Can A DUI Affect Your Chances Into Law School?
After you finish up with 4 years of your undergraduate degree, you have to go through 3 years of law school. All law schools that are accredited by the "American Bar Association" accept candidates only through LSAT. LSAT stands for the Law School Admission Test.
Now, when you apply to law schools you have to mention everything about yourself. This includes not only your achievements and certificates but also things like DUIs and DWIs. Let us examine how DUIs can come in the way of your law school admission.
A law school while choosing candidates wants people who are honest, principled and have a good sense of responsibility. A DUI negates this and many more qualities. It can show that you are irresponsible, dangerous and unworthy of being anywhere near a courtroom. And obviously law schools don't want to have a liability on their hands.
But, it vastly depends on the DUIs itself. Is this a one-time offence that you committed in your early teenage years or is it a string of offences that hand over your head like a big red warning sign telling everyone to stay away?
First of all, the candidate should disclose each and everything about their previous records and make sure nothing is left out. Even the most minor of offences should be included. Along with this, the candidate should have a reasonable story as to why he was charged with the DUI and is now working to improve by taking counselling, giving motivational talks etc. Many students who had DUIs and even felonies to their name have been admitted into law schools if they show serious improvement. It all depends on how well the school believes your effort to tackle the problem is.
The problem begins when there is a pattern of offences and it is very difficult to explain a pattern. This implies that you are not responsible and have an extremely poor sense of judgement to get into the mess again and again. It also shows that you have a criminal bent of mind and cannot be trusted with a position of such authority and responsibility. But, even now candidates should not lose hope. In this case, the candidates should contact different state bars and see which of them have problems with the offences committed. Secondly, the candidate should also take counselling and advice from a lawyer experienced in this area.
DUIs no matter big or small do have an influence on the admission process. But in any case, there are some things which are a must. You should score high on the LSAT. Along with this you should have a high GPA. This will show that you are committed to the process. Along with this try to do lots of volunteering, join AA if you have an alcohol problem etc. Do all things that reinforce the idea that you are giving it your best shot. The best thing to do is to wait it out a bit, not get into any more trouble and find ways to clean up your life. This period will minimize the impact of the convictions and change the schools opinion about you.
Concluding this topic, be honest, have good explanations to questions they might ask about the convictions and prove that you are willing to change and learn from your mistakes.