Drake University Law School is a private law school established in 1865 in Des Moines, Iowa. It is one of the oldest law schools in the United States and is part of the Drake University complex. The law school holds the distinction of being established by two supreme court justices. Drake Law offers multiple degree programs and has a strong reputation for preparing students for professional practice before and after graduation. However, to remain enrolled, students must demonstrate excellent ethical principles befitting their future professions.
As a future attorney, law school will be a demanding but rewarding experience with many challenges and expectations. It is common for law students to make mistakes as they navigate their path and improve their skills. However, some infractions have a more significant negative effect on your future than others, delaying graduation and slowing your advancement. In worst-case scenarios, you might face suspension or expulsion for academic misconduct, creating difficulties later when seeking work. Even an allegation can potentially destroy your reputation, which is why you need the help of an experienced advisor when your degree is on the line.
Code of Conduct
According to the Code of Conduct at Drake Law, students must maintain exemplary ethical, personal, and professional standards. The code contains a lengthy description of the different forms of misconduct and the penalties for violations. The code describes academic misconduct as a liable offense and includes examples such as:
- Misrepresentation or information omission to receive educational or financial credit
- Plagiarism by submitting copied work from other authors without attribution
- Wrongful collaboration and deliberately violating an instructor's policy
- Presenting the same academic work to different professors without authorization
- Falsely misrepresenting one's attendance
- Signing another person's name on one's test or asking someone to do that for a student
- Forging or altering law school documents
- Cheating or similar forms of academic dishonesty
- Disrupting the classroom intentionally
- Violating examination protocol