The University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School prides itself on creating an environment of skills-based learning, where its students are practice-ready the moment they graduate. As such, any acts of misconduct would mar this endeavor. Thus, students accused of violating the school's honor code will face far-reaching and long-lasting consequences while they are still in law school and beyond. If the University of Wisconsin-Madison accuses you of violating their honor code, it is essential to reach out to an attorney-advisor to support you and help mitigate any negative consequences you may face.
Like every other law school in the United States UW Law, provides its students with a handbook meant to make life in law school easier. It gives answers about courses, law books, grading, and financial aid. In addition, it states the exact instances when a student could be accused of academic misconduct and the actions the school may take against the accused student.
At UW Law, academic misconduct includes cheating, plagiarism, and falsifying information. Generally, these instances include:
- Providing another student with assistance during an exam without permission from the instructor
- Falsifying or inventing information, citations, or other authority on an exam, paper, or project
- Working on an exam, paper, or project with another student without permission
- Plagiarizing – submitting the ideas of another person as if it were your own
- Concealing, taking, or using materials that would give you an advantage over other students or deprive them of the use of such materials
- Any violations your instructor might outline in the syllabus for their particular course
- Falsifying information about your academic record, including transcripts.
Academic misconduct is very serious when you are in law school as it can set a precedent for your character and fitness for the bar of your choice. Every state's Board of Bar Examiners will be notified of the academic misconduct. Additionally, any student accused of academic misconduct is subject to sanctions that run the gamut between failing the course and being dismissed from the university altogether.
Academic Dishonesty Disciplinary Procedures
The instructor, supervisor, or a fellow student all have the responsibility to report academic misconduct. The instructor will then investigate the accusation and determine if an instance of academic misconduct occurred. If the instructor believes academic misconduct occurred, they will report it to the administration.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School is particularly hard on students accused of any type of misconduct after discovering many of the students in recent years did not take the policy seriously. According to their student handbook, the school will investigate all instances of alleged cheating and forward cases to university officials for further action. If a student is found to have committed academic misconduct, they will suggest penalties that match the scenario, but are unafraid to propose severe penalties, including expulsion.
Consequences of Academic Misconduct
As described above, allegations of academic dishonesty can have seriously devastating effects on a student's long-term goals. Law schools are held to higher standards of conduct than any other graduate school. Attorneys are held to an even higher standard than students, and your ethical conduct during school is a good indicator of whether you will act ethically as an attorney. It's part of why every bar admission process in the United States includes a character and fitness review. Attorneys hold a particular type of education and power that is different from most other professions. There is an expectation to adhere to the law, even as students.
Academic misconduct is a violation of the ethical standards lawyers are supposed to uphold. If UW Law accuses you of academic misconduct and determines the allegation to be true, they may expel you. Expulsion would prevent you from entering any other law school to complete your education. It would effectively stop your dreams in their path and provide no alternatives.
For lesser sanctions, the accused student would need to explain the incident on their character and fitness for acceptance to their state's bar and potentially to future employers who inquire about it. Such allegations may mar their reputation for years to come and prevent them from gaining employment.
How an Attorney-Advisor Can Help
During academic misconduct proceedings, all students have a right to an advisor to act on their behalf. Attorney-advisors provide a level of protection that other advisors may not. Firstly, they understand the legal world and the significance of such an accusation. And secondly, they know that despite every university's attempt to uphold their students' rights to due process, sometimes mistakes are made, and students fall through the cracks. An attorney-advisor will work diligently to gather evidence, interview witnesses, and advocate on your behalf. Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm have helped hundreds of law students who have allegedly violated their school's honor code. They work tirelessly to ensure the university upholds its student's rights. Call 888-535-3686 today to schedule a consultation.