criminal history

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tangelo
Posts: 50
Joined: Wed Jan 29, 2014 1:32 pm

criminal history

Postby tangelo » Sun Feb 02, 2014 8:17 pm

Hey guys, I'm 44 and considering law school, even though I'm super old. ;)

Couple questions. It's my understanding law schools and the bar do background checks? Is that right? If so, I have two questions. I have terrible credit, even though I do own my home. I'm working on it, but it's not good. Will this cause me problems with the bar or LS? Also, 20 years ago I was in a bar fight and spent the night in jail. Is that an automatic disqualification from becoming a lawyer? I also spent a night in juvenile hall as a kid, but assume that won't even be found since it was expunged when I was 18. Anyway, you know what I mean, am I going to run into any problems with my credit or having a bar fight on my record? Thanks!

By the way, I've never even gotten a speeding ticket or anything else in my 44 years, just the one bar fight and screw up as a pre-teen. Most of the credit issues is actually due to my wife's student loans (hello irony). Anyway, thanks!

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A. Nony Mouse
Posts: 22879
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:51 am

Re: criminal history

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun Feb 02, 2014 8:43 pm

The bar fight won't be an issue. The terrible credit might be, since state bars are leery of having someone with money troubles in control of client funds. However, if you can demonstrate that you've taken control of the problem and are taking steps to remedy it, you should be good. (It may also depend a little on the state - Florida is supposed to be really really tough on money issues, for instance, while other states may be less so.)

tangelo
Posts: 50
Joined: Wed Jan 29, 2014 1:32 pm

Re: criminal history

Postby tangelo » Sun Feb 02, 2014 8:52 pm

Yeah, I do plan to work on my credit issues over the next couple years while in LS. How about schools, do they dig into criminal and credit history?

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midwest17
Posts: 1686
Joined: Sat Aug 31, 2013 5:27 pm

Re: criminal history

Postby midwest17 » Mon Feb 03, 2014 12:53 pm

Schools are going to ask you to disclose criminal history (they won't care about credit issues -- at least any school I've applied to). You're well advised to disclose everything, even if it's expunged (unless they specifically say you don't have to include expunged things). Neither of your things are likely to cause a problem, but the bar will cross-reference your law school application disclosures with what they find. If you lied and it gets discovered, either when the bar does its initial C&F checks or at any point in your career, you could either not pass the bar or lose your license.

TL;DR don't lie




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