How do state bar associations check on post-secondary instituations records?

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Scotties123
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jun 14, 2015 11:34 am

How do state bar associations check on post-secondary instituations records?

Postby Scotties123 » Sun Jun 14, 2015 11:50 am

Hey guys,

I didn't know what to call this post. I am not good with catchy titles. Anyways, I'm not in law school YET and have yet to hear back from the schools *fingers crossed*

BUT, I know this guy in my program, he applied to US law school and just found out he got in. So, today he and I were talking and it came up that he went to a different university for two years and apparently did horribly - got kicked out due to total shit grades. He said he didn't attend most of his final exams - he was just totally immature, admitted he had no business even being in school since he had no clue why he was there etc. So after taking time off he decided to give university a try (again), got accepted in another university (the current one) and just started from scratch. Got really good grades etc applied and got in.

He did not disclose the fact that he attended the first post secondary schools on his law school application cuz he figured they wouldn't even look at him (although I did remind him that we have to list all the post secondary institutions we have attended.) Anyways, wouldn't the character and fitness test done when finishing law school catch him on this? I mentioned this to him but he said I'm totally wrong. I posted this in this forum since I figured that current law students familiar with the character and fitness would be able to elaborate. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

Freebot
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2014 7:12 pm

Re: How do state bar associations check on post-secondary instituations records?

Postby Freebot » Tue Jul 07, 2015 5:35 pm

The LSAC gpa is supposed to include all undergraduate coursework taken before earning your first undergraduate degree. Therefore, this friend of yours has been admitted to law school under fraudulent pretenses. If he is taking undergraduate courses in a foreign country, I guess it is possible that US organizations will fail to find the information. However, if it ever does come to light, he could very well face disbarment and/or retroactive revocation of his JD. He could seek out professional advice on this matter, but the principle that you shouldn't withhold information or falsify records to gain admission to a degree program should be a no-brainer.

despina
Posts: 477
Joined: Wed Jun 12, 2013 10:09 pm

Re: How do state bar associations check on post-secondary instituations records?

Postby despina » Tue Jul 07, 2015 10:49 pm

Yeah, this is a big deal. He needs to figure this out ASAP before he decides to accept this school's offer and takes on the debt / opportunity cost of law school -- this fraud could very well prevent him from ever practicing law and/or could later ruin his career. He definitely needs professional advice from a lawyer on this. (I'm not one for another few months. And of course I'm not giving legal advice here.)

Law school applications are very clear that they want information about ANY school you have ever attended, including ANY discipline, sanctions, probation, etc. There's no way this guy misunderstood these questions and omitted this information out of good faith. Maaaaybe it's possible that he could come clean now and the school would still take him and go to bat for him when he applies for the bar ("Thank you so much for the offer -- I realize I made a huge mistake when I applied; it's inexcusable and I apologize for it. Now that I realize how wrong it was, I want to give you the full information and hope that you will still consider admitting me.") But if he doesn't do this, he's very likely to get found out. As Freebot says, even if it doesn't get found out right away, he could get his JD revoked and/or get disbarred.

despina
Posts: 477
Joined: Wed Jun 12, 2013 10:09 pm

Re: How do state bar associations check on post-secondary instituations records?

Postby despina » Tue Jul 07, 2015 10:59 pm

Just to think through more how they would find out later:

Bar applications ask you to list any postsecondary school you've ever attended. This guy will either lie and get found out, or he'll tell the truth and then they'll find out that his bar app was inconsistent with this law school app.

States want a list of every job you've ever had and the dates. They may follow up with those people and ask them to confirm the info you've put in your bar application. And they may notice a gap in those dates... what were he doing during that time? Surprise, they ask around and discover where he was. Some states even ask for a list of every address you've lived since you were 18. Hmm, where were you before you started University Y, while you were living near University X but had no job listed? Time to check in with University X....

They also may google bar applicants. All sorts of fun stuff is out there for our generation.

They also may ask for undergraduate transcripts. Chances are that the transcript from the degree-granting school mentions any credits transferred from the "secret" school, or a mention of the prior coursework even if no credit was given.

Or imagine this guy scoots through law school, passes C&F, starts practicing law. Five years down the road, University X has a big data breach and his transcript gets out. He applies for a new job, somebody looks into his background, finds the embarrassing old transcript, wonders "how'd this guy get to be a lawyer" and checks in with the state bar association. Or five years down the road, a vindictive client (always assume you're going to have a few no matter how competent you are) isn't happy with his representation, tries to sue for malpractice, fails, then thinks of how else to get back at his lawyer, and starts digging...

Or an acquaintance who already knows this about his past gets mad at him for whatever reason and reports him. An ex? A classmate bitter that he didn't get into law school because he honestly reported his mediocre academic record?

Not all of these scenarios are highly likely, but overall, moral issues aside, it's a very high risk scenario for this guy.

AReasonableMan
Posts: 1504
Joined: Sun Sep 21, 2014 9:32 pm

Re: How do state bar associations check on post-secondary instituations records?

Postby AReasonableMan » Tue Jul 07, 2015 11:09 pm

it would show up just running his social through a basic background check. he should withdraw, start the process over and not apply to any of the same schools.

despina
Posts: 477
Joined: Wed Jun 12, 2013 10:09 pm

Re: How do state bar associations check on post-secondary instituations records?

Postby despina » Tue Jul 07, 2015 11:14 pm

AReasonableMan wrote:it would show up just running his social through a basic background check. he should withdraw, start the process over and not apply to any of the same schools.


I think the idea is that this person may be at a non-US university and thus might not have a SSN. But yeah, if he has a SSN...




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