Flunked out of Med School, Disbarred, What Next?

by lawshucks on April 23, 2009

Better Luck Next Time, courtesy World Records

Better Luck Next Time, courtesy World Records

After flunking out of medical school, Loren Elliotte Friedman went to the University of Chicago law school and on to an apparently successful career in bankruptcy law.  Unfortunately, it was based on a series of misrepresentations, beginning with his law school application. The Illinois bar has somehow seen fit to recommend that Loren Elliotte Friedman only be suspended for three years for an epic series of lies and deception involving, among many other things, changing the grades on his transcript.

The best part is how he got caught. He summered at Sidley, then clerked, then went to Skadden and ended up at Curtis Mallet-Prevost & Mosle in New York. He decided he wanted to get back to Illinois so he had a headhunter send around his materials. Stupidly, he sends around a real transcript. Not surprisingly, it ends up back at Sidley where partner Michael Sweeney wondered how this guy with this awful transcript had been accepted to his firm’s summer program five years earlier. Sweeney confronts Friedman, who apologizes and agrees to turn himself in.

Read on to learn the secrets of a master liar and apologist. And, most importantly, his last CV from CM-P.



First (at least according to the stipulated facts – I suspect there were many, many other previous transgressions) Friedman failed to disclose on his law school application that he had been kicked out of the University of Illinois medical school. When the dean found out, Friedman apologized and nothing further happened.

He starts at University of Chicago law in 2000 and bombs most of his classes. He then pulled a trick that I thought hadn’t worked since high school: he got out the white out and changed pretty much every grade on his transcript from a C to a B or better. He got the job and summered at Sidley.

Meanwhile, ABA Journal reports that he was also caught plagiarizing while in law school:

While still in law school, according to stipulated evidence discussed in the IARDC report, Friedman represented about seven paragraphs of another author’s work as his own in a paper submitted for a Law, Science and Medicine class in 2001. Friedman said it was a careless mistake and, believing it to be an isolated incident that didn’t rise to the level of intentional plagiarism, the law school dean did not convene a disciplinary committee. That’s the same dean, apparently, to whom he also apologized about the whole not-admitting-to-getting-kicked-out-of-med-school thing.

Then you wrap all of those lies and omissions into the certification on the character and fitness application and end up with a slew of offenses. The leniency of the three-year suspension isn’t even the most-surprising part. Pick from these gems:

  • he’s attending the University of Illinois business school – yes, that’s the same place that kicked him out of the medical school;
  • he didn’t disclose the medical school failure or the pending bar hearings on his B school application (although he did contact a dean to “outline the general allegations”); and
  • the B school dean didn’t care because they’re only concerned with “matters of a criminal nature.”

Here’s our little contribution to the story. Thanks to the magic of the wayback machine, we’ve tracked down his CM-P bio in all its duplicitous glory (circa October 2007).

Practice

Mr. Friedman joined the Firm’s Bankruptcy and Creditors’ Rights department as an associate in 2006. His practice is focused on the representation of public and privately-held companies in out-of-court restructurings and Chapter 11 reorganizations. He has also aided the advising of officers and directors of public companies involved in debt restructurings on matters related to corporate governance and fiduciary duty.

Before joining the Firm, Mr. Friedman was a Corporate Restructuring associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and from 2003–2004 served as the law clerk to the Honorable Robert D. Martin, Chief Bankruptcy Judge for the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Wisconsin.

Mr. Friedman is admitted to practice in the State of New York and the State of Illinois.

Education

  • J.D., University of Chicago Law School, 2003- Assistant Managing Editor, University of Chicago Journal of Law & Economics- Illinois Judicial Council Scholar

    - University of Chicago Law School Merit Scholar

    - Edith J. Lowenstein Scholar

  • B.S., Biology, Emory University, 1998- Phi Sigma (Biology Honor Society)- Howard Hughes Research Fellowship Award Recipient

    - Alpha Kappa Delta (Sociology Honor Society)

Associations

  • American Bankruptcy Institute
  • American Bar Association
  • Hispanic National Bar Association
  • New York State Bar Association
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Turnaround Management Association
  • Delaware Bankruptcy American Inn of Court

Publications

  • Contributing Editor, Ginsberg & Martin on Bankruptcy (Aspen Publishers, 4th Ed., 2004)
  • “7th Circuit Review,” Norton Bankruptcy Law Advisor (May 2004)

A few observations. He either didn’t win, or has since been removed from the list of winners, of the “Edith J. Lowenstein Scholar” award, given by the American Immigration Lawyers Association “for excellence in advancing the practice of immigration law.” Oh, and there’s no immigration law course on his transcript (we’re assuming he only doctored the grades not the classes). And for what it’s worth, Google doesn’t turn up any other person claiming the title of “assistant manging editor” at the Journal of Law and Economics.

Can you just imagine the holiday dinners in this guy’s house?  His mother screaming, “You’re going to be a doctor or a lawyer or a banker goddammit!”  Ugh.

  • http://www.sanfernandovalleylawyers.com Joe

    I'm amazed that this guy got away with this stuff for so long! I thought computers and the internet made it easier to see if people were lying on applications and resumes.

  • http://www.sanfernandovalleylawyers.com Joe

    I'm amazed that this guy got away with this stuff for so long! I thought computers and the internet made it easier to see if people were lying on applications and resumes.

  • Matt

    I'm guessing the guy wasn't a U of C Merit Scholar either, at least not after first year. I knew some of those folks and they were Law Review smart and I believe had to maintain a certain GPA to keep their scholarship. At the same time, the guy must have been a competant lawyer. You have to hand it to him in a "Secret of My Success/How to Suceed in Business Without Really Trying" sort of way.

