Very serious question: Advice needed

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
tawy
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:16 pm

Very serious question: Advice needed

Postby tawy » Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:19 pm

Hello all, long time lurker here however I am in the process of writing my diversity statement and I wanted to know if I should write about this topic or not:

This May i was arrested for trespassing although nothing came of it because the District Attorney didn't take the case since there was no evidence of my trespassing (long story). I was wondering if I should talk about this incidence in my essays or not since a run in with the law may not be the best way to start off law school applications. Let me know your thoughts!

Further background info: URM

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waldorf
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Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2016 6:28 pm

Re: Very serious question: Advice needed

Postby waldorf » Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:43 pm

I wouldn't use that specific instance in a diversity statement. Plenty of people have minor C&F issues - it's not going to contribute to diversity. Now, whether you have to disclose it or not is a different story. It would probably depend on the wording of the question, but I would still disclose that you received a citation but charges were never filed.

Sploshy
Posts: 43
Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2017 12:22 pm

Re: Very serious question: Advice needed

Postby Sploshy » Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:45 pm

I have no idea what you could possibly be wanting to talk about in regards to this instance, but maybe there is something that I'm not thinking of.

From my perspective this sounds like a terrible idea to talk about.

Only thing that would make this okay in my eyes would be if the story directly deals with you having to overcome adversity or if you are reflecting about your past run ins with the law and how you have changed since then (this is just a case of trespassing though so it doesn't sound like something that you would be reflecting on).

Since it was already mentioned I'll just glaze over the fact that you should not try to hide anything like this either, but I would not be highlighting it in a diversity statement without some sort of compelling reason. You haven't really given any compelling reason, but I'm assuming you at least have some reason because otherwise this seems pretty bizarre to be asking about.

tawy
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:16 pm

Re: Very serious question: Advice needed

Postby tawy » Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:51 pm

Thanks for the responses everyone! As for a follow up I do not plan on disclosing this information to ls because it is not on my background check and I did not get any sort of citation.

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Mullens
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Re: Very serious question: Advice needed

Postby Mullens » Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:33 pm

tawy wrote:Thanks for the responses everyone! As for a follow up I do not plan on disclosing this information to ls because it is not on my background check and I did not get any sort of citation.


You need to read the character questions carefully. Some schools require you to disclose all arrests, even if nothing came of them. Not disclosing for any reason, could harm your admission to the bar when you graduate. Lying is way way worse than disclosing in every situation.

tawy
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:16 pm

Re: Very serious question: Advice needed

Postby tawy » Tue Jul 18, 2017 3:56 pm

Mullens wrote:
tawy wrote:Thanks for the responses everyone! As for a follow up I do not plan on disclosing this information to ls because it is not on my background check and I did not get any sort of citation.


You need to read the character questions carefully. Some schools require you to disclose all arrests, even if nothing came of them. Not disclosing for any reason, could harm your admission to the bar when you graduate. Lying is way way worse than disclosing in every situation.


Hi there, as I stated it is not on my background check nor was it input in the system and I never received any tickets, citation, etc for it. With this in mind, I think discussing it is unnecessary unless there is some possible way it comes up without it being processed in the first place.

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Mullens
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Re: Very serious question: Advice needed

Postby Mullens » Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:05 pm

tawy wrote:
Mullens wrote:
tawy wrote:Thanks for the responses everyone! As for a follow up I do not plan on disclosing this information to ls because it is not on my background check and I did not get any sort of citation.


You need to read the character questions carefully. Some schools require you to disclose all arrests, even if nothing came of them. Not disclosing for any reason, could harm your admission to the bar when you graduate. Lying is way way worse than disclosing in every situation.


Hi there, as I stated it is not on my background check nor was it input in the system and I never received any tickets, citation, etc for it. With this in mind, I think discussing it is unnecessary unless there is some possible way it comes up without it being processed in the first place.


Regardless of if it shows up on a background check, if you fail to disclose the arrest on your law school applications/bar application when the question clearly requires you to discloe and a state bar's character/fitness review finds it, you might not be admitted to practice law. You're playing with fire. Be careful.

Barrred
Posts: 139
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2016 6:49 pm

Re: Very serious question: Advice needed

Postby Barrred » Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:10 pm

There are many different types of background checks. Some, like the one you are probably referring to, do not include arrest records, and instead only search court records. I can assure you that if you were arrested (i.e., taken into custody by Police) there is a record of it in a law enforcement database that is potentially accessible to bar examiners.

Read the questions on your applications carefully, and disclose accordingly. If any schools require you to disclose "arrests" or "contacts with law enforcement," then you should disclose this to them. Not doing so could come back to haunt you when you apply for bar membership.

tawy
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:16 pm

Re: Very serious question: Advice needed

Postby tawy » Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:27 pm

Barrred wrote:There are many different types of background checks. Some, like the one you are probably referring to, do not include arrest records, and instead only search court records. I can assure you that if you were arrested (i.e., taken into custody by Police) there is a record of it in a law enforcement database that is potentially accessible to bar examiners.

Read the questions on your applications carefully, and disclose accordingly. If any schools require you to disclose "arrests" or "contacts with law enforcement," then you should disclose this to them. Not doing so could come back to haunt you when you apply for bar membership.


Thanks for this response. So basically if the app asks for any arrests disclose but if they ask for any convictions then don't disclose?

tawy
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:16 pm

Re: Very serious question: Advice needed

Postby tawy » Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:29 pm

Mullens wrote:
tawy wrote:
Mullens wrote:
tawy wrote:Thanks for the responses everyone! As for a follow up I do not plan on disclosing this information to ls because it is not on my background check and I did not get any sort of citation.


You need to read the character questions carefully. Some schools require you to disclose all arrests, even if nothing came of them. Not disclosing for any reason, could harm your admission to the bar when you graduate. Lying is way way worse than disclosing in every situation.


Hi there, as I stated it is not on my background check nor was it input in the system and I never received any tickets, citation, etc for it. With this in mind, I think discussing it is unnecessary unless there is some possible way it comes up without it being processed in the first place.


Regardless of if it shows up on a background check, if you fail to disclose the arrest on your law school applications/bar application when the question clearly requires you to discloe and a state bar's character/fitness review finds it, you might not be admitted to practice law. You're playing with fire. Be careful.


Thanks for the response. So disclose when needed and not when it isn't explicitly stated?

Barrred
Posts: 139
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2016 6:49 pm

Re: Very serious question: Advice needed

Postby Barrred » Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:40 pm

tawy wrote:
Barrred wrote:There are many different types of background checks. Some, like the one you are probably referring to, do not include arrest records, and instead only search court records. I can assure you that if you were arrested (i.e., taken into custody by Police) there is a record of it in a law enforcement database that is potentially accessible to bar examiners.

Read the questions on your applications carefully, and disclose accordingly. If any schools require you to disclose "arrests" or "contacts with law enforcement," then you should disclose this to them. Not doing so could come back to haunt you when you apply for bar membership.


Thanks for this response. So basically if the app asks for any arrests disclose but if they ask for any convictions then don't disclose?


Yeah, basically you want to be perfectly responsive to the question, so that nobody can claim you were trying to cover anything up, without giving out any more information than explicitly required. So if a question asks to list any "criminal charges" or "convictions" and I only had an arrest that wasn't charged by the DA, I would leave that section blank (or check "no" or whatever). But if the question asked to list any arrests, I would disclose the arrest, and notate that no charges were filed in a short explanation.




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