Disclosing expunged arrests to law school

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Disclosing expunged arrests to law school

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 31, 2014 4:50 pm

TLS community,

I'm currently a law student who has begun to think about the Bar Exam and C&F. I have realized that there are two things that I will be disclosing on the Bar which I did not disclose in my law school application, but probably should have. I have two arrests for minor offenses. The records of both were expunged. There were no charges.

I'm wondering how to go about disclosing these to my law school and what I should anticipate. For the record, I went back and reviewed my law school's application packet. There is a question requesting that you disclose "all arrests and convictions" but it is silent as to expunged records. Some law school applications, if I recall correctly, explicitly request information on expunged records.

Thanks

[Mods: I posted this in legal employment so that I could use the anonymous feature.]

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MarkinKansasCity
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Re: Disclosing expunged arrests to law school

Postby MarkinKansasCity » Wed Dec 31, 2014 4:53 pm

Well, the school asked if you had ever been arrested, not whether there was a record about it, and you said no even though you had been arrested twice.

I don't know what the consequences are going to be, but you failed to disclose something to the law school when you applied that you almost definitely should have.

Anonymous User
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Re: Disclosing expunged arrests to law school

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 31, 2014 4:54 pm

MarkinKansasCity wrote:Well, the school asked if you had ever been arrested, not whether there was a record about it, and you said no even though you had been arrested twice.

I don't know what the consequences are going to be, but you failed to disclose something to the law school when you applied that you almost definitely should have.


Thanks for this useful insight.

jdmonkey
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Re: Disclosing expunged arrests to law school

Postby jdmonkey » Wed Dec 31, 2014 5:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:TLS community,

I'm currently a law student who has begun to think about the Bar Exam and C&F. I have realized that there are two things that I will be disclosing on the Bar which I did not disclose in my law school application, but probably should have. I have two arrests for minor offenses. The records of both were expunged. There were no charges.

I'm wondering how to go about disclosing these to my law school and what I should anticipate. For the record, I went back and reviewed my law school's application packet. There is a question requesting that you disclose "all arrests and convictions" but it is silent as to expunged records. Some law school applications, if I recall correctly, explicitly request information on expunged records.

Thanks

[Mods: I posted this in legal employment so that I could use the anonymous feature.]


You will be fine not disclosing it to the law school. Legally an expunged arrest never happened, so I don't understand what there even is to report to a law school. The whole purpose of an expungement is to give you relief akin to someone who never was arrested, so disclosing an expunged arrest would violate the purpose of the expungement. You can testify under oath without fear of perjury that you have never been arrested/convicted if it was expunged. If the Bar is asking to include expunged arrests then that is a different question than what the law school asked you and the answers are not part of a discrepancy.

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Re: Disclosing expunged arrests to law school

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 31, 2014 6:45 pm

jdmonkey wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:TLS community,

I'm currently a law student who has begun to think about the Bar Exam and C&F. I have realized that there are two things that I will be disclosing on the Bar which I did not disclose in my law school application, but probably should have. I have two arrests for minor offenses. The records of both were expunged. There were no charges.

I'm wondering how to go about disclosing these to my law school and what I should anticipate. For the record, I went back and reviewed my law school's application packet. There is a question requesting that you disclose "all arrests and convictions" but it is silent as to expunged records. Some law school applications, if I recall correctly, explicitly request information on expunged records.

Thanks

[Mods: I posted this in legal employment so that I could use the anonymous feature.]


You will be fine not disclosing it to the law school. Legally an expunged arrest never happened, so I don't understand what there even is to report to a law school. The whole purpose of an expungement is to give you relief akin to someone who never was arrested, so disclosing an expunged arrest would violate the purpose of the expungement. You can testify under oath without fear of perjury that you have never been arrested/convicted if it was expunged. If the Bar is asking to include expunged arrests then that is a different question than what the law school asked you and the answers are not part of a discrepancy.


This is--at best--true in a very small number of states. And to my understanding, even if the state in which my records are expunged allows for me to treat the expungement as though it literally never happened, the state in which I'm studying does NOT permit that.

AReasonableMan
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Re: Disclosing expunged arrests to law school

Postby AReasonableMan » Wed Dec 31, 2014 8:14 pm

There might be Title VII issues with holding not guilty/dismissed charges against an applicant, because certain groups are likelier to be wrongfully accused. But there's no issue holding a failure to disclose against you. It may be an issue.

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wbrother
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Re: Disclosing expunged arrests to law school

Postby wbrother » Wed Dec 31, 2014 9:24 pm

Deans of my school mention this type of stuff all the time. The longer you wait the worse it will look to the Bar cause they can tell when something's been disclosed late I guess. But school's usually won't care if you come clean before the end of 2L and have a reasonable excuse for not including it. The fact that they were expunged probable counts as a reasonable excuse.

