Law school is an exciting but stressful time. It can be a steep transition from school at the undergraduate level, both academically and socially.

As you work toward your professional career as a lawyer, it is essential to establish your network. In many cases, the networking events include alcohol, and for some people, those events end in a DUI arrest.

A DUI can have a negative impact on your application to the bar association. Here’s what you should know about applying to the bar with a DUI on your record.

You cannot hide

The bar application can be a stressful obstacle, especially if you have negative situations to disclose. While it may be tempting to leave out a DUI conviction, the bar association often views an omission as intentional.

In addition to the information you provide, the bar association will run their own background check. If you omit something as substantial as a DUI conviction, the bar may view that as an act of dishonesty, which adds to the harmful impact of the DUI.

Disclose early

It can seem counterintuitive to disclose a DUI conviction before your bar application. As you are going through the hurdles of a DUI, you may look forward to the process being over.

As soon as possible after your arrest, seek out resources at your school for how you should proceed. Often, the bar association will view your situation more positively when you take a proactive approach to your arrest and possible conviction.

When you have unpleasant events to disclose to the bar association, keep in mind that they tend to appreciate the candor. When you submit your statements regarding problematic events, discuss it plainly, and commit to learning from your mistakes.

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