Character and Fitness - Failure to Disclose

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a120
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Character and Fitness - Failure to Disclose

Postby a120 » Fri May 22, 2015 1:36 pm

I need some advice on how to handle a situation. I failed to disclose a graduate program on my law school and transfer applications. I disclosed everything else. I didn't even think about this until I started looking at the bar application as a part of my ethics class.

I have my undergraduate, a masters degree (which was completed), and then I attempted a very closely related second masters degree. I attempted 35 hours (withdrawing from a few courses) and passing 23. My last semester I received an "F" and an "I". I was placed on academic probation and never attempted anymore courses. My GPA was a 2.76 when I left. I should not have attempted this degree as it was literally the same thing I had my first masters in, but was from a much better school. I was just sick of the program (and traveling a ton for work) and instead of quitting the program the right way I just stopped going to class.... I was 23 when I did this and 6 years later I am now in this situation.

I am going to tell my current law school as well as the law school that I transferred from. I don't want to risk not being admitted to the bar over this. Any ideas on what I should prepare for? (worst case I'll get kicked out?) I've done very well in law school.

I appreciate the comments.

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ballcaps
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Re: Character and Fitness - Failure to Disclose

Postby ballcaps » Fri May 22, 2015 2:34 pm

you willfully withheld required, and quite negative, information from your law schools.

far from an expert here, but i'm not sure how much worse this stuff gets.

i believe TCR is talk to a member of the bar you want to join.

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antiworldly
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Re: Character and Fitness - Failure to Disclose

Postby antiworldly » Fri May 22, 2015 5:20 pm

There are lawyers who specialize in C&F issues. I would find one ASAP.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Character and Fitness - Failure to Disclose

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri May 22, 2015 7:33 pm

Agree that you need to consult with an attorney who specializes in C&F issues in your target jurisdiction. You might be amazed at what they can accomplish. For example, I just read a very short state supreme court decision regarding an attorney who pled no contest to misdemeanor assault & two felonies (false imprisonment & witness intimidation) & was permitted to continue the practice of law uninterrupted. (He was placed on 5 years probation.) The court's reasoning was that because this attorney represented low income clients, his conduct did not disgrace the profession & he was, essentially, a shining star for giving lawyers a positive image. In many other cases, attorneys got away without suspension because they followed the advice of their C&F specialist. Many C&F attorneys have great relationships with their state bar.

nini49
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Re: Character and Fitness - Failure to Disclose

Postby nini49 » Sat May 23, 2015 3:29 pm

Hi,

I investigated character and fitness for the FL Board of Bar Examiners for approximately five years. Yes, you should amend your law school applications as soon as possible. I don't know if you've already applied to the Bar in your jurisdiction, but if you haven and did not disclose it, you should amend it as well. Each disclosure should include a statement regarding why you failed to disclose the information, as required, when you initially applied. Also, you stated that you were place don academic probation. You will also need to amend your responses to any questions regarding that as well. I have never seen an application get dismissed from law school following an amendment to their bar application; it's a possible but extremely rare occurrence. Lack of candor is serious however; based on what you've posted on here it's not so egregious that it will prevent your admission to a Bar. I've investigated applicants with more serious character and fitness issues and they were admitted...granted they had to appear for an investigative hearing prior to admission. I always tell my clients that most applicants are admitted to the Bar; some have to jump through a few hoops to gain admission, but an overwhelming majority are granted admission. Good luck.

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haus
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Re: Character and Fitness - Failure to Disclose

Postby haus » Sat May 23, 2015 4:16 pm

antiworldly wrote:There are lawyers who specialize in C&F issues. I would find one ASAP.

a120
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Joined: Fri May 22, 2015 1:23 pm

Re: Character and Fitness - Failure to Disclose

Postby a120 » Tue May 26, 2015 9:29 am

Thanks for the replies! I have not filled out my bar application and will be applying for admission in FL. I'm going to come clean about this to my current school (T14), my transfer school, LSAC, and on my bar application. I'll amend my C&F answers re the academic probation and give them my transcripts. If that doesn't go well, then I guess it's off to a C&F attorney. Worst case scenario I get kicked out of law school.... Clearly, I made a very stupid decision and at a minimum this has been a learning experience.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Character and Fitness - Failure to Disclose

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue May 26, 2015 9:37 am

Don't worry. I think that you're making a mountain out of a mole hill. In fact,the "concealed" course might have helped your LSDAS GPA. This is more of an error due to forgetfulness than it is an act of intentional concealment.

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

Re: Character and Fitness - Failure to Disclose

Postby Scotties123 » Mon Jun 15, 2015 12:09 pm

Hi a120, do you mind telling us what happened after you told the law school? I have a friend who is in similar situation..some problems with failure to disclose as well. Thank you!

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iamgeorgebush
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Re: Character and Fitness - Failure to Disclose

Postby iamgeorgebush » Mon Jun 22, 2015 1:23 am

haus wrote:
antiworldly wrote:There are lawyers who specialize in C&F issues. I would find one ASAP.

a120
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Joined: Fri May 22, 2015 1:23 pm

Re: Character and Fitness - Failure to Disclose

Postby a120 » Mon Feb 29, 2016 11:29 am

Update: I amended my application and my current law school did not object. No disciplinary action was taken.

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dresden doll
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Re: Character and Fitness - Failure to Disclose

Postby dresden doll » Mon Feb 29, 2016 11:34 am

As expected, lots of fear mongering ITT. You amended the application and you never concealed anything intentionally to begin with. Don't fret about it.




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