It appears as though desperation isn't a new trend amongst law students and lawyers.
New Jersey attorney and Rutgers Law School graduate Philip Prothro has been censured by the state's highest court.
His misdeed? Forging his law school transcripts in 2002, and again in 2008. His Constitutional Law grade went from a C+ to an A, and his Torts and Legal Research grades migrated from B to B+.
Philip Prothro first altered his transcripts while a summer associate at Sills Cummis & Gross. He again falsified the document when seeking work at Herrick Feinstein.
The latter firm requires official transcripts, which Philip Prothro failed to provide for at least a year. The Court explains what happened when he finally did:
[Philip Prothro] had affixed to the transcript a yellow Post-It® note, on which he had written a message to someone named "Elise" in a black, indelible marker. When respondent wrote the name "Elise," he did so in such a way that part of the letter "E" was written directly on the transcript, exactly over the Constitutional Law grade, thereby blocking it.
Someone at the firm held the transcript up to the light, and was able to read the C+. He was then fired and given a month to self-report to the Bar.
When questioned by an ethics investigator, Prothro claimed that the incorrect grades were the result of faulty memory. The NJ Supreme Court didn't buy it, writing that "it is difficult to imagine that those first semester grades would not have been seared into his memory."
Indeed, no one forgets the trauma of first semester grades.
Well, unless their name is Philip Prothro and they're intentionally blocking the memory.
- Transcript Dishonesty Draws Censure (Legal Profession Blog)
- Ethics Lesson of the Day: Don't Falsify Your Transcript (FindLaw's Greedy Associates)
- Chicago Lawyer Suspended for Calling Other Attorneys Gay Slurs (FindLaw's Greedy Associates)