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sidhassiq

Omitting university experience from applications

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Hi everyone, just had a quick question.

 

So I started university initially back in 2011, suffered from serious mental health issues, and was forced to withdraw 3 years later. At that point, I simply applied to another university out of province, omitted my previous university experience from my application, and essentially started a new undergrad from scratch. I am now looking to apply for law school. How big of a deal will it be if I simply omit my first set of university experience, pretend it just didnt happen, and simply apply with my undergrad degree that I am now finishing?

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, sidhassiq said:

Hi everyone, just had a quick question.

 

So I started university initially back in 2011, suffered from serious mental health issues, and was forced to withdraw 3 years later. At that point, I simply applied to another university out of province, omitted my previous university experience from my application, and essentially started a new undergrad from scratch. I am now looking to apply for law school. How big of a deal will it be if I simply omit my first set of university experience, pretend it just didnt happen, and simply apply with my undergrad degree that I am now finishing?

A big deal.

I also withdrew from university due to mental health my first try at university. Not only was I expected to report it when applying to law school, I was expected to submit a transcript from that university (despite not even completing any courses ... I withdrew one month into the program).
 

Edit: I actually made dropping out a highlight in my PS. I said something along the lines of (totally cutting stuff out here and sloppily paraphrasing):

 "I didn't recognize the supports that were available to me. When I returned to university, I took advantage of available supports (I listed some). Not only did I complete my degree successfully, I worked my way up to taking a course overload in my last year, resulting in my highest grades." I also mentioned how I used my experience dropping out to help other students (there was a direct relation to my work experience).

So there are definitely ways you can spin it positively, but the first step is to acknowledge it and own up to it. Succinctly discuss what caused you to drop out, how you addressed it, and show proof with examples from your resume & transcript that you're capable of handling the demands of law school. 

Edited by SneakySuspect
Adding more info

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I would personally say that it is not a good idea to omit relevant information. McGill for example has this written on their website:

The Faculty of Law may revoke an offer of admission or cancel an application at any time for material misrepresentation, including omissions, in an application.

I would assume that most other law faculties have similar rules in place. Maybe instead, you can explain your previous mental health issues in your PS or elsewhere in your application; but I would personally say that it is not a good idea to omit information.

 

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17 minutes ago, sidhassiq said:

Hi everyone, just had a quick question.

 

So I started university initially back in 2011, suffered from serious mental health issues, and was forced to withdraw 3 years later. At that point, I simply applied to another university out of province, omitted my previous university experience from my application, and essentially started a new undergrad from scratch. I am now looking to apply for law school. How big of a deal will it be if I simply omit my first set of university experience, pretend it just didnt happen, and simply apply with my undergrad degree that I am now finishing?

It would be a big deal. It could result in any one of the following: (i) tossing application (ii) revoking admission (iii) kicking you out of law school (iv) not getting called and/or losing privilege to practice law.

If it's any consolation, I started an MA and dropped out; I wanted to leave it off application, but learned that I couldn't. I was accepted into law school. I think if you are otherwise competitive, it's prob not as big of a deal as you might think. 

 

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You guys are right. Doesnt make sense to omit it, especially since the consequences are so large

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People keep saying “it’s not a good idea” which is misleading. Simply put, you can’t omit it. Or, in other words, if you get caught you will not be allowed to complete your degree. All of the schools I researched specifically require that you provide transcripts for ALL post secondary institutions that you have attended. Period. 

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What is troubling to me is that you obtained admission to the second school under false pretenses. In the normal course, having been placed on academic suspension at your original school, you would likely only be offered probationary admission at a new school. I assume you did not disclose the facts because you wanted to avoid probation.

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If you are considering omitting information that you've been asked to provide, there are really only two possible scenarios. Either you believe the information is genuinely irrelevant to your application, or you believe it is relevant and you are hoping that by hiding it you gain some advantage. There are no other options.

Here's the thing. You don't get to decide what's relevant. The Admissions Committee decides. Because it's up to them to decide who belongs in their law school, and your opinions about what should or should not matter don't apply.

So again, two possible situations. Either they end up not caring about your prior enrollment (which is a real possibility) in which case providing it is innocuous. Or else they do care, in which case not providing it is outright fraudulent.

It's an over-statement to say you would be expelled if you lie to them and it's found out. No one knows what the school would do. But it's certainly a possibility. If you provide this information, as you should, and they don't care, it doesn't matter. If they do care, that sucks, but at least you don't have a legacy of active fraud hanging over your career in law school and in law. If you don't provide it, even if they wouldn't have cared you now have a problem. Potentially a serious one. And if they would have cared then you definitely have a bad, bad problem on your hands.

