Student Defense: Belmont University College of Law

Belmont University College of Law is a relatively new Christian law school established in 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee. Despite its short presence in the state for a little over a decade, Belmont Law is quickly climbing the ranks to become one of the best in the United States. Belmont Law has a high bar examination pass rate and equally high employment statistics, making it one of Tennessee's more desirable law schools. Belmont Law offers the Juris Doctor and a dual JD/MBA program, with a curriculum dedicated to helping students have a firm understanding of the law.

Being a student at Belmont Law comes with multiple privileges. With its vibrant student body and co-curricular experiences, students can look forward to many career opportunities upon graduation. If you're a student at Belmont Law, you've probably spent countless hours and perhaps years studying to become a lawyer. However, to remain enrolled and graduate without issues, you must have spotless conduct and maintain the principles of academic integrity. Students accused of violating these principles face multiple obstacles: credit denial, suspension, and permanent dismissal.

Academic Misconduct Violations at Belmont Law

The student handbook contains the academic and professional conduct code at Belmont Law. According to the general expectations segment, the law school's stance is clear on its requirement that students maintain exceptional academic and professional conduct. The code mentions that since students will be future lawyers, they must also abide by the expectations of bar associations that will later govern their actions. Academic misconduct violations include:

  • Cheating: This action includes giving or receiving assistance to others without permission.
  • Unauthorized Collaboration: Students may not collaborate on an academic exercise before receiving approval from a professor.
  • Inappropriate Use: Plagiarism is strictly prohibited by Belmont Law. Administrators run plagiarism checks on all academic work to ensure that it is original.
  • Misappropriation or Material Damage: All students must refrain from damaging school materials or preventing others from using them.
  • Comprising Exam Security: This action includes tampering with exam storage or discussing parts or the entirety of an exam with a student who did not take it yet.
  • Compromising Exam Anonymity: Grading is anonymous at Belmont Law. Because of this rule, students may not take any action that allows the examiner to identify them.
  • Multiple Submissions: All work submitted to professors must be unique. Multiple submissions to different professors without taking permission is a violation.
  • Deception and Misrepresentation: Belmont Law students must not intentionally deceive administrators, faculty, or other students regarding their credentials.
  • Electronic Dishonesty: Law students must refrain from using technology to gain an unfair academic advantage over their peers. Other examples include using an electronic device to tamper with another student's work.
  • Facilitation of Electronic Dishonesty: This action involves helping a peer use an electronic device to commit a violation such as cheating or tampering.
  • Writing Past Examination End: Students should avoid continuing an exam once the allotted time ends.
  • Failure to Report: Students who know that a violation occurred must report it to the appropriate authority. This rule also includes making a false report against a peer.

This extensive list of violations indicates that Belmont Law has no qualms harshly dealing with students who intentionally commit violations. However, sometimes genuine mistakes do happen. Regardless of the intent behind the action, students who perform an inappropriate action must stand before a hearing panel. If they do not defend themselves appropriately, they face debilitating consequences, including delayed graduation or permanent dismissal in worst-case scenarios.

Hearing Process at Belmont Law

Once the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs receives notice of an alleged violation, they interview the person making the report, including others who may have information about the case. If the allegation holds weight, the Associate Dean notifies the student in writing and investigates the matter. If there is evidence that a violation happened after the investigation concludes, the Associate Dean schedules a hearing.

During the hearing, students may respond to the allegations and present evidence and witnesses to refute claims of academic misconduct. Once the hearing ends, the Associate Dean informs the student in writing about the panel's decision.

Appeals

Belmont Law students can appeal a panel's decision by submitting a written statement to the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. The latter forwards the student's request to the Academic Standards Committee. The committee makes its judgment based on the written documents of the case. Unlike other law schools, students cannot submit additional information in their appeal.

Fortunately, students have a final route to appeal the committee's decision by writing to the Dean of Belmont Law. The Dean may allow the accused to present an oral argument regarding the case. After hearing the information, the Dean makes a final decision regarding the matter.

Sanctions for Academic Misconduct Violations

Belmont College has an extensive list of possible sanctions for violating the student conduct code. These include:

  • Denying the student from receiving a Dean's Certificate
  • Asking the student to issue a letter of apology
  • A lower or failing grade
  • An oral or written reprimand or warning
  • Probation
  • Suspension
  • Expulsion
  • Revocation of a degree

Any of these sanctions can harm your future. If you face accusations of academic misconduct, you must work hard to clear your name or face career difficulties later.

Hiring an Attorney-Advisor

Lawyers, similarly to doctors, have a responsibility towards the public that their training shapes. When you commit academic misconduct, the repercussions significantly impact your graduation chances.

However, genuine mistakes happen, as do lapses in judgment. When everything is on the line, you need the experience of a professional attorney-advisor.

Attorney-Advisor Joseph D. Lento specializes in student discipline defense. With years of experience handling unique and challenging cases, attorney Lento understands what's at stake.

You worked hard and spent considerable time and effort to become a lawyer. Don't face a hearing panel alone. With Attorney-Advisor Joseph D. Lento negotiating your case, you have a higher chance of a favorable case outcome.

If you or someone you love face allegations of academic misconduct at Belmont Law, don't wait until the appeals process to get help. Call the Lento Law Firm today for a consultation at 888-535-3686.

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If you, or your student, are facing any kind of disciplinary action, or other negative academic sanction, and are having feelings of uncertainty and anxiety for what the future may hold, contact the Lento Law Firm today, and let us help secure your academic career.

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