71723 wrote:While this thread is on the subject of criminal background stuff... I'm a 2L and I'm going to be applying to the Army, Navy, and Air Force JAG summer internships with the hope of entering into one of the branches through DAP after 3L.
I had an minor-in-possession conviction as a freshman in college (6 years ago now), which is the only thing that has ever happened to me and I completed one of those alcohol education programs which expunges the record. Would this seriously impact my chances both for an internship and DAP after graduation?
First, note that you can start applying to the Navy's Student Program (which is kind of like a DAP just for law students) as a 2L, and the SP seems to be the best way to get in. You might also be eligible for the Air Force OYCP, but I haven't looked into that recently.
My guess (and others here have more experience with this than I do) is that it won't be an absolute bar, but be ready to make it extremely clear to any interviewer how and why you have changed. I spent a lot of time in my interviews having to talk about previous problems in life (not criminal, but other stuff) and explain why it wasn't a problem now. This would certainly be one of those things. From what I can tell, the interviewer can put his or her own spin on the situation, recommending whether to put much weight on the conviction. A strong history of not doing the wrong thing and of doing a lot of the right things will help, but I can't guarantee this wouldn't keep you out, especially when the JAG corps get their pick of a lot of highly-qualified candidates.
I think it would be less of a hindrance to getting an internship than it would to getting a commission. I still don't quite understand how the Air Force made its internship selections. I was lucky to get one of the internships; I looked pretty good on paper, but I am sure a LOT of other people did too.