Admission Chances with Title IX SA Suspension Forum

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mistro419

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Admission Chances with Title IX SA Suspension

Post by mistro419 » Sun May 16, 2021 6:46 pm

Low GPA, Working & Studying for the LSAT, Competitive Undergrad School, decent resume and work experiences

In 2016 I was found responsible for SA on campus that occurred in 2015. The sanction decision was for a 2 year suspension but I appealed for misconduct in the case and had it changed to 1 year by a new committee (one of which's members voted for me to return after a semester, but was overruled). I appealed again and submitted a positive polygraph but it was deemed inadmissible. No police investigation ever occurred. Everything that happened was done within the school.

For objective details of the case: 1.) no drugs or alcohol were involved. 2.) No physical force or coercion (threatening/ quid pro quo) was involved. These are undisputed facts by both parties involved.

I'm giving these details because I saw a thread like this before and it didn't seem helpful without context. I am aware that I may have to disclose this but I'd like to know how it would affect my chances ? The case itself is a big reason for my wanting to go to law school. I also know that I'll need a 170+ to offset my low GPA, however, I'd still like to know if my suspension would disqualify me no matter what I get. I'm also aware that the C&F section is looking for me to accept responsibility so please let me know if the way I'm describing things or if anything I'm saying shows otherwise

Note: While I do believe the encounter was consensual, but over time and with therapy I recognize there are ways in which my some of my actions may have made the complainant feel uncomfortable. I also attended events on campus and joined a consent oriented club to try and better understand the complexities of SA.

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Re: Admission Chances with Title IX SA Suspension

Post by cavalier1138 » Mon May 17, 2021 9:29 am

You should consult a C&F lawyer, and you will likely want to engage an admissions consultant (assuming the C&F lawyer says that this isn't a lost cause).

But regarding this thought:
mistro419 wrote:
Sun May 16, 2021 6:46 pm
I'm also aware that the C&F section is looking for me to accept responsibility so please let me know if the way I'm describing things or if anything I'm saying shows otherwise
Yes, the way you describe things makes it sound like you still believe that you didn't really do anything wrong. The particularly troubling points include the following: your emphasis on the committee refusing to entertain polygraph results (which no one should ever take seriously), the lengthy description of people wanting to give you lesser punishments, your insistence that you don't think that there was a consent issue, and your description of the "complexities" of sexual assault. It also doesn't help that you use "SA" as an acronym, which comes across (I think accurately) as you trying to avoid actually writing the words "sexual assault."

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Re: Admission Chances with Title IX SA Suspension

Post by LSATWiz.com » Mon May 17, 2021 11:50 am

cavalier1138 wrote:
Mon May 17, 2021 9:29 am
You should consult a C&F lawyer, and you will likely want to engage an admissions consultant (assuming the C&F lawyer says that this isn't a lost cause).

But regarding this thought:
mistro419 wrote:
Sun May 16, 2021 6:46 pm
I'm also aware that the C&F section is looking for me to accept responsibility so please let me know if the way I'm describing things or if anything I'm saying shows otherwise
Yes, the way you describe things makes it sound like you still believe that you didn't really do anything wrong. The particularly troubling points include the following: your emphasis on the committee refusing to entertain polygraph results (which no one should ever take seriously), the lengthy description of people wanting to give you lesser punishments, your insistence that you don't think that there was a consent issue, and your description of the "complexities" of sexual assault. It also doesn't help that you use "SA" as an acronym, which comes across (I think accurately) as you trying to avoid actually writing the words "sexual assault."
I'm not a polygraph expert, but wouldn't that play into intent? It suggests OP may have believed he had consent that he didn't have. While this doesn't excuse the behavior, it's much less deplorable than knowing that he doesn't have consent and doing it anyway. One reflects a young and inexperienced kid who made a mistake, and one is more predatory.

