Student Defense: Charleston School of Law

Charleston School of Law is a private law school established relatively recently in 2003 in Charleston, South Carolina. The law school offers the J.D. (Juris Doctor) Degree and the LL.M. Master of Law in Admiralty and Maritime Law. Charleston Law emphasizes experiential learning and requires that all students complete at least 50 hours of public service before graduation. As a law student, you are familiar with the extraordinary pressure to succeed and maintain good grades to graduate. However, you must also demonstrate the highest academic integrity principles befitting your future lawyer profession.

Law school is a richly rewarding part of a law student's life that prepares them for the rigors of the legal profession. However, because of the overwhelming pressure and expectations, some students falter. These issues may lead to a mistake that turns into a violation that comes with sanctions. Although it depends on the gravity of the offense, sanctions may cause graduation delays and make your days at law school more difficult. Moreover, sanctions may also cause reputational damage that is hard to shake off while pursuing your degree and after you get your first job. Due to the many things that can go wrong, you need the help of an attorney-advisor specializing in student defense.

Honor Code Violations at Charleston School of Law

The Honor Code at Charleston School of Law maintains that all students must demonstrate the highest principles of academic integrity. In the honor code violation segment, infarctions fall under six broad categories: plagiarism, improper conduct concerning scholarly activity, examinations and assessments, deceptive communication, property interference, and impeding the administration of the honor code. Some examples listed include:

  • Claiming that plagiarized work is original and not providing sources after paraphrasing
  • Giving, soliciting, or receiving assistance from sources not authorized by professors
  • Cheating or engaging in dishonesty, fraud, and deceit
  • Knowingly or recklessly providing or receiving aid from another source not expressly authorized by the instructor
  • Securing giving or exchanging information about the examination
  • Discussing the contents of a test or assessment with a student scheduled to take the exam
  • Providing false information to be excused from an exam
  • Failing to comply with announcements or published policies
  • Deliberately omitting material facts necessary to avoid a misinterpretation of the truth
  • Forging and altering any documents, records, or instruments of identification
  • Providing incorrect or misleading information regarding grade, rank, personal references, employment records, financial aid, activities, residence, and other material facts
  • Recklessly taking, using, destroying, or concealing materials that are the property of Charleston School of Law
  • Not promptly filing a complaint when the student has reasonable grounds to believe that another law student is violating the code

The extensive list of violations includes activities that don't fall under a specific category. Students who believe someone is engaging in academic dishonesty must report their findings or face penalties. However, sometimes these reports are inaccurate, and the student is innocent. Even if that is the case, they must work with a professional attorney-advisor to decrease the likelihood of an unfavorable outcome despite their innocence.

Investigation and Hearing Process

The Judicial Board maintains compliance and enforces the tenets of the Honor Code and Code of Conduct at Charleston School of Law. Members of the law school who believe that a student committed a violation must send a written complaint to the Executive Board of the Judicial Board. The complaint must specify the action and the alleged student responsible. Once the board receives the complaint, it conducts an initial review to determine if the accused engaged in prohibited behavior.

If the board determines probable cause, it appoints a three-member panel to investigate the matter further, refers the issue to the Honor Court, and schedules a hearing. During this time, members of the Honor Court hearing listen to the student's statements and review all documents and evidence regarding the matter. After deliberation, the penal recommends sanctions if it finds the student guilty of a violation.


The Dean forwards the request to the Appellate panel to determine whether a review is possible. The panel may reverse or affirm the decision made during the hearing. Students may appeal the panel's decision by sending a written notice to the Dean or his designee within seven days. Unfortunately, students may not re-appeal after going through the Appellate panel.

Possible Sanctions for Academic Misconduct

Sanctions depend on multiple factors, such as the evidence, the student's overall conduct, and the violation's severity. Moreover, students who previously engaged in similar actions and are under probation may receive harsher sanctions. These include:

  • Receiving a written reprimand placed in the student's file
  • Public service as imposed by the Honor Council
  • Remedial education
  • Restitution if the student deliberately damaged law school property or library materials
  • Probation
  • Disciplinary suspension
  • Expulsion from the School of Law
  • Denial of a Degree depending on the Dean's decision if a student appeals

Most of these sanctions have detrimental effects on a student's life. Because much can go wrong during this process, it's better not to face the issue alone. A skilled attorney-advisor with experience working with panels increases your chances of a fair outcome.

Hiring an Attorney-Advisor

Experiencing graduation delays due to a sanction negatively impacts your future and puts you behind your peers. Besides the reputation damage, this period comes with much stress, and you may fall behind in your studies. That's why you need the expertise of attorney-advisor Joseph D. Lento, who specializes in student defense. Attorney Lento works with law students throughout the country to help them reduce the likelihood of an outcome that affects their life.

You will encounter difficulties as you advance in your program since law school is a notoriously demanding time in your life. However, that doesn't mean you should forgo your dream of becoming a layer. A single error or misunderstanding should not ruin the years of toil and effort spent earning your degree.

Don't wait until it's too late if you or someone you care about faces accusations of academic misconduct at Charleston School of Law. When your degree is on the line, every minute counts.

For a confidential and in-depth discussion about your situation, contact the Lento Law Firm at 888-535-3686 today.

Contact Us Today!

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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