Wednesday, January 14, 2015

We Won! But It's Not Worth Jeopardizing Your Bar Admissions Over!

Revelry after Monday night's national football championship got a bit out of hand. Police used tear gas and/or pepper spray to control the crowd of rowdy students. I skimmed the photos, and I am pleased to report I did not spot a single law student in the bunch.

I did wonder, however, how many of those on the streets and causing property damage aspire to be law students. With this in mind, I posed a question to our bar exam expert, Katherine Kelly: If the person who tweeted about the torn down Ohio Stadium goal post (or actually helped take it down) was a law student and they were caught, could that affect their bar admission? (Because as you all know as future lawyers, there are differences between committing a crime, getting caught committing a crime, and gleefully taking credit for a crime by posting evidence of the crime on social media that will last forever.)

Here's Professor Kelly's response:

"Absolutely. That person would have to report it on the C&F application and it would not bode well. It negatively impacts at least three of the “essential eligibility requirements for the practice of law:”
  • Able to conduct oneself with respect for and in accordance with the law…
  • Ability to avoid acts that exhibit disregard for the health, safety, and welfare of others.
  • Ability to conduct oneself professionally and in a manner that engenders respect for the law and the profession.
It’s one thing to do something like this when you are 18 but if you are a law student, it hurts your present moral character and fitness. The person would have to explain to the Admissions Committee interviewers why that exercise in bad judgment is not indicative of who he/she is today."

So keep in mind the rigorous standards for bar admission and use good judgment. If you're confident you will surmount those hurdles, but you're a bit worried about the exam itself, stop by the law library or the law library website to see our wealth of bar exam resources to make the process easier.