Character and Fitness (Law School Apps & BAR)

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hopefulawstudent

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Character and Fitness (Law School Apps & BAR)

Post by hopefulawstudent » Wed Aug 26, 2020 12:17 pm

Currently a hopeful law student & want to make sure that I disclose everything properly / do not waste time & money on an education I cannot use. I have two incidents which I am not sure warrant disclosure and wanted to run them by you all here. Both happened over 5 years ago. 


The first incident was me being present when a friend of mine's house got raided for drugs by the DEA. I was not involved in his business, I was not charged with anything, I did not have anything in my posession, but I was handcuffed and asked questions on the premises before they let me go. All of my responses were pretty much: I don't know. To be honest I don't remember them asking me a whole lot before releasing me.


The second happened while  I was at at a hotel for a formal event where alcohol was involved. I was intoxicated, I was underage (20), and I ended up getting into it with security for them not letting me back up to our friends room. This was likely due to the fact many different people were drinking in these rooms and they had caught on. I was insisting I be let back up, they denied, and eventually detained me for being overly argumentative. They told me they were going to call the police, but the police never came, and after being held for a few hours I was banned from this establishment and let go. I am sure there is a record somewhere of this in this business' system, which is a well known chain. 


Will these issues likely need to be disclosed on law school applications or eventually for the BAR? 


Any advice is appreciated, thank you!

nixy

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Re: Character and Fitness (Law School Apps & BAR)

Post by nixy » Wed Aug 26, 2020 12:45 pm

It will depend on the wording of the questions on the apps (law school and bar). They probably won’t need to be disclosed (especially the second, the police never got involved), though it’s theoretically possible that somewhere asks about if you were ever “detained” by the police and the first one would count. But pretty unlikely. Just read the questions carefully and if there’s an ambiguity you can probably call to ask what they mean or err on the side of disclosure. Neither of these will have any negative effect on an application.

AJordan

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Re: Character and Fitness (Law School Apps & BAR)

Post by AJordan » Wed Aug 26, 2020 12:50 pm

I am not a lawyer. If you want to have confidence in your answers you need to ask a lawyer in the jdx in which you need to practice. With that said,

I would not have reported either of those instances. The two main categories that you are asked to disclose to law schools are: academic misconduct/sanctions/dishonesty/etc. and criminal charges/civil penalties. What you have described in your words in the first instance is a detention. You were never charged with any crime, you were only an ancillary piece of an investigation conducted on another individual with which you had no involvement. If you wanted to disclose this out of extreme caution, and that's certainly a prudent if maybe unnecessary attitude here, you could simply write, "on XYZ date I was present when the officers of ABC organization conducted a raid at another individual's residence where I was present. I was not involved in any activity with which the officers were interested, but I was detained on the scene. After answering a few questions I was released and never contacted again."

The second one almost seems even less necessary to report. It sounds like you got into a kerfuffle with a private party, they exercised their right to exclude you from their property, you respected that right, and the police were never involved. If you were never charged with any penalty, criminal or civil, this doesn't seem to fit the bill for what they're asking.

Again, not a lawyer, and you should consult one out of caution (I imagine you could likely find one to answer your questions for free since they're so simple) but neither of these seem to be required reporting on a law school application.

hopefulawstudent

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Re: Character and Fitness (Law School Apps & BAR)

Post by hopefulawstudent » Wed Aug 26, 2020 1:34 pm

nixy wrote:
Wed Aug 26, 2020 12:45 pm
It will depend on the wording of the questions on the apps (law school and bar). They probably won’t need to be disclosed (especially the second, the police never got involved), though it’s theoretically possible that somewhere asks about if you were ever “detained” by the police and the first one would count. But pretty unlikely. Just read the questions carefully and if there’s an ambiguity you can probably call to ask what they mean or err on the side of disclosure. Neither of these will have any negative effect on an application.
Thank you for your response, & I appreciate the feedback!

hopefulawstudent

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Re: Character and Fitness (Law School Apps & BAR)

Post by hopefulawstudent » Wed Aug 26, 2020 1:37 pm

AJordan wrote:
Wed Aug 26, 2020 12:50 pm
I am not a lawyer. If you want to have confidence in your answers you need to ask a lawyer in the jdx in which you need to practice. With that said,

I would not have reported either of those instances. The two main categories that you are asked to disclose to law schools are: academic misconduct/sanctions/dishonesty/etc. and criminal charges/civil penalties. What you have described in your words in the first instance is a detention. You were never charged with any crime, you were only an ancillary piece of an investigation conducted on another individual with which you had no involvement. If you wanted to disclose this out of extreme caution, and that's certainly a prudent if maybe unnecessary attitude here, you could simply write, "on XYZ date I was present when the officers of ABC organization conducted a raid at another individual's residence where I was present. I was not involved in any activity with which the officers were interested, but I was detained on the scene. After answering a few questions I was released and never contacted again."

The second one almost seems even less necessary to report. It sounds like you got into a kerfuffle with a private party, they exercised their right to exclude you from their property, you respected that right, and the police were never involved. If you were never charged with any penalty, criminal or civil, this doesn't seem to fit the bill for what they're asking.

Again, not a lawyer, and you should consult one out of caution (I imagine you could likely find one to answer your questions for free since they're so simple) but neither of these seem to be required reporting on a law school application.
Thank you for the thought out response! I have been considering talking to a lawyer to be sure, and will still consider moving forward.

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