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I don't know much about this sort of thing but I would be shocked if this is an issue.
Ad-coms are just normal people like the rest of us. They can put things in context, and they will understand that a freshman getting caught with a fake ID and some booze is just bad luck. I'm guessing 90% of ad-coms drank when they were underage and plenty of them probably had fake IDs.
I agree, write about it in the optional essay, something short and sweet like:
"I want to use this optional essay to explain a mistake I made when I was a freshman. I was arrested for possession of alcohol and a fake ID my first semester at Acme University. While I regret that I put myself in the position for such an incident to occur, I learned from the experience, and it served as a wake-up call that caused me to refocus my energies on making the most out of my school experience. The following semester, with my priorities back in order, I made the dean's list and spent my spring break doing community service for the Blah Blah Service Organization."
Make it a little story of redemption if you can. Anything involving helping orphans or baby seals will be icing on the cake.
i wouldnt worry about it. at most write an optional essay about it.
I have to disagree... Unless they ask you to, I wouldnt even write an essay about it. I certainly wouldn't waste my space on the optional essay with this.
The kinds of crimes they are looking for are things that would put other people - your classmates, professors, etc - at risk ....im talking about assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, assault with a deadly weapon, manslaughter, murder, rape, false imprisonment, domestic assault, kidnapping, a dozen TROs, etc.
Either that or issues of serious ethical breach such as say b&e or embellzement, RICO act stuff.
The stuff you speak of is meaningless. I wouldn't even write about it in an optional essay - it'll show a lack of "big picture" skills. Some schools require you to write an explanation if you have ever been convicted of a crime - some say "felony" specifically, some just say a crime. If you do have to write something KEEP IT SHORT. I'm talking like four or five sentences AT MOST. Less is more.
Basically, if you have to write something, just say:
* I was young and made a foolish decision for which I am regretful.
* I have since grown and matured into a different person.
Don't get into explaining anything. Just admit the mistake, say "my bad" and move on.
The only thing about not disclosing these 2 charges to the B-School is that the Law School (which would be the same University) would already know about them. Thus, I will most likely disclose them with brief explanations to both. As far as I know about LS, you must disclose nearly everything. I even know people who disclosed reports by RA's.
Well obviously if the school doesn't know about the incident then don't address it in the essay, but if the school knows that you have a misdemeanor of course you have to address it in the optional essay.
I know that some business school applications do ask if you have been convicted of any crimes. I would answer those questions truthfully, but I wouldn't waste space in the optional essay for this unless absolutely necessary.
I think you might have another concern though. You may (or may not) have trouble being admitted to the Bar with something like that on your record. The offenses a tiny and insignificant. The problem though, is that most State Bars have standards for "moral fitness" - the term varies. The use of a fake ID is something that would certainly raise flags for most State Bars. I forget the wording, but they are generally concerned with things that imply "moral turpitude."
Bar associations are highly concerned with ethics and are very wary of such violations. I have no idea whether this would keep you from being admitted, but I know for certain that it will be an issue they will raise. One reason why law schools are so thorough in their background checks is because they need to know whether their students can be admitted to the bar once they graduate.
I would highly recommend consulting with counsel, or the judiciary committee of the state(s) you are interested in before investing 3-4 years on a JD or JD/MBA.
Yes, this is correct. MOST state bars have some pretty strict standards for being admitted, called the Fitness & Character Test. For the most part though, they only seem to care about recent or re-occurring convictions. Some actually have very lenient standards, such as MA or NY. I have honestly heard stories of people who have very SERIOUS felonies on their records being admitted because they were deemed morally "fit" at the time of their application to the bar. I really don't think this will be something too horrendous, especially if I keep a clean record besides this, which should not be a problem. I do expect to meet with the Bar members though, because they almost always meet with someone who has any type of violation on their record.
I do not think it will hurt you. I got a DWI after my Sophomore year of college. I have successfully gotten into law school, business school, and been admitted to the New York and North Carolina state bars. I suspect a DWI is considered worse than either of your offenses.
I think you will have to disclose them though. I had to / chose to disclose mine for everything listed above. It seems like each asks a question that calls for disclosure. Both the New York and North Carolina state bar interviewers asked about it, but it was no big deal. I was not asked anything about it for either law or business school. The worst thing you could do is get nervous and fail to disclose it when asked.