Established in 1891, New York Law School is devoted not only to training “compassionate, practice-ready” lawyers but also to producing future leaders.
With this philosophy as a backdrop, NYLS has established procedures to handle allegations of student misconduct. These procedures involve separate panels and allow for an appeal in case the student is found guilty.
NYLS Policies on Student Discipline
Several forms of misconduct are prohibited by the NYLS Student Code of Conduct and Academic Responsibility.
Activities prohibited by this code, which could result in student discipline, includes:
- Plagiarism, cheating, or using the same work for credit in different classes
- Providing false information to bar examiners or employers
- Jeopardizing the safety of the NYLS community
- Stealing school property
- Lying on school documents
- Disrupting classroom activities
- Smoking in prohibited areas
NYLS also prohibits behavior that is specific to remote classes. This includes “pinning” a student during classes so their face always appears on screen, as well as taking screenshots during class meetings.
Upon discovering a student discipline offense, the Dean will convene an Academic Responsibility Committee. It will consist of an Investigative Panel and a Hearing Panel.
These panels will each consist of two members of the faculty and two members of the administration. Two students will also serve on the Hearing Panel.
One member of the Investigative Panel will serve as Secretary, while another will act as the Fact Finder.
A third member of the Investigative Panel will serve as its chair, coordinating the panel's activities and presiding over its meetings.
The school expects all students, faculty and staff, to report violations of the Code of Conduct and to cooperate with investigations into possible violations of the code.
The Fact Finder will make a preliminary inquiry and share its results with the Investigative Panel. Then, the panel has the choice of dropping the matter, referring it to another committee, or launching a full investigation.
The student will receive notice if the investigation proceeds. This notice will include a copy of the Code of Conduct, a description of the allegations, and a proposed meeting date with the Investigative Panel.
When the investigation is complete, the panel will present its written findings. It will make one of three determinations:
- No violation occurred and the matter is closed
- A hearing must take place to determine whether a violation occurred
- A violation occurred and a sanction will be made against the student
In the latter instance, the student has the choice of accepting the determination and sanction; or rejecting it and moving forward with a hearing.
To prepare for the hearing, the student will have access to the investigative report and the materials that the panel gathered during the investigation.
The hearing will be closed and confidential, and it will take place no less than 48 hours after the student received notification.
During the hearing, the student is allowed to have legal representation. The panel and the student can call witnesses, and students who refuse to testify will be considered in violation of the Code of Conduct.
The chair of the hearing panel will have discretion over the inclusion of questions and witnesses. The formal rules of evidence will not apply.
If other alleged violations come to light during the hearing, the student will not be afforded another formal notice but will have the opportunity to address the additional allegations.
When the hearing is over, the panel will deliberate privately. The standard of proof will be clear and convincing evidence.
The panel's final report will include a determination of guilt or innocence along with the vote total. However, the individual panel members' votes will not be made public.
The Dean will receive the panel's report and adopt it, unless the Dean determines that the sanctions are excessive or that the panel's conclusion is not supported by clear and convincing evidence.
Some of the possible sanctions that the Academic Responsibility Committee could impose include:
- Loss of credit
- Lowering of a grade
- Inclusion of the violation on the student's permanent record
- Deletion of from the Dean's List or High Honors
- Suspension or expulsion
In addition, a student discipline offense may jeopardize the offender's eligibility for scholarships, privileges and opportunities at the school, or admission to the bar.
Harassment and Discrimination
In addition, the NYLS has a Non Discrimination and Harassment Policy that prohibits students from being denied advancement or treated poorly based on their personal characteristics.
The school has set up a Harassment and Discrimination Review Board to investigate such complaints. This board will consist of the following six people:
- A dean or associate dean
- Two Title IX Co-Coordinators
- A member of the administration
- A faculty member
- A Human Resources representative
After the report of such a complaint, the school may impose an interim measure such as a suspension or no-contact order to protect the safety of the community.
The chair of the Review Board will set up a two-person investigative team to look into the charges. After collecting documents and interviewing witnesses, the investigators will determine whether a violation occurred, using the “preponderance of the evidence” standard.
The Review Board will examine the investigators' report. The board has the option of accepting the report, rejecting it, asking for more information, or recommending a one-day hearing.
After the review board's determination, the accuser or the respondent can file a written appeal within 10 days. The appeal can only be based on insufficient evidence or the discovery of new evidence.
Three members of the NYLS administration would serve on the Appeal Panel, which would decide by majority vote.
What Can You Do When Facing These Charges?
If you are facing a student disciplinary proceeding at New York Law School, you don't have to fight alone. Attorney Joseph D. Lento and his team have handled countless cases like yours, and they will be in your corner every step of the way.
Contact the Lento Law Firm at 888-535-3686 to learn how they can help.