Student Defense: Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law

The Dale E. Fowler School of Law is a private, non-profit law school part of the Chapman University campus in Orange, California. Fowler School of Law received full accreditation from the American Bar Association in 2019. The school offers the Juris Doctor degree, in addition to L.L.M degree options and combined programs with J.D. licensing. According to Fowler records, over 70% of its graduates find career opportunities within a year of graduating. But to remain enrolled, law students must abide by the school's honor code, including maintaining principles of academic integrity.

Academic misconduct is a severe offense at Fowler School of Law, leading to sanctions like suspension or expulsion. In some instances, administrators may revoke a degree after awarding. In such cases, a student's future and career are on the line as these infractions stay on a student's record. Fortunately, law students have a higher chance of a favorable case outcome with the help of an attorney-advisor who specializes in student defense.

Academic Integrity Expectations at Fowler School of Law

The Fowler School of Law Honor Code outlines the policy followed when a community member suspects that a student commits ethical violations. Demonstrating academic integrity is high on the list of expectations. It allows students to practice maintaining these principles once they become attorneys. Academic misconduct is part of the ethical violations segment listed in the code. It includes actions such as:

  • Lying: If students misrepresent or fail to disclose information relating to compliance with an administrator's rules during an exam or co-curricular activities, that is a form of lying.
  • Cheating: When a student copies another peer's work during an academic exercise or allows their peers to do the same, this is a form of cheating. Other examples include using software or data with the intent to gain an unfair advantage, buying an exam online, or possessing prohibited items during an exam.
  • Plagiarism: If a student uses the thoughts, ideas, or theories of another individual without citing the source, this is a form of plagiarism. In other instances, students deliberately phrase another person's argument in a manner where software detection programs cannot identify it as an attempt to plagiarize.
  • Obstruction: If a student attempts to block the enforcement of the honor code, that is a severe offense that leads to sanctions. Other examples of obstruction are when students prevent their peers from speaking to administrators and harassing them for making a complaint/report against their actions.

Investigation and Hearing

Students who observe an Honor Code violation must send a report to the Office of Student Assistance or the Faculty Chair of the Honor Council Committee. The Faculty Chair appoints an investigation committee that conducts a preliminary review of the issue and determines the next steps. If they suspect a violation, they ask the student to clarify the matter in writing within 15 business days of receiving the complaint.

After the investigators review the student's response, they determine whether to send a report of the incident to the Faculty Chair. The Chair appoints the Honor Council Committee and schedules a hearing to investigate the case and question the student. The members review the case, hear witnesses, and finally – recommend sanctions. Students may not appeal a minor sanction but can do so for more severe punishments.

Appealing Sanctions

Students may appeal the hearing decision if the recommended sanctions involve suspension, expulsion, or the revocation of a previously granted degree. The student must send a notice of appeal within ten business days after receiving the committee's decision. After receiving the appeal letter, the Dean reviews the student's history and a hearing transcript. They make a final decision regarding the case.

Possible Sanctions for Academic Dishonesty

Sanctions range in severity from minor to severe, depending on the number of times a law student commits a violation and the nature of the infarction. Although some sanctions may only cause minor hindrances in a student's educational path, others have life-altering consequences. Some of the sanctions listed for academic misconduct at Fowler School of Law include:

  • A public/private reprimand
  • Receiving a low grade on the course
  • Failing the course
  • Loss of privileges and scholarships
  • Disciplinary probation with the possibility of conditions
  • Temporary dismissal for up to two calendar years from Fowler School of Law
  • Permanent Dismissal
  • Notation on the student's transcript
  • Revoking a previously granted degree if the sanction was permanent dismissal but the student graduated before implantation

Suspension, expulsion, degree revocation, and having a permanent note on a law student's transcript have heavy consequences on their future. Not only may it be difficult for the student to find another law school, but employers may not hire them as well. A student's hard work, effort, and time no longer matter once after receiving such sanctions, and they may not have a career in law. The good news is that students don't have to face a hearing committee alone, and there is help.

Why Hire an Attorney-Advisor?

The possibility of any kind of academic misconduct finding can be a law student and parent's worst nightmare. That's why they need the experience of a skilled Attorney-Advisor like Joseph D. Lento to help guide them through this challenging time. Attorney-Advisor Lento specializes in student defense, helping law students and their families nationwide when they face allegations of academic misconduct.

Every case and law school is unique, which is why Attorney Advisor Lento both negotiates with administrators or passionately fights for justice on behalf of his clients. Mr. Lento recognizes the details that can make or break an integrity case – from administrator bias to bogus evidence that paints the student in a negative light. No matter how complex your academic dishonesty case is, Attorney-Advisor Lento is by your side to work for the best outcome.

If you or someone you care for faces suspension, expulsion, or degree revocation for academic misconduct, don't delay. Call the Lento Law Firm today for a consultation at 888-535-3686.