NotMyRealName09
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Re: Disclosing expunged arrests to law school

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Wed Dec 31, 2014 9:47 pm

jdmonkey wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:TLS community,

I'm currently a law student who has begun to think about the Bar Exam and C&F. I have realized that there are two things that I will be disclosing on the Bar which I did not disclose in my law school application, but probably should have. I have two arrests for minor offenses. The records of both were expunged. There were no charges.

I'm wondering how to go about disclosing these to my law school and what I should anticipate. For the record, I went back and reviewed my law school's application packet. There is a question requesting that you disclose "all arrests and convictions" but it is silent as to expunged records. Some law school applications, if I recall correctly, explicitly request information on expunged records.

Thanks

[Mods: I posted this in legal employment so that I could use the anonymous feature.]


You will be fine not disclosing it to the law school. Legally an expunged arrest never happened, so I don't understand what there even is to report to a law school. The whole purpose of an expungement is to give you relief akin to someone who never was arrested, so disclosing an expunged arrest would violate the purpose of the expungement. You can testify under oath without fear of perjury that you have never been arrested/convicted if it was expunged. If the Bar is asking to include expunged arrests then that is a different question than what the law school asked you and the answers are not part of a discrepancy.


This is stupid.

You file an addendum to your application to law school with your law school explaining that you are anticipating disclosing to the bar that you had two prior arrests that were expunged, and say that while you believe you are under no legal obligation to reveal those arrests due to expungment, you are including them so that there are no discrepancies. Simple and no one will give one shit.

What you don't want is a flag raised because of different answers on the bar app and school app. Your law school won't care and neither will the bar examiners. You may even be correct that you didn't have to disclose to your law school. Doesn't matter, disclose. I had to do something like this (I think I misstated some fact about an arrest on my law school app that I didn't realize until I had to obtain the records for the bar app. I just wrote a letter to the law school disclosing.) There will be no consequence for disclosure here.

NotMyRealName09
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Re: Disclosing expunged arrests to law school

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Wed Dec 31, 2014 10:02 pm

jdmonkey wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:TLS community,

I'm currently a law student who has begun to think about the Bar Exam and C&F. I have realized that there are two things that I will be disclosing on the Bar which I did not disclose in my law school application, but probably should have. I have two arrests for minor offenses. The records of both were expunged. There were no charges.

I'm wondering how to go about disclosing these to my law school and what I should anticipate. For the record, I went back and reviewed my law school's application packet. There is a question requesting that you disclose "all arrests and convictions" but it is silent as to expunged records. Some law school applications, if I recall correctly, explicitly request information on expunged records.

Thanks

[Mods: I posted this in legal employment so that I could use the anonymous feature.]


You will be fine not disclosing it to the law school. Legally an expunged arrest never happened, so I don't understand what there even is to report to a law school. The whole purpose of an expungement is to give you relief akin to someone who never was arrested, so disclosing an expunged arrest would violate the purpose of the expungement. You can testify under oath without fear of perjury that you have never been arrested/convicted if it was expunged. If the Bar is asking to include expunged arrests then that is a different question than what the law school asked you and the answers are not part of a discrepancy.


So what did you not disclose to your law school?

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Re: Disclosing expunged arrests to law school

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 03, 2015 12:06 pm

This is stupid.

You file an addendum to your application to law school with your law school explaining that you are anticipating disclosing to the bar that you had two prior arrests that were expunged, and say that while you believe you are under no legal obligation to reveal those arrests due to expungment, you are including them so that there are no discrepancies. Simple and no one will give one shit.

What you don't want is a flag raised because of different answers on the bar app and school app. Your law school won't care and neither will the bar examiners. You may even be correct that you didn't have to disclose to your law school. Doesn't matter, disclose. I had to do something like this (I think I misstated some fact about an arrest on my law school app that I didn't realize until I had to obtain the records for the bar app. I just wrote a letter to the law school disclosing.) There will be no consequence for disclosure here.


I was in a similar situation and also just had to amend my law school application to disclose the arrest. In my case, the charges had been dropped, and I erroneously read the application to not require disclosure. After amending my application, everything went through fine. I would advise you to do the same, since the only way this will get you in trouble is if it looks like you intentionally tried to conceal something. I know it's a bit unfair to have to account for something that you were cleared of but just deal with it and get on with your law school career.

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Re: Disclosing expunged arrests to law school

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 03, 2015 12:12 pm

I'm asking for a copy of my app this upcoming semester. I think everyone should just to be sure. I didn't lie myself but you never know if you wrote something thats simply wrong even if insignificant at the time of application and should be amended.

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Re: Disclosing expunged arrests to law school

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 05, 2015 5:01 pm

.