  • Matt

    I'm guessing the guy wasn't a U of C Merit Scholar either, at least not after first year. I knew some of those folks and they were Law Review smart and I believe had to maintain a certain GPA to keep their scholarship. At the same time, the guy must have been a competant lawyer. You have to hand it to him in a "Secret of My Success/How to Suceed in Business Without Really Trying" sort of way.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/lawshucks lawshucks

    With some schools and some firms, there's almost a naivete that anyone would be so audacious as to do what he did.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/lawshucks lawshucks

    With some schools and some firms, there's almost a naivete that anyone would be so audacious as to do what he did.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/lawshucks lawshucks

    You'd be surprised how long incompetent lawyers can stay below the radar. Remember, he clerked 2003-2004, was at Skadden until 2006 and was looking to leave NY by 2007. It's entirely possible he was good in practice, but those are also about the right amounts of time for people to see through the shenanigans and start wondering about actual skill. Those were the days of "honorable" stealth layoffs, when people were politely told to start looking for other opportunities elsewhere. But yeah, either way, he did build up an impressive resume (if you don't look too deep).

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/lawshucks lawshucks

    You'd be surprised how long incompetent lawyers can stay below the radar. Remember, he clerked 2003-2004, was at Skadden until 2006 and was looking to leave NY by 2007. It's entirely possible he was good in practice, but those are also about the right amounts of time for people to see through the shenanigans and start wondering about actual skill. Those were the days of "honorable" stealth layoffs, when people were politely told to start looking for other opportunities elsewhere. But yeah, either way, he did build up an impressive resume (if you don't look too deep).

  • rich hazell

    how the hell did the law school find out about his med school experience if he did not disclose it? that is weird. i figured medicine and law were 2 separate worlds.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/lawshucks lawshucks

      I was curious so I looked a little further. He admitted it on his character & fitness application (search for Question number 53 on page 5)
      http://www.iardc.org/08CH0032HB.html
      so the school probably heard about it from that. But they definitely didn't know about it when he was accused of plagiarizing.

  • rich hazell

    how the hell did the law school find out about his med school experience if he did not disclose it? that is weird. i figured medicine and law were 2 separate worlds.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/lawshucks lawshucks

      I was curious so I looked a little further. He admitted it on his character & fitness application (search for Question number 53 on page 5)
      http://www.iardc.org/08CH0032HB.html
      so the school probably heard about it from that. But they definitely didn't know about it when he was accused of plagiarizing.

  • Tina

    Good Lord, I think my dog could do better than he did! At least the dog is honest!

  • Tina

    Good Lord, I think my dog could do better than he did! At least the dog is honest!

  • Jac

    The Edith Lowenstein Memorial Award is different than receiving the Edith Lowenstein Scholarship (http://www.law.uchicago.edu/announcements/6464.ht… He could've gotten the scholarship and would be a scholar. He could've also received the merit scholarship upon admittance to law school. Not sure if he kept it, but possible that at one point in time he was a merit scholar. And the Journal is edited by faculty . . . not sure if he assisted faculty and gave himself a title to correspond with the work he performed.

    Oh wow, I could hardly type all of that with a straight face. He likely has fabricated quite a bit of information! I'm surprised all of this wasn't brought up in the Complaint! 18mos is NOTHING – he really got away with murder. I guess they figured since he's in B-School now (and with all the negative media attn that he's received) that he likely won't be practicing law anyway.

  • Jac

    The Edith Lowenstein Memorial Award is different than receiving the Edith Lowenstein Scholarship (http://www.law.uchicago.edu/announcements/6464.ht… He could've gotten the scholarship and would be a scholar. He could've also received the merit scholarship upon admittance to law school. Not sure if he kept it, but possible that at one point in time he was a merit scholar. And the Journal is edited by faculty . . . not sure if he assisted faculty and gave himself a title to correspond with the work he performed.

    Oh wow, I could hardly type all of that with a straight face. He likely has fabricated quite a bit of information! I'm surprised all of this wasn't brought up in the Complaint! 18mos is NOTHING – he really got away with murder. I guess they figured since he's in B-School now (and with all the negative media attn that he's received) that he likely won't be practicing law anyway.

  • Jac

    http://www.mba.uiuc.edu/M/Student+Life/Get+Involv

    He's VP of Finance of the MBA SERVICE Association!! The MBASA seeks to integrate the service of our members to POSITIVELY IMPACT THE COMMUNITY, to reinforce the importance of collaborative service, and to add value to the Illinois MBA.

    Wow, I have no comment.

  • Jac

    http://www.mba.uiuc.edu/M/Student+Life/Get+Involv

    He's VP of Finance of the MBA SERVICE Association!! The MBASA seeks to integrate the service of our members to POSITIVELY IMPACT THE COMMUNITY, to reinforce the importance of collaborative service, and to add value to the Illinois MBA.

    Wow, I have no comment.

  • Nicholas Corwin

    Hey, some of us bottom-feeders have to live too!

  • Nicholas Corwin

    Hey, some of us bottom-feeders have to live too!

  • pjb

    why does one have to disclose medical school attendance on resumes? It's not a work record is it? Just leave a gap there.

    • lawshucks

      you have to disclose your whole education history and any disciplinary action on the law-school and bar applications. it's probably ok to leave off a resume though

  • chickpea

    Sounds like he would make an excellent lawyer.

  • Jyladvik

    oh who cares about this.

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