Law School Can Expel Student With Past
To disclose or not to disclose? In a first-time meeting with the parents of a significant other, it is probably fine to disclose some things while selectively passing over others. It is certainly legal to do so. In the section of a law school application that asks you to disclose any previous legal troubles, it is probably best to go ahead and disclose everything. According to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, if you don’t, a law school can legally expel you after admitting you.
In 2009, Robert Brown applied to the University of Kansas School of Law. After being waitlisted, he was granted admission and enrolled in August of that year. The problem is Brown (selectively?) forgot to disclose certain past legal issues. He failed to mention his three arrests for driving under the influence in the 1970s and 1980s. He also didn’t mention that he had been arrested three times and charged four times for domestic battery from 1994 to 1996. Oops.
Brown concluded that since they were misdemeanors and happened so long ago, they didn’t need to be disclosed on the application. Then he heard an assistant dean and others speak of how gaining admittance to practice law is could be problematic if previous legal issues were not disclosed. In response, Brown told Kansas law officials of his previous transgressions.
The admissions committee determined they would have rejected him if they had known of his previous arrests. In addition to the expulsion, they charged him with academic misconduct. A three-judge panel dismissed the academic misconduct charges, In 2010 Brown attempted to sue the university and two law school deans. On Tuesday of this week, the Tenth Circuit court affirmed their dismissal of Brown’s lawsuit against the university and the deans.
Lesson to all aspiring lawyers: Your past will be held against you in being admitted to the bar. So if you aren’t sure about past transgressions, be upfront about them.
Source: The National Law Journal
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