Disciplinary Record. Is it even worth applying?

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badapple
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Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2012 5:47 pm

Disciplinary Record. Is it even worth applying?

Postby badapple » Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:14 pm

I am thinking about applying to law school, but I have a pretty nasty disciplinary record and don't want to waste my time or money if I don't have a chance.

I'm Hispanic. I have a UGPA of 3.98 (Philosophy Major, Polisci minor) from large University. I have a Masters in Philosophy with a GPA of 3.7, and am currently finishing a Masters in English and have a 4.0. My practice LSAT scores are hovering between 168 and 170. I expect I can bring this number up if I get some prep books, or take a course.

I really only want to apply to top 15 programs with a few 'safeties' in the top 35. I don't want to risk the job market without a degree from a top 35 program.

The bad: I had to write and defend a thesis for my Masters, and a few days before my defense a professor on my defense committee dropped out. I was given no notice, no warning, it came as a complete shock. None of the other committee members saw it coming either. The professor believed that I was ignoring comments on earlier drafts of the paper. (From my perspective, this professor had been slacking. I wasn't receiving comments, and couldn't get in contact with the professor.) This meant I wouldn't be able to graduate on time and I didn't have funding for the next semester. I would have to pay out of pocket to take unsubsidized courses (even though I'd completed my course work) in order to defend and graduate. I was pissed.

After receiving the prof's email, I lost my cool and sent an email of my own. I was angry, and I used profanity. I didn't call the prof names but I did drop four F bombs.

I was charged with 1) creating a distraction in the department, 2) harassing/ intimidating a faculty member, 3) and abusing university email privileges.

After a student judicial hearing I was found guilty on all charges and was given a formal reprimand. No suspension, and no notations on my transcript. I was essentially told not to do it again. My committee members went to bat for me and I ended up graduating the next semester.

My question is this: Is it even worth applying? As soon as I disclose this info to an admissions committee I imagine they'll see me as a crazy person who is likely to fly off the handle when he doesn't get his way. I don't want to waste my money or time. So, what do you think?

auntjulia
Posts: 46
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2010 2:31 am

Re: Disciplinary Record. Is it even worth applying?

Postby auntjulia » Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:28 pm

I doubt this would have much of an affect. It sounds like a major overreaction on the university's part although I'd have to take a look at the email to say for certain.

You wrote an angry email to a professor who dicked you over. So what?

I think your stellar academic record works for you here. It gives me the impression that this was a dumb mistake by a student who really cares about his work, not that act of a hothead who flips out when not given his way.

I had a sanction of a similar nature that was arguably more severe and it had no discernable effect on my cycle.

With your gpa and your early success on the LSAT plus URM(?) I think you're going to have some really amazing options.

Good luck

in2win
Posts: 107
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 10:40 am

Re: Disciplinary Record. Is it even worth applying?

Postby in2win » Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:34 pm

it doesn't really sound that serious. i mean some people have criminal records ( like me) that are no joke, and still get accepted. the university didn't even punish you it seems like. i think it would really have no affect. a law school is not going to reject a 3.98/170+ because you sent an angry email

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Stanford4Me
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Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2008 1:23 am

Re: Disciplinary Record. Is it even worth applying?

Postby Stanford4Me » Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:39 pm

I thought you were going to talk about killing someone. You'll be fine.

When you disclose it, don't overshare. That's the biggest mistake applicants make.

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Samara
Posts: 3245
Joined: Wed May 11, 2011 4:26 pm

Re: Disciplinary Record. Is it even worth applying?

Postby Samara » Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:43 pm

Stanford4Me wrote:I thought you were going to talk about killing someone. You'll be fine.

When you disclose it, don't overshare. That's the biggest mistake applicants make.

lol, I read the thread title and immediately thought of this guy: http://abovethelaw.com/2011/09/new-tula ... -murderer/

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180asBreath
Posts: 480
Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2011 10:47 am

Re: Disciplinary Record. Is it even worth applying?

Postby 180asBreath » Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:43 pm

What do you want to do with a J.D.?

bobbyh1919
Posts: 560
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2011 9:40 pm

Re: Disciplinary Record. Is it even worth applying?

Postby bobbyh1919 » Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:51 pm

If you follow through with that LSAT, you'll be competitive at any school in the country. Just DO NOT draw out your addendum. Say what the issue was, say what you were guilty of, and note that the charges were dropped.

badapple
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2012 5:47 pm

Re: Disciplinary Record. Is it even worth applying?

Postby badapple » Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:56 pm

Thanks for the reassurances. I appreciate it. I never really considered it as a serious blemish, but I only realized today that I'd have to disclose it to ad comms.

180asBreath wrote:What do you want to do with a J.D.?


Short answer: Money. Long answer: I wanted to be a uni prof, but the market for philosophy phd's is atrocious. With my record I'd never get into a top 30 phd program (the acceptance rates are stuck at about 2-3%), and even if I could it's not clear that I'd be able to find a full time tenure track job. I know way too many Harvard/Chicago PHD grads who are temping.

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180asBreath
Posts: 480
Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2011 10:47 am

Re: Disciplinary Record. Is it even worth applying?

Postby 180asBreath » Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:11 pm

I see. I would just advise taking a long, hard look at your decision to pursue a J.D. You've already gone through two general post-baccalaureate programs; it's possible that you could be stuck in the education trap. You could be, on some level, afraid to enter the work force or trapped in the student phase (i.e. you may be a "professional student").

There have been so many students who have gone to law school for this reason and have come to regret it.

(Full disclosure: I'm someone who has grappled with this very issue for the last couple years)




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