Oops! Changing Grades Gets Lawyer Suspended

Head of disciplinary commission seeks his disbarment

Young students, after performing poorly on a quiz, sometimes come up with creative ways of changing that big red 'F' into a 'B' before bringing it home to their parents.

Altering grades is dishonest but relatively harmless in elementary school. Hopefully though, those children grow out of that dishonesty by the time they get to college.

It appears Loren Friedman didn't.

Friedman, a 2003 graduate of the University of Chicago Law School and former summer associate at Sidley Austin, currently attends business school at the University of Illinois. Normally, his accomplishments would be a sign of hard work and commitment, but he has admitted to lying at nearly every stage of his career.

Friedman admitted that he altered his Law School transcripts when he applied for a summer internship at several firms, including Sidley Austin. He changed his grades from mostly C's to mostly B's because he didn't think his real grades were good enough for the summer job he wanted.

He was right. Michael Sweeney, a partner at Sidley, testified to the state disciplinary commission that there was "no way in the world" someone with C-average grades would have received the internship.

But Friedman's transcript alteration wasn't the first time he had lied to get where he wanted. When he applied to the Law School, he omitted that he had failed out of medical school at the University of Illinois.

Friedman went on to work for two more firms after his gig with Sidley Austin. His dishonesty was caught when a headhunter in Illinois began circulating his résumé at Friedman's request. The résumé—which revealed his real grades—was coincidentally given to Sweeney, who wondered how a person with such poor grades had ever been allowed to work at Sidley.

When confronted, Friedman admitted to altering his grades and agreed to report himself to the proper authorities. A hearing panel last week recommended a three-year license suspension.

Friedman, however, is not currently practicing law, and Jerome Larkin, the disciplinary commission's administrator, does not believe the punishment is harsh enough. He plans to appeal the sanction and request that Friedman be disbarred, said the commission's chief counsel James Grogan.

Matt Bartosik, editor of Off the Rocks' next issue, never lied about his grades. He's horrible at lying anyway.

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