I agree that it is important to take responsibility, but I think the polygraph is important to mention without using it to criticize the trial. The idea would be the polygraph demonstrated that he believed he had consent, but that through therapy and additional life experience, he recognizes that he was wrong to assume he had consent, and recognizes he should have taken steps (1), (2), and (3) moving forward. At the end of the day, it's really about present character and present threat, and it's hard to imagine a reality in which a sexual predator can ever be fully rehabilitated but easier to imagine where a well meaning person who misinterprets social cues can be rehabilitated.

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Re: Admission Chances with Title IX SA Suspension

Post by nixy » Mon May 17, 2021 12:04 pm

The point is that polygraphs aren’t reliable. There’s a reason they’re not admissible at trial (and it’s that they’re not reliable).

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Re: Admission Chances with Title IX SA Suspension

Post by mistro419 » Mon May 17, 2021 1:30 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
Mon May 17, 2021 9:29 am
You should consult a C&F lawyer, and you will likely want to engage an admissions consultant (assuming the C&F lawyer says that this isn't a lost cause).

But regarding this thought:
mistro419 wrote:
Sun May 16, 2021 6:46 pm
I'm also aware that the C&F section is looking for me to accept responsibility so please let me know if the way I'm describing things or if anything I'm saying shows otherwise
Yes, the way you describe things makes it sound like you still believe that you didn't really do anything wrong. The particularly troubling points include the following: your emphasis on the committee refusing to entertain polygraph results (which no one should ever take seriously), the lengthy description of people wanting to give you lesser punishments, your insistence that you don't think that there was a consent issue, and your description of the "complexities" of sexual assault. It also doesn't help that you use "SA" as an acronym, which comes across (I think accurately) as you trying to avoid actually writing the words "sexual assault."
Thank you for the advice! What is the likelihood that the suspension alone makes it a lost cause ?

Re: using "SA"-- I've read in more recent literature that it may be more triggering using the full term or the full r word, which is why I avoided doing so.

Re: Description of events-- I consulted with the Dean of my college who gave the advice that anything I can do to show what the disciplinary committee may have thought of the severity of my case would help. That includes the appeals, their outcomes, and the split decision. My goal there was to try and draw a distinction between my case and some of the others they may have read. Was this bad advice? Does presenting that information make it seem like I'm re-litigating the case? Is there a way to do it differently ?

Re: Polygraph--How would you recommend mentioning it without having it look like an excuse? My goal there was to show just to present the information.

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mistro419

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Re: Admission Chances with Title IX SA Suspension

Post by mistro419 » Mon May 17, 2021 1:36 pm

LSATWiz.com wrote:
Mon May 17, 2021 11:50 am
cavalier1138 wrote:
Mon May 17, 2021 9:29 am
You should consult a C&F lawyer, and you will likely want to engage an admissions consultant (assuming the C&F lawyer says that this isn't a lost cause).

But regarding this thought:
mistro419 wrote:
Sun May 16, 2021 6:46 pm
I'm also aware that the C&F section is looking for me to accept responsibility so please let me know if the way I'm describing things or if anything I'm saying shows otherwise
Yes, the way you describe things makes it sound like you still believe that you didn't really do anything wrong. The particularly troubling points include the following: your emphasis on the committee refusing to entertain polygraph results (which no one should ever take seriously), the lengthy description of people wanting to give you lesser punishments, your insistence that you don't think that there was a consent issue, and your description of the "complexities" of sexual assault. It also doesn't help that you use "SA" as an acronym, which comes across (I think accurately) as you trying to avoid actually writing the words "sexual assault."
I'm not a polygraph expert, but wouldn't that play into intent? It suggests OP may have believed he had consent that he didn't have. While this doesn't excuse the behavior, it's much less deplorable than knowing that he doesn't have consent and doing it anyway. One reflects a young and inexperienced kid who made a mistake, and one is more predatory.