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Re: Disclosing expunged arrests to law school

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 05, 2015 7:11 pm

Not OP - I only disclosed my disorderly conduct summons from a decade ago to schools that asked about cases other than not-guilty/dismissed. I was a rude asshole, but was not disorderly. I apologized to the officer and the judge for being disrespectful, and the judge dismissed the ticket at a preliminary hearing. I didn't even have a lawyer or anything, just said I wasn't disorderly but could've tried harder to see it from the officer's position, and his need to establish authority.

I disclosed this to schools who asked for all arrests, but not my school because I figured I clearly didn't need to as "other than not guilty verdicts" implies that dismissed before trial clearly doesn't have to be disclosed. Now that I'm a 3L do I disclose this now? I'm disclosing it to the bar.

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Re: Disclosing expunged arrests to law school

Postby DoveBodyWash » Mon Jan 05, 2015 7:18 pm

you need to disclose it. When you apply for the bar they will look at a court-purpose record, which includes shit like dismissed speeding tickets and expunged arrests. You definitely will be disclosing that to the state bar, and the state bar is going to look at the character and fitness report your law school sent on your behalf, if it's not on that record, it will reflect very poorly.

I have a friend who had expunged arrest on his record, he disclosed, and it's all fine. It's the cover up that fucks you, disclose it.

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Re: Disclosing expunged arrests to law school

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 05, 2015 7:20 pm

cusenation wrote:you need to disclose it. When you apply for the bar they will look at a court-purpose record, which includes shit like dismissed speeding tickets and expunged arrests. You definitely will be disclosing that to the state bar, and the state bar is going to look at the character and fitness report your law school sent on your behalf, if it's not on that record, it will reflect very poorly.

I have a friend who had expunged arrest on his record, he disclosed, and it's all fine. It's the cover up that fucks you, disclose it.

At this juncture being a 3L, would you attach an addendum with the apps you disclosed it on? I wasn't trying to hide anything. It was just clear from the text they didn't request for it to be disclosed. It was really a case where the question went out of its way to say only non-dismissed arrests, and I didn't want to be annoying.

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Re: Disclosing expunged arrests to law school

Postby DoveBodyWash » Mon Jan 05, 2015 7:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
cusenation wrote:you need to disclose it. When you apply for the bar they will look at a court-purpose record, which includes shit like dismissed speeding tickets and expunged arrests. You definitely will be disclosing that to the state bar, and the state bar is going to look at the character and fitness report your law school sent on your behalf, if it's not on that record, it will reflect very poorly.

I have a friend who had expunged arrest on his record, he disclosed, and it's all fine. It's the cover up that fucks you, disclose it.

At this juncture being a 3L, would you attach an addendum with the apps you disclosed it on? I wasn't trying to hide anything. It was just clear from the text they didn't request for it to be disclosed.

i'm only a 2L so i'm mostly regurgitating things that recent alumni and my school told me when they asked us to update them on disclosures, but yeah we just submitted an updated disclosure to the appropriate staff member.

They just told us to write them a formal email with this content:

"Dear XYZ,
I am writing to disclose ABC
1. This happened at this date
2. The reason i didn't disclose at the time i applied is because.... ("I didn't know i had to disclose it")
3. I would like to express my deepest regret that this happened and will be sure that it doesn't happen again"

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Re: Disclosing expunged arrests to law school

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 06, 2015 2:04 am

Anonymous User wrote:Not OP - I only disclosed my disorderly conduct summons from a decade ago to schools that asked about cases other than not-guilty/dismissed. I was a rude asshole, but was not disorderly. I apologized to the officer and the judge for being disrespectful, and the judge dismissed the ticket at a preliminary hearing. I didn't even have a lawyer or anything, just said I wasn't disorderly but could've tried harder to see it from the officer's position, and his need to establish authority.

I disclosed this to schools who asked for all arrests, but not my school because I figured I clearly didn't need to as "other than not guilty verdicts" implies that dismissed before trial clearly doesn't have to be disclosed. Now that I'm a 3L do I disclose this now? I'm disclosing it to the bar.


I was in a similar situation. Did not disclose to school X. Talked to dean in charge of c&f stuff about it. They agreed I didn't have to disclose when I was applying to school. Lawyers wrote the language on the application - they mean what they write. Passed bar with no c&f problems.

That said, asking TLS isn't the right move. Just e-mail the dean's office and set up a meeting. A law school administrator might be angry at you if you straight up lied, but you didn't. There's nothing to be afraid of.

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Re: Disclosing expunged arrests to law school

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 06, 2015 6:04 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Not OP - I only disclosed my disorderly conduct summons from a decade ago to schools that asked about cases other than not-guilty/dismissed. I was a rude asshole, but was not disorderly. I apologized to the officer and the judge for being disrespectful, and the judge dismissed the ticket at a preliminary hearing. I didn't even have a lawyer or anything, just said I wasn't disorderly but could've tried harder to see it from the officer's position, and his need to establish authority.