Also, final note. If you want to attend law school, start thinking like a lawyer. Weighing the consequences is a reasonable way to think, but the main reason not to lie is because you shouldn't be lying - especially in a professional capacity. Lying as a lawyer, even about something that you think shouldn't matter, is a serious professional failing. There are lawyers who try to think in the terms you are deploying - not about what's right but about what happens if you get caught. You don't want to be one of those lawyers.

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Posted (edited)
49 minutes ago, Diplock said:

If you are considering omitting information that you've been asked to provide, there are really only two possible scenarios. Either you believe the information is genuinely irrelevant to your application, or you believe it is relevant and you are hoping that by hiding it you gain some advantage. There are no other options.

Here's the thing. You don't get to decide what's relevant. The Admissions Committee decides. Because it's up to them to decide who belongs in their law school, and your opinions about what should or should not matter don't apply.

So again, two possible situations. Either they end up not caring about your prior enrollment (which is a real possibility) in which case providing it is innocuous. Or else they do care, in which case not providing it is outright fraudulent.

It's an over-statement to say you would be expelled if you lie to them and it's found out. No one knows what the school would do. But it's certainly a possibility. If you provide this information, as you should, and they don't care, it doesn't matter. If they do care, that sucks, but at least you don't have a legacy of active fraud hanging over your career in law school and in law. If you don't provide it, even if they wouldn't have cared you now have a problem. Potentially a serious one. And if they would have cared then you definitely have a bad, bad problem on your hands.

Also, final note. If you want to attend law school, start thinking like a lawyer. Weighing the consequences is a reasonable way to think, but the main reason not to lie is because you shouldn't be lying - especially in a professional capacity. Lying as a lawyer, even about something that you think shouldn't matter, is a serious professional failing. There are lawyers who try to think in the terms you are deploying - not about what's right but about what happens if you get caught. You don't want to be one of those lawyers.

The OP is already on an active fraud, right? - getting into the second university without disclosing the fact of withdrawing from the first university.

Edited by NeverGiveUp

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1 minute ago, NeverGiveUp said:

The OP is already on an active fraud - getting into the second university without disclosing the fact of withdrawing from the first university.

Maybe, it's just not something I'm choosing to care about right now. I don't know the policies of the new school he applied to and is now at. For all I know, they may not even require all previous transcripts. I agree it's likely a problem, but I'm focusing as stands on the proposed application to law school.

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8 minutes ago, Diplock said:

Maybe, it's just not something I'm choosing to care about right now. I don't know the policies of the new school he applied to and is now at. For all I know, they may not even require all previous transcripts. I agree it's likely a problem, but I'm focusing as stands on the proposed application to law school.

Law schools may not accept an applicant with an active academic fraud.

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5 minutes ago, NeverGiveUp said:

Law schools may not accept an applicant with an active academic fraud.

How would they know that OP got into their second school without disclosing all previous transcripts?

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5 minutes ago, Deadpool said:

How would they know that OP got into their second school without disclosing all previous transcripts?

Common sense - easy. 

First, the OP had 3 years studies in the first school and the second school's transcript should show a transferring record but it is not there.

Secondly, since the OP was forced to withdraw he / her GPA from the first school is usually under 2.0. And OP had no schooling between the first and the second schools. Law schools would wonder how the OP got admission to the second school.

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This, in my opinion, is moving far too much into the speculative and is now basing definitive statements in legal terms on speculation. I really recommend we can it. I know everything anyone else knows here, other than the OP, and I could never draw certain conclusions. So I can't see how anyone else is either. 

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Bad academic performance sucks but I would advise OP to own it. Really emphasize how you overcame the obstacles in your PS and I would wager that schools would likely look favorably upon that experience. To quote the the great philosopher, Tyrion Lannister:" Wear it like an armor, and it can never be used to hurt you."

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Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, Eeee said:

What is troubling to me is that you obtained admission to the second school under false pretenses. In the normal course, having been placed on academic suspension at your original school, you would likely only be offered probationary admission at a new school. I assume you did not disclose the facts because you wanted to avoid probation.

When did OP say they were placed on academic suspension?

edit: I interpreted when OP says they were forced to withdraw, they meant their mental health forced them to withdraw, not the university. 

Edited by SneakySuspect

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Hmm. Two issues for the OP to consider

1. If the first academic suspension was a year long, and you simply enrolled in a different school the following year instead of serving the suspension, an adcomm could probably figure that out by looking at your transcripts.

2. Some law schools (maybe all) require you to disclose whether you've been previously required to withdraw from university. I recall encountering this question at some point in the application process. Maybe it was an OLSAS thing. So you'd be hiding more than just transcripts from your new school.

Btw, if you did 1. you might have more explaining to do to potential schools than simply disclosing your older transcript.

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I agree that we shouldn’t speculate on OP’s situation to any greater degree. 

Even he/she accepted that disclosure on law applications is the right way to go. I’m content with accepting that OP will do just that. 

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Posted (edited)

something something Hedley Byrne 

Edited by Trew

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