I agree that it is important to take responsibility, but I think the polygraph is important to mention without using it to criticize the trial. The idea would be the polygraph demonstrated that he believed he had consent, but that through therapy and additional life experience, he recognizes that he was wrong to assume he had consent, and recognizes he should have taken steps (1), (2), and (3) moving forward. At the end of the day, it's really about present character and present threat, and it's hard to imagine a reality in which a sexual predator can ever be fully rehabilitated but easier to imagine where a well meaning person who misinterprets social cues can be rehabilitated.
Thank you for the advice. I think this is more of what I'm going for in my explanation. What do you think this could say about my chances ? I've all but given up hope on t-1 or t-2 schools, but would I have a shot at t-3 or below ? Also, I saw some threads where putting distance from the situation was suggested as well. Would the 6 years since the incident be enough (6yrs since the incident, year and a half since graduating).

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Re: Admission Chances with Title IX SA Suspension

Post by nixy » Mon May 17, 2021 1:53 pm

Honestly, I think it's hard to give much concrete advice. I think most people in your situation (understandably) don't bring it up much, and while I've seen a few questions along these lines here and in other parts of the internet on occasion, I've never really seen any great answers. The sort of stereotypical response is that people convicted of bank robbery and murder have been admitted to law school, which is true but not that helpful because this is all really fact-specific (and I think both have struggled with getting admitted to the bar).

I think really your best source of advice will be a C&F attorney and/or a good admissions consultant, because this is the kind of situation most people here won't have dealt with and inaccurate advice is going to be a bigger deal than it usually is.

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Re: Admission Chances with Title IX SA Suspension

Post by mistro419 » Mon May 17, 2021 2:47 pm

nixy wrote:
Mon May 17, 2021 1:53 pm
Honestly, I think it's hard to give much concrete advice. I think most people in your situation (understandably) don't bring it up much, and while I've seen a few questions along these lines here and in other parts of the internet on occasion, I've never really seen any great answers. The sort of stereotypical response is that people convicted of bank robbery and murder have been admitted to law school, which is true but not that helpful because this is all really fact-specific (and I think both have struggled with getting admitted to the bar).

I think really your best source of advice will be a C&F attorney and/or a good admissions consultant, because this is the kind of situation most people here won't have dealt with and inaccurate advice is going to be a bigger deal than it usually is.
Thanks for the advice. I'll have to start researching C&F attorneys

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Re: Admission Chances with Title IX SA Suspension

Post by LSATWiz.com » Fri Nov 05, 2021 1:58 pm

I would just add you should not just consult one C&F attorney. I don't have any experience with this but I imagine that the legal opinions you get will wildly vary. Insofar as being sworn in, you are fortunate you were not criminally charged. This type of offense might be a complete dealbreaker in many jurisdictions.

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Re: Admission Chances with Title IX SA Suspension

Post by LSATWiz.com » Fri Nov 05, 2021 2:33 pm

My final note would be that putting the character and fitness issues aside, there is a liability issue for the school if, god forbid, something similar happened while you were there. In this sense, evidence showing that you didn't know you did anything wrong might be even more problematic. If it's not too late, you might also want to include any sensitivity training, etc. that you've done since the incident.

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Re: Admission Chances with Title IX SA Suspension

Post by LBJ's Hair » Mon Nov 08, 2021 2:30 am

realistically, unless the C&F attorneys can say with 100% certainty that you'll be admitted to the bar (which I doubt they can), you should look into alternative careers

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Re: Admission Chances with Title IX SA Suspension

Post by bnp2676 » Mon Nov 08, 2021 5:31 pm

mistro419 wrote:
Sun May 16, 2021 6:46 pm
Low GPA, Working & Studying for the LSAT, Competitive Undergrad School, decent resume and work experiences

In 2016 I was found responsible for SA on campus that occurred in 2015. The sanction decision was for a 2 year suspension but I appealed for misconduct in the case and had it changed to 1 year by a new committee (one of which's members voted for me to return after a semester, but was overruled). I appealed again and submitted a positive polygraph but it was deemed inadmissible. No police investigation ever occurred. Everything that happened was done within the school.

