Bruce Reilly is a Tulane 1L. A scholarship recipient. And a convicted murderer.
Though he expected his classmates to learn about his criminal history, he had hoped that they would be more understanding, and ask questions before judging him on his past.
That came to an end earlier this week when another law student chose instead to out him, The Times-Picayune reports. The complaint unleashed concerns about campus safety, the admissions process, and strangely, whether Reilly will ever be admitted to the bar.
Bruce Reilly spent 12 years in prison and has completed five years of probation. The murder occurred nearly 20 years ago.
While behind bars, The Times-Picayune reports that Reilly acted as a jailhouse lawyer, and since being released almost six years ago, has dedicated his life to working on behalf of prisoners, trying to raise awareness of the abuses they often face.
It's understandable that his fellow 1Ls are slightly fearful, particularly in light of the stressful environment. But as they will soon learn, law school can cause anyone--even those never before convicted of murder--to fly off the handle.
Between the highlighters, alcohol, outlines and Type A personalities, law school can bring out the worst in people. Some people cripple under the psychological stress and implode. Others aim their aggression at classmates.
A convicted murderer may be more likely to fall into the second category, but so are a number of other students.
In addition to safety, the student who complained apparently questioned the intelligence of admitting a student who may never be able to sit for the bar.
Whether he is ever admitted to the bar (an issue which he seems fully aware of per his statements to the Times-Picayune), Bruce Reilly utilized his time in prison to rehabilitate himself, and has now forged a life as a contributing member of society with an aim to help an under served population.
Isn't that what we want for convicted felons? Isn't rehabilitation the end goal?
- Murderer's enrollment at Tulane law school stirs debate on redemption (USA Today)
- Law Student (Also a Cop) Creates App for Cheating on Your Spouse (FindLaw's Greedy Associates)
- 1L Survival Tips: Top 3 Tips on How to Survive Law School (FindLaw's Greedy Associates)