Duralex wrote:The law is also about being able to dispassionately analyze a fact pattern and give advice, despite your personal moral disapproval of whatever conduct is at hand.
My expression that OP made a dumb mistake is entirely rational in origin. It's a mistake that a reasonable person would not have made under those circumstances, especially given the high potential costs of getting caught in that particular situation and the high proctor-to-student ratio. OP's behavior was at least negligent, if not reckless
. If phrasing it in "more dispassionate" language makes you feel better about it, I can do that. My point is still the same, either way.
Misconduct during a test is going to look the same as any other kind of ethical violation, which is to say it will give adcomms pause. Given that OP does not have a reasonable explanation that he can give in an addendum to explain it without lying (and that I will not
advocate lying to adcomms, one ethical mistake is bad enough already) that's going to create a hole in his application that's going to make top schools question if they want him.
Lower-ranked schools will probably not care quite as much, just based on the inherent fact that there's less competition to get into them and (if OP actually does well on the LSAT) it will be hard for them to attract students of similar achievement that don't have noticeable blemishes on their application. In that case they may take a chance on someone in OP's situation in order to get the boost to their LSAT median, since the numbers game is still a numbers game.
However, for those top-ranked schools that have a strong supply of applicants that have high scores and unblemished records, it's very likely he will not do well at all under these circumstances. They'll simply fill their seats using the thousands of applicants that don't have blatant and unexplainable ethical violations on their record, and either WL or reject him.
OP does have a right of appeal, which might be his only useful recourse at this point. However, I'm not sure what he could say there, especially given that he's already admitted (anonymously) on an internet forum that he actually committed the misconduct. Perhaps he could play the "traffic ticket" game and hope they just don't have the proper evidence to uphold the finding, and be forced to dismiss it.
Otherwise, it says clearly on the main page for LSAT irregularities that there is no intent requirement for misconduct or irregularities, and claiming it was an "honest mistake" is not a defense. Strict liability means that as long as they accept the evidence that he did it, he can do nothing about it, it sticks. I don't think he has any real options here, he's already made the choice that would've affected the outcome in any meaningful way.
Is that dispassionate enough for you?