I disclosed this to schools who asked for all arrests, but not my school because I figured I clearly didn't need to as "other than not guilty verdicts" implies that dismissed before trial clearly doesn't have to be disclosed. Now that I'm a 3L do I disclose this now? I'm disclosing it to the bar.


I was in a similar situation. Did not disclose to school X. Talked to dean in charge of c&f stuff about it. They agreed I didn't have to disclose when I was applying to school. Lawyers wrote the language on the application - they mean what they write. Passed bar with no c&f problems.

That said, asking TLS isn't the right move. Just e-mail the dean's office and set up a meeting. A law school administrator might be angry at you if you straight up lied, but you didn't. There's nothing to be afraid of.

But wouldn't the bar read the language? I'd rather not stir up drama at this point, and don't feel I need to do this. Maybe it's dumb of me but if the application says except dismissed charges, and the charge was dismissed, I don't want to have to risk facing academic sanctions so far into the game. Could the c and f be crazy enough to care? Won't they read the app? Won't bringing it up now make it seem like I was misleading? It never crossed my mind it was even questionable. It's like a no parking sign except on Sunday. It's no question you can park on Sunday. You don't need a lawyer to sign off on it. I disclosed it on all apps asking for any arrest, and couldn't I just show this to c and f?

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Re: Disclosing expunged arrests to law school

Postby forty-two » Tue Jan 06, 2015 8:46 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I was in a similar situation. Did not disclose to school X. Talked to dean in charge of c&f stuff about it. They agreed I didn't have to disclose when I was applying to school. Lawyers wrote the language on the application - they mean what they write. Passed bar with no c&f problems.

That said, asking TLS isn't the right move. Just e-mail the dean's office and set up a meeting. A law school administrator might be angry at you if you straight up lied, but you didn't. There's nothing to be afraid of.

But wouldn't the bar read the language? I'd rather not stir up drama at this point, and don't feel I need to do this. Maybe it's dumb of me but if the application says except dismissed charges, and the charge was dismissed, I don't want to have to risk facing academic sanctions so far into the game. Could the c and f be crazy enough to care? Won't they read the app? Won't bringing it up now make it seem like I was misleading? It never crossed my mind it was even questionable. It's like a no parking sign except on Sunday. It's no question you can park on Sunday. You don't need a lawyer to sign off on it. I disclosed it on all apps asking for any arrest, and couldn't I just show this to c and f?

I think you were fine to not disclose it if that's what the app said, but I'd still talk to someone at your school just to make sure. Something kind of similar happened to me. There was something super minor I didn't think I needed to disclose, but when I applied to the bar I realized the wording was actually pretty ambiguous. I talked to the dean of student affairs about it (I just dropped in when she was in her office one day, nothing formal), and she said that she didn't think I needed to disclose anything based on the wording in the application, but that I should call the c&f person I was assigned to just in case. So I did, and that person was fine with my verbal disclosure to the dean. So, it's probably fine, but double check at least to make it obvious that you're not trying to hide anything.

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Re: Disclosing expunged arrests to law school

Postby AVBucks4239 » Tue Jan 06, 2015 10:34 am

I got arrested for underage possession when I was 18. It was legally expunged by the time I applied to law school. I disclosed it and nobody gave a shit.

I also disclosed it on my character and fitness application. Nobody gave a shit.

I also disclosed it when applying to my local bar association. You guessed it: nobody gave a shit.


On these types of things, the only advice I can give you is to over-disclose. The worst full truth is better than them catching you in a lie or a half-truth. Just spit it out, own it, and move on. Because nobody will give a shit.

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Re: Disclosing expunged arrests to law school

Postby AVBucks4239 » Sat Jan 24, 2015 6:25 pm

Future readers of this thread (and hopefully OP): disclose, disclose, disclose.

http://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/rod/do ... o-5033.pdf

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Re: Disclosing expunged arrests to law school

Postby sublime » Sat Jan 24, 2015 7:30 pm

..

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Re: Disclosing expunged arrests to law school

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jan 25, 2015 6:07 am

How about on a big law background check? Question says to check yes only for convictions, guilty pleas or no contests. I had a few incidents but they all ended nolle prosequi (charges dropped). All but one have been expunged as well. Everything was disclosed in my application and obviously will be for the bar. I'm leaning towards just answering the question accurately with a no.

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Re: Disclosing expunged arrests to law school

Postby AReasonableMan » Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:22 am

i dont think employers are allowed to ask about accusations of a crime, because of title vii (certain groups are statistically likelier to be wrongly accused). i also don't think they'd care. if you give a truthful response i'm sure you're ok.




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