Past Legal Problems
Full disclosure of prior legal problems
One of the more personally difficult decisions that law school applicants must make concerns disclosure of legal problems such as arrests or convictions. Full disclosure is the best choice.
- Admission to the bar. Some state bar associations require applicants to disclose arrests and convictions. If there is a discrepancy between what the law school reports to the bar, and the bar disclosure, the major issue then becomes the veracity of the applicant, not the minor offense. This can delay admission to the bar, or you may be denied admission to the bar for failure to disclose information.
- Convictions are less important for law school admission than admission to the practice of law. The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, In re Dortch, 199 W.Va.571 (1996) held that a man who served 15 years in prison for second degree murder, attempted armed robbery, and conspiracy, was released and graduated from law school, could be denied admission to the practice of law despite the fact that a 3/5 vote of Board of Bar Examiners recommended admission. See also In re Mcmillian, 578 S.E. 2d 339 (2000).