Student Defense – Boston College Law School

Boston College Law School holds students to a high standard of academic integrity. Professional and intellectual interaction and behavior at all times are a must for law students. The Law School's mission is not only to educate students about the law but also to prepare them to be lawyers who lead good lives and seek meaningful work in service to others.

To prepare law students to meet the challenges of practicing law outside school, Boston College Law School tries to create the best possible environment for instruction and learning. Upholding this environment with appropriate academic, intellectual, and professional conduct is essential to a law student's success at Boston College. Students who do not display this kind of behavior may be subject to disciplinary action or sanctions from the Law School.

If you're accused of violating the academic policies and regulations at Boston College Law School, your future as a lawyer is on the line. Admission to the state bar association may not be possible with an academic misconduct violation on your record. This kind of infraction may also deter employers from hiring you.

When you're facing an academic misconduct accusation, a specialized student defense attorney-advisor can help.

Student Misconduct at Boston College Law School

Boston College Law School administers academic policies and procedures for each academic year. These regulations contain the Code of Academic Conduct, which operates on the basis that all work students submit for credit is their own. The Code also states that academic dishonesty undermines the educational process.

Law students at Boston College must also follow the University Community Standards and Policies and the Boston College Student Code of Conduct. These University policies also address academic misconduct and discuss what constitutes a violation of the conduct code.

Examples of Academic Misconduct

The academic policies and procedures at Boston College Law School contain Standards of Academic Integrity, which list some examples of academic dishonesty:

  • Cheating: Fraudulent or dishonest presentation of work that may include attempting to use unauthorized materials on academic exercises, fabrication or falsification of data or sources, manipulating or altering data, falsifying official records or academic credentials, purchasing essays or term papers, or refusal to obey the instructions of a proctor regarding exam conditions
  • Plagiarism: Deliberately taking the words, ideas, data, illustrations, or statements of another source and presenting them as one's own; the Law School expects all students to know how to properly cite their work
  • Collusion: Seeking or receiving assistance from another student to commit an act of academic dishonesty; students at the Law School should ask their instructors if they're unsure to what degree collaborative learning is acceptable
  • Other breaches of academic integrity: May include misrepresentation of identity for academic purposes, submission of the same written work in more than one course without prior permission, unauthorized recording and use of academic lectures, purchasing or selling papers or essays, removing or mutilating library materials, or unauthorized use of University academic computer accounts and files

This list is not exhaustive, and the handbook states that all language concerning what constitutes a violation of the Code of Academic Conduct is up for interpretation. When in doubt about their behavior, students should assume the strictest interpretation possible.

How Boston College Law School Handles Student Misconduct

Any suspected breaches of the Boston College Law School Code of Academic Conduct will be subject to disciplinary action. Faculty members, proctors, or administrative personnel of the Law School may report infractions of the Code to the Dean for Academic Affairs at any time.

If the Dean finds the accusation plausible, they will convene the Academic Standards Committee, which is a group of faculty members. The Committee will hold hearings to gather the facts of the allegation and determine if the accused student has indeed violated the Code. The Committee can then recommend sanctions appropriate for the severity of the infraction.

The Committee presents their findings and recommendation to the entire Law School faculty, which then makes the final determination in the academic misconduct case.

Possible Sanctions

The academic policies and procedures handbook of Boston College Law School doesn't provide a full list of sanctions, but faculty may impose any sanctions they deem appropriate. Some examples of sanctions for a violation of the Code of Academic Conduct include:

  • Expulsion
  • Suspension
  • University probation

Faculty members may also have the authority to rescind credit or lower a grade for an assignment or exam involved in an academic misconduct infraction. When considering sanctions, the Academic Standards Committee will take into account the seriousness of the violation, the degree of premeditation involved, and the student's previous record of violations.

The handbook also mentions minor infractions, such as absence from class or tardiness in submitting assignments. If these kinds of behavior occur frequently, the Law School may have to report them to state bar offices.

Can You Appeal?

Once the faculty has come to a decision about the academic misconduct violation, the decision is final. Students may not appeal the faculty's determination or sanction once they've determined it.

It's important to note that non-academic conduct not mentioned in the Code of Academic Conduct for Boston College Law School can still reflect on the student's moral character. Such behavior may also be relevant to the admission to the bar of any state, and the Law School has a duty to report any evidence that speaks to a student's moral character.

Contacting a Student Defense Attorney-Advisor

If you've been accused of violating the Boston College Law School Code of Academic Conduct, how can a specialized student defense advisor help? An advisor with experience not only dealing with colleges and universities in academic misconduct matters, but law schools in particular, will understand the best defense strategy in your situation. They can coach you on what to say and how to present yourself during disciplinary hearings and they can work towards ensuring a fair process and favorable outcome. Law school academic misconduct proceedings are a unique animal - they are intensive compared to academic misconduct proceedings at colleges and universities in general and also compared to other graduate programs. Everything is at stake and must be attended to with that in mind.

Joseph D. Lento helps law students and graduate and undergraduate students across the nation defend themselves from academic misconduct accusations. If you're concerned about your future legal career, call the the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 to discuss your options.

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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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