For objective details of the case: 1.) no drugs or alcohol were involved. 2.) No physical force or coercion (threatening/ quid pro quo) was involved. These are undisputed facts by both parties involved.

I'm giving these details because I saw a thread like this before and it didn't seem helpful without context. I am aware that I may have to disclose this but I'd like to know how it would affect my chances ? The case itself is a big reason for my wanting to go to law school. I also know that I'll need a 170+ to offset my low GPA, however, I'd still like to know if my suspension would disqualify me no matter what I get. I'm also aware that the C&F section is looking for me to accept responsibility so please let me know if the way I'm describing things or if anything I'm saying shows otherwise

Note: While I do believe the encounter was consensual, but over time and with therapy I recognize there are ways in which my some of my actions may have made the complainant feel uncomfortable. I also attended events on campus and joined a consent oriented club to try and better understand the complexities of SA.
You should absolutely find a different profession. Even taking at face value that you were unfairly persecuted by your school (which I don't but I have no way to verify in this discussion) you have almost no shot of succeeding in the legal profession. First you have to find a school willing to assume the risk of taking you. It will not be a great school so already your job prospects will be at 60% for a normal student. The way students from low ranking schools get lucrative positions is by working their ass off in law school and then working their ass off in the government and then finding medium and large firms that value experienced lawyers. You wont pass a government background check for most jobs. Public interest might let you slip in but someone will eventually find out and that's it for you in public interest. You will be limited to small firm jobs. You aren't going to get a scholarship because the school knows you have limited options. So you will have 200k of debt to make 50K a year in a job with few promotion opportunities, no prestige, and you will have no opportunity to move up because most areas will be permanently blocked because of a history of sexual assault. Even if you get that, I have no clue if your jurisdiction will allow you to sit for the bar. There is a reason for this. Every bar passage required position is a position of public trust. If at any point you violate that trust, your value as a lawyer is very limited. While a very major mistake shouldn't mean your life is over, it does mean that professions that require a high ethical standard are closed to you. If you are considering a graduate degree I would consider an MBA. It has better outcomes than a JD anyway and will place you in a better position to work for employers who will be willing to forgive your past.

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Re: Admission Chances with Title IX SA Suspension

Post by nixy » Mon Nov 08, 2021 6:08 pm

Do you have specific examples to support all this? It’s entirely plausible, and you may be entirely correct. But there’s so little information out there about specific outcomes for people with this kind of offense in their past, I never know if people are opining based on actual examples or on assumptions about how it all works.

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Re: Admission Chances with Title IX SA Suspension

Post by bnp2676 » Mon Nov 08, 2021 10:15 pm

Personal experience? No. Prior experience with government and public interest organizations finding out about a sexual harassment/ domestic violence incident on a colleagues record? Yes. Experience coming from a low ranked law school and going through interviews and government background checks? Yes. As for admissions I don't think anyone can predict how every law school will react to a candidate but low grades + serious C&F issues does not equal T1. No one can really say absolutely how someone's career will go but we can give it a pretty decent guess. T3/T4 Law schools are already a very risky proposition for those without jobs lined up going in or special circumstances. Can you honestly say you would recommended that someone go to a T3/T4 law school, with no clue if they will get past C&F, and the inability to get most if not all jobs that qualify for loan forgiveness?

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Re: Admission Chances with Title IX SA Suspension

Post by nixy » Mon Nov 08, 2021 11:07 pm

No, which is why everyone has advised the OP to consult a C&F attorney. Again, you may well be right. I just think it’s too fact-intensive an analysis to be completely definitive about it (especially given the degree of controversy over how Title IX investigations play out on college campuses. To be clear, I’m not taking a side in that controversy, just pointing out it exists. But at the very least it’s clear that Title IX investigations aren’t anywhere near proof beyond a reasonable doubt).

