The 5 Most Unethical Law Students in Recent Memory

By Andrew Lu on November 05, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

The only time you ever really hear "lawyers" and "ethics" in the same sentence is when someone is cracking a joke about how lawyers have no ethics. So it shouldn't be a surprise that most unethical lawyers were once unethical law students.

Over the years, we've written about unethical law students' antics, including mere shenanigans and even murder.

So here is our list of the Top 5 most unethical law students that we know (starting with the most unethical):

  1. Stephen McDaniel: The former Mercer law student was charged with killing and dismembering classmate Lauren Giddings. Giddings had just graduated from Mercer and was preparing for the bar exam when she went missing. McDaniel was Giddings' neighbor and classmate, and he was already being held on separate burglary charges when he was charged with her murder.

  2. Kumari Fulbright: Former beauty queen and law student Kumari Fulbright pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit kidnapping and aggravated assault stemming from her part in the torture of an ex-boyfriend. At the time, Fulbright was a 2L at the University of Arizona and also a volunteer clerk for a federal judge.

  3. Joshua Gomes: Some study to improve their grades, but Joshua Gomes was charged with robbing his school's registrar office in a failed effort to improve his grades by changing his transcript. Gomes was charged with armed robbery and breaking and entering when he was caught on camera stealing from the school.

  4. Philip Prothro: Doctoring your transcript is a trend among law students. Just ask Philip Prothro, who was censured by a New Jersey court. Prothro was accused of changing his Constitutional Law grade from a C+ to an A, and his Torts and Legal Research grades from B to B+. When he was caught by his employer, he was told to report himself to the bar. He never did, which led to the censuring.

  5. Karla Ford and Jonathan Chan. The pair was kicked out of law school after earning "D" grades in a 1L contracts course. Instead of accepting their poor marks, they sued Texas Southern University and the instructor, claiming the grades were "arbitrary and capricious." While most law students may privately think that law grades are random, it's unheard of to actually sue over the grades.

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