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Full Disclosure On Disciplinary Issues

boston college career center

The LSAC and Law School Admissions professionals expect you to acknowledge and explain any disciplinary penalties you have received during your years at Boston College.

ODSD will report only those penalties that are deemed ‘reportable’ under University Policy (see the Community Standards).  Even if the incident is not reported by the Dean for Student Development however, it is your obligation to disclose all disciplinary infractions or incidents if you are asked to do so.

Generally, it is better to report all infractions.  Failure to report honestly and openly can often be considered a much more serious offense than the original incident itself.

Detailed advice is offered by Dean Heather Struck, a pre-law advisor at Cornell University:

Most law schools also require the applicant to provide information about prior disciplinary, judicial, or academic history, whether or not a dean’s letter is required.  The question is often phrased “have you ever been subject to disciplinary action for scholastic or other reasons...?  This question is broader than the questions answered by college officials, who typically complete a dean’s letter based upon records, not upon personal experience or knowledge.  Applicants should be advised to answer such questions truthfully and completely, disclosing information even when records have been expunged or sealed.  Failure to disclose can trigger severe consequences in the law school admission process and later in the bar admission process.  A law school application is a “continuing” application; it must be updated if the initial response becomes inaccurate or incomplete.”

In reporting an offense, first read the question being asked carefully, then you should state the facts clearly, briefly and succinctly, take responsibility for the error in judgment and indicate what you learned from it. Minor, common disciplinary issues like alcohol violations ordinarily will not be held against you, particularly if they are not repeated and your willingness to own up to them may be perceived as an indication of strong character. 

For more serious violations you may want to contact Office of the Dean of Students (DOS), or your pre-law advisor about preparing your explanation.

If you have any doubt as to whether a disciplinary action must be reported, you should check with the Dean of Student Development or the pre-law advisor. If you have a record still on file at ODSD, you may make an appointment at that office to review the record and receive copies of any sanction letters.