Honesty during your law career is important, beginning with law school. Your moral character application is essential to attaining your goal. The value of disclosing your history on a law school application is critical. Being honest and accurate on a law school application can help you be successful. However, if you are not careful to disclose, omit, or forget information, it can negatively affect your law career.
What to Amend on Your Application
On a law school application, the school requires that you are of good character to study law and to pass the Bar. Some issues that schools may look for on the application are
- Have you ever been disciplined or been forced to withdraw from a university or college after violating or being accused of violating conduct or honor codes? Being accepted into law school requires that other universities or colleges consider you trustworthy enough to continue with your college or university work. If you fail to disclose this on an application, the law school can Bar you from attending the school or force you to leave. Don’t leave this information out. If you leave this critical information out, amend it as soon as possible. It’s not for you to judge whether you have a legitimate excuse to hide this information, it’s for the law school to decide the factors that will make you a student.
- Have you ever been arrested, taken into custody, or had accusation of criminal wrongdoing? Do you have criminal charges pending or expected to be brought against you? While you may think situations such as traffic violations, juvenile offenses, and expunged records don’t matter for law school applications, they are critical. You should still include these on your application and amend your application to include these. When you go to take the Bar exam, your criminal record and the information you give on your law school application are relevant to being able to take the Bar. Maintain copies of your initial application to keep track of what you have written.
- Do you have financial problems? Your credit and financial history will sometimes be part of your character and fitness application. As a lawyer, you may be entrusted with your client’s money and you must show your ability to manage money. Financial situations change and an amendment to your law school application, even when in law school, is critical to showing you are trustworthy enough to be a lawyer.
- Do you have a history of mental or substance abuse problems? Have you developed these problems in law school? These are difficult and personal questions to be asked. However, these are questions that allow you to demonstrate you are getting help and are responsible enough to be a lawyer.
The consequences of not amending your law school application can lead to serious obstacles to your becoming a lawyer. You should file an amended application to your law school application as soon as you realize there are errors, omissions, or lack of candor in the initial application. Amending your application can demonstrate you are a responsible, trustworthy candidate to be a future lawyer.