be an office such as the DA?

Thank you for all the input so far.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273254
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Arrest record and effect on career (Govt/clerk/firm options)

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Nov 21, 2012 2:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:If I have 2 misdemeanor arrests (non-violent alcohol related, not DUI) what effect will this have on my employment opportunities? Specifically clerkship opportunities and the ability to work for a state office such as a District Attorney?

Any input would be appreciated.



I had an MIC when I was 20, and disclosed it to the recruiting coordinator shortly after accepting my summer position. Something along the lines of "In the full interest of disclosure . . . ." She just thanked me for my candor and said not to worry about it. One of the more "uppity" firms too, for what that's worth. Two may be a little differ, but my personal advise would be to disclose after accepting an offer but before declining your other offers, just to be safe.


Why would you disclose this to your employer when you weren't asked? This seems like a really unorthodox way of handling the situation. Your record is going to come out one way or another -- either when you fill out an app or when they do a background check -- so this just seems kind of silly. It would be like disclosing something to law school admissions when they don't ask for it.

When they do ask for it, write an addendum and be done with it. But don't go into an interview and say "I just want to let it be known that I've been arrested." And definitely don't do it after you accepted an offer. If I was a hiring partner, I would be like, "if you were going to disclose this, why did you wait until after you were hired?"

Malcolmwhitwell84
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:21 pm

Re: Arrest record and effect on career (Govt/clerk/firm options)

Postby Malcolmwhitwell84 » Wed Nov 21, 2012 2:34 pm

Send me a private message, OP.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273254
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Arrest record and effect on career (Govt/clerk/firm options)

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Nov 23, 2012 1:51 pm

I have a record--DUI and possession of paraphernalia (as a minor, which was expunged). Neither of these incidents affected my job prospects so far. Although I have only had internship positions at the government, the SEC and Treasury had no problems with my past record. Additionally, I received an offer from a V10. Not sure about clerkship (possibly more strict).

A lot of people on this site and others will talk about how a record can jeopardize a career, even Career Services will make general statements as to this issue. I'm not sure if any of these people actually dealt with this problem.

My advice: As a lawyer, you have an obligation to be honest and candid. If you are unable to be honest about your past, then your character will be questioned. Be forthcoming about these issues when asked on job applications, don't be ashamed. Talk with your employer if they have follow up questions (the SEC did this for me, but it was a non-issue). Most importantly, if given the chance, be honest about how you have matured from these experiences.

Good Luck.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273254
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Arrest record and effect on career (Govt/clerk/firm options)

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Nov 24, 2012 3:16 pm

My record is significantly worse, including an assault charge while in law school that got dropped. Told the firm, they said I did the right thing and to stay out of trouble. No one is going to get dinged over a couple of MIP's.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.