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Re: Admission Chances with Title IX SA Suspension

Post by bnp2676 » Tue Nov 09, 2021 8:51 pm

nixy wrote:
Mon Nov 08, 2021 11:07 pm
No, which is why everyone has advised the OP to consult a C&F attorney. Again, you may well be right. I just think it’s too fact-intensive an analysis to be completely definitive about it (especially given the degree of controversy over how Title IX investigations play out on college campuses. To be clear, I’m not taking a side in that controversy, just pointing out it exists. But at the very least it’s clear that Title IX investigations aren’t anywhere near proof beyond a reasonable doubt).
Don’t get me wrong, I get the lawyer response to say it depends. If OP was already in law school and had a lot of sunk costs into this situation, I would agree with you. There is a very small chance they could carve out a successful practice with this on their record. However, OP has nothing invested in this. I feel comfortable saying don’t make this investment. We all know how rough the job market is and even good students with high class ranks and a clean record strike out at OCI. Sexual assault claims, even those without criminal convictions, have proven to be career death sentences for big law Partners with substantial books of business.

You can disagree with the Title XI investigation process being useful but it's fairly equivalent to being fired after an internal investigation. Let me ask you this, would your law firm/agency/organization hire someone who was fired for a sustained sexual assault investigation at another law firm? Mine would not. The argument that internal investigations done by lawyers (either outside or in-house) instead of law enforcement are not valid is not going to go over as well with law firms as it will in the business world. Many law firms bill tons of hours for sexual assault/harassment internal investigations on the presumption that the results are valid.

I can’t be definitive that OP won’t make it. I can be definitive that there is a very small chance of OP making it, and spending 200k and 3 years of your life on that chance is a terrible choice. I mean we can devil's advocate the situation to infinity and find a way OP could pull it off, but in the interests of providing the best advice I can, don’t go to law school.

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Re: Admission Chances with Title IX SA Suspension

Post by Access » Tue Nov 09, 2021 10:08 pm

Equivalent to being fired for cause sounds about right. Basically OP has the choice to go into practically any other field and leave this behind, or try to go into law and have this follow him around forever. Add in that without a good GPA admissions to a school worth going to is unlikely, and it just seems like a poor life decision.

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Re: Admission Chances with Title IX SA Suspension

Post by nixy » Tue Nov 09, 2021 11:16 pm

I’m confused by the analogy because people who’ve been fired for cause pass the bar every year. It depends what the cause in “for cause” is.

(I'd also like to know who the partners with substantial books of business are who’ve suffered career death sentences from sexual assault claims. I think that *should* be the result, but I’m much less optimistic than you that it actually is. I’m also not sure a college student is comparable to a grown-ass highly educated adult, but again, it depends on the facts.)

In any case, I’m not telling the OP to go to law school. I’m telling them to consult a professional to whom they can give all the appropriate details who has the expertise actually to give informed advice.

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Re: Admission Chances with Title IX SA Suspension

Post by Access » Tue Nov 09, 2021 11:29 pm

To me the analogy is "no criminal charges but someone was disturbed by your conduct and found you responsible, and it's also possible that you were the victim". I'm sure some people do get past C&F after a fire for cause, but if theft or SA was involved they probably have a few hurdles.

Agree that OP should consult with a C&F attorney. But OP asked ppl familiar with law school and the legal profession, and that's me, so I shared my perspective.

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Re: Admission Chances with Title IX SA Suspension

Post by bnp2676 » Wed Nov 10, 2021 3:38 pm

Access wrote:
Tue Nov 09, 2021 10:08 pm
Equivalent to being fired for cause sounds about right. Basically OP has the choice to go into practically any other field and leave this behind, or try to go into law and have this follow him around forever. Add in that without a good GPA admissions to a school worth going to is unlikely, and it just seems like a poor life decision.
This is my perspective as well. Just don't do it.

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