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Ethics Lesson of the Day: Don't Falsify Your Transcript

By Brian Kumnick on April 30, 2009 3:39 PM

Last week the Am Law Daily had the story of one Loren Friedman, busted for altering his law school transcript in order to nail down a summer associate offer from Sidley Austin.  At the time, the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission seemed satisfied with a three-year suspension as a penalty.

But the Chicago Tribune reported this week that the commission's counsel was not satisfied with that punishment, and planned to appeal it to a review board, hoping to have Friedman permanently disbarred.

Friedman may or may not care about this development, as he has apparently moved on from law to business, being currently enrolled in the MBA program at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  (This completes a professional-school trifecta for Friedman, as he had previously managed to fail out of UIUC's medical school before deciding to give law a shot.)
The ethics lesson here is obvious: altering transcripts seeking a competitive edge is a bad idea, one which will surely run you straight into a moral-character minefield when it is inevitably discovered.  Only slightly less obvious is that there's also a personnel lesson in here for BigLaw: given that C-student Friedman apparently performed just fine in his stints as a summer associate at Sidley and later at other large firms, maybe law school grades aren't the best basis for making hiring decisions.

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