The Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law (Barry Law) is part of Barry University, a private, Catholic institution of higher education that offers graduate and undergraduate degrees. Barry Law offers the Juris Doctor (JD) Degree, and law students must complete six experiential credit hours before graduating. The mode of instruction combines traditional and modern teaching methodologies to develop analytical and communication skills and prepare students for the rigors of their future profession.
Barry Law has a low tolerance threshold for academic dishonesty and misconduct. The university-wide student handbook lists expectations of student conduct rooted in integrity, respect, and accountability. Those who do not abide by the rules or commit acts of academic misconduct face serious consequences such as graduation delays, suspension, or even permanent discharge. Universities and law schools have a responsibility towards their students and the public to maintain a level playing field and uphold standards of academic integrity. However, there are times when students did not commit academic misconduct but receive punishment despite their innocence
Academic Misconduct at Barry Law
Barry Law lists its code of conduct and academic policies in its University Catalogs section. These policies apply to students university-wide, regardless of their chosen major and graduate/undergraduate status. The School of Law catalog mentions that administrators hold students to the highest ethical and professional standards to enhance their personal growth and understanding of the legal profession. The Academic Dishonesty Policy applies to all students enrolled at Barry and contains descriptions of actions that constitute academic misconduct. The dishonesty policy focuses on two types of academic misconduct: cheating and plagiarism.
- Cheating: Cheating involves any successful or unsuccessful action that consists of obtaining aid or providing information by illicit means. This violation occurs both during academic exercises and during examinations. Moreover, the policy also considers the falsification of reports a form of cheating which includes intentionally providing the administration or faculty with false documents.
- Plagiarism: When a student uses the words, ideas, thoughts, sentences, and phrases of another person without giving them proper credit, this is a form of plagiarism. Other forms include paraphrasing another person's idea and attempting to pass it off as an original one without citing the original author.
Hearing and Appeals Process
Faculty members who suspect that a student cheated or plagiarized must first try to resolve the issue with the student. Professors must present evidence to the student regarding their suspicion within five business days of the incident. If the student provides a satisfactory explanation, the professor does not take further action. If the student does not admit to cheating or plagiarism or their answer is insufficient, the professor escalates the matter by sending an Academic Dishonesty Form to the Dean.
After the Dean reviews the form, s/he decides whether to schedule a hearing and investigate the matter further. During the hearing, the student, professor, and Dean are present. The Dean may choose to allow other individuals to attend. After the Dean reviews the evidence provided by both parties, s/he decides whether the evidence presented concretely determines whether the student committed academic dishonesty.
If the Dean finds the student guilty, s/he sends the Academic Dishonesty form to the student's advisor and keeps a record of the issue in the Office of the Provost. If the student commits no further academic misconduct violations, the Provost destroys the document before graduation. For second or third violations, the student risks suspension or expulsion. Fortunately, students have a right to appeal the Dean's decision. If students believe that the penalty is unwarranted, they must send a written appeal to the Provost. Students have 30 days after the hearing to appeal the Dean's decision.
Possible Sanctions at Barry Law
Due to the low tolerance for academic misconduct at Barry Law, students may receive one or multiple sanctions. Additional violations, even if by mistake, can potentially destroy a student's future. Some of the sanctions listed in the graduate academic dishonesty policy include:
- Requiring the student to resubmit an assignment
- Asking the student to take another exam
- Receiving a reduced or failing grade for the course
- Temporary dismissal from the campus
- Permanent expulsion from Barry Law
Sometimes, law students make honest mistakes. But since they do not have enough evidence to defend themselves against allegations, they are at a disadvantage. Also, the investigation and hearing process may not be fair, or the student may be a victim of administrative bias, especially if this is not the first charge against them. Students cannot risk facing this matter alone with so much that can go wrong, especially when their degree and future are at stake. Whether it is for personal defense or writing an appeal letter that receives more than a passing glance by the Provost, law students need help. Fortunately, the experience of a skilled advisor can help them get through this challenging time.
Hiring an Experienced Attorney-Advisor
Facing a hearing for academic misconduct is already challenging – and Barry Law differs in that the person holding the hearing and making the final decision is the Dean. Since the university takes a firm stance against dishonesty, students must have a strong defense strategy to decrease the likelihood of an unfavorable case outcome.
Even if the Dean does not allow a representative to attend the hearing, an attorney-advisor can help law students prepare for what is to come. If you are a parent of a student or a student facing any kind of sanction from Barry Law, you need professional help, and Attorney-Advisor Joseph D. Lento is here to help.
Attorney Joseph D. Lento and his team have helped hundreds of law students across the United State overcome allegations of academic misconduct. With years of experience handling complex cases, whatever you may be accused of at Barry Law, Attorney Lento will passionately fight for your student rights, a fair disciplinary process, and the best possible hearing outcome.
Don't let an allegation of academic misconduct at Barry Law prevent you from actualizing your dream of graduating and becoming a lawyer. Call the Lento Law Firm today for a careful and thorough review of your case at 888-535-3686.