Student Defense – DePaul University College of Law

As a learning community that promotes intellectual development and an educational environment through academic honesty, DePaul University expects all students to adhere to standards of academic integrity. The DePaul University College of Law demands the highest levels of ethical and honest behavior from its law students as well. As future lawyers, DePaul law students must demonstrate the moral character and fitness required to become a full member of the legal profession.

Law students who do not conduct themselves according to these academic and professional standards could face harsh penalties. In addition to University sanctions, there are lasting repercussions of academic or professional misconduct. The College of Law may not be able to speak on a law graduate's behalf concerning character and fitness if there is a notation of academic misconduct on their law school record. Students may also struggle to obtain clerkships or employment.

If you are a DePaul law student facing an allegation of academic or professional misconduct, consider contacting a student defense attorney-advisor for help.

Academic Integrity at DePaul College of Law

At the DePaul College of Law, all students must follow the University's Code of Student Responsibility, which includes policies for personal misconduct. Concerning academic and professional misconduct, DePaul law students are bound by the Academic Integrity Policy of DePaul University and the College of Law Honor Code, which supplements the University's policy.

DePaul's academic integrity policy applies to all academic work, including externships and internships. In the College of Law, this scope also extends to Independent Study, Guided Research, Legal Writing, seminars, and work done for credit in clinical programs, on law journals, and in moot court or other competition sponsored by the College of Law.

Examples of academic integrity violations

  • Cheating
  • Plagiarism
  • Fabrication, falsification, or sabotage of research data
  • Destruction or misuse of the University's academic resources
  • Alteration or falsification of academic records
  • Academic misconduct
  • Complicity
  • Noncompliance

In the College of Law, it's also an academic integrity violation to:

  • Make a false statement of or fail to disclose material fact on a law school application
  • Obtain or receive information regarding an exam prior to the exam
  • Seek or voluntarily receive unauthorized aid during an exam
  • Fail to comply with examination time limits
  • Use a false excuse to avoid taking an exam at its scheduled time
  • Identify oneself on an exam graded anonymously
  • Take an exam for someone else
  • Engage in behavior prohibited by the instructions of an assignment
  • Submit the writings or ideas of someone else as one's own work
  • Submit work for credit that wasn't originally prepared for the course for which it was submitted
  • Damage or hide library materials
  • Damage or hide property belonging to another student, faculty member, or student organization
  • Furnish false information to any person related to a student's academic record
  • Obstruct Honor Code proceedings
  • Fail to report Honor Code violations

How Does DePaul College of Law Handle Academic Integrity Violations?

When there's an allegation of an academic integrity violation, the DePaul College of Law defers to the procedures in the Academic Integrity Policy of DePaul University. The policy provides for course-related violations and non-course-related violations. Not every allegation proceeds to a hearing, although both instructors and students at DePaul have mechanisms for initiating hearings.

Course-related academic integrity violations

If an instructor determines a student has committed an academic integrity violation in their course, the instructor is allowed to impose any sanction, up to the failure of the course. The instructor must notify the student and the University of this sanction. If the instructor wants to impose a harsher sanction than course failure, they can request a hearing with the Academic Integrity Office.

Non-course-related academic integrity violations

DePaul University's Academic Integrity Office accepts all reports of suspected academic integrity violations that don't relate directly to a course. The Associate Provost will review the report and may impose an initial sanction or call for an administrative hearing. When a student receives notice of a sanction, they have a right to request a hearing to review the sanction.

Academic integrity hearings

Students can also initiate hearings if they believe an instructor's determination of an academic integrity violation is unfounded or they find the instructor's initial sanction excessive or inappropriate. If a student requests a hearing, it cannot result in a greater penalty than the sanction already imposed. The Academic Integrity Board will either overturn or uphold the instructor's decision. Students are required to attend all hearings involving academic integrity issues, and they may not have outside counsel present with them.


If a student disagrees with the Academic Integrity Board's decision following an instructor-initiated hearing or administrative hearing, they can appeal. Students cannot appeal the results of a student-initiated hearing. To appeal, students must submit a request within five days of receiving notice of the Board's sanction. The appeal will go before an appeal panel, which can deny, overturn, or uphold the appeal, and can reduce, overturn, or uphold the sanction. The decision of the panel is final.


The Academic Integrity Board may impose one or more of the following sanctions in response to a violation:

  • Educational remedy
  • Letter of reprimand without a transcript notation
  • Letter of reprimand with a transcript notation
  • Suspension
  • Program dismissal
  • Dismissal
  • Degree revocation
  • Other sanctions deemed appropriate

Note that a suspension, program dismissal, dismissal, and degree revocation will go on transcripts automatically.

Can a Student Defense Attorney-Advisor Help?

Although you can't have an attorney-advisor present during your academic integrity hearing at DePaul College of Law, a legal specialist in student defense can help you prepare for your hearing and what statements to make to University officials.

Attorney Joseph D. Lento specializes in student misconduct defense and has helped many graduate students facing academic integrity accusations. If you're concerned about your future as a lawyer, contact the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686.

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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