Baseball, law school, and you

October 2013 is shaping up a lot like October 2004 and October 2007.  Excellent news for New England sports fans, right? Of course right. 

But here’s the thing. When people get excited about sporting events, especially when those people have been drinking and/or find themselves in large crowds, bad things happen. People end up doing things they wouldn’t normally do.  Things that violate university policies and/or the criminal law.  Even people on the fringes of these large drunken crowd activities find themselves accused of violating university policies or the criminal laws.

It happened in 2004, and again in 2007.  And significant numbers of those people ended up with disciplinary records or criminal records, including people who may have had little if anything to do with the celebrations or riots (or whatever you want to call them).  They had to spend time dealing with the university student conduct system, and with the criminal justice system. And they found themselves with records of their misdeeds.

Those who went on to law school (and often to grad school or med school) had to disclose those disciplinary records and criminal records to the schools. 

But then there’s the internet.  In 2013, unlike in 2007 or 2004, your name and image are much more likely to end up online.  Whether it’s Instagram or the local community watchdog’s blog, or even the police report in the Amherst Bulletin, now something else comes up when the law schools and your future employers Google you: your arrest for disorderly conduct or resisting arrest or even assault or vandalism. 

They will Google you, you know.  And this stuff will come up, and it will be very difficult (if not impossible) to make it ever go away.

So enjoy the Series.  Have a great time (hopefully) celebrating.  But before you do, read this incredibly useful pamphlet from the Student Legal Services Office.  (UPDATE: The Dean of Students’ Office has a shorter version of the same information here.) Understand what you can or can’t do, and stay well away from the latter.  Keep some perspective: even for the ardent fan, it’s still just sports, and besides, we all know it won’t be the last time the Sox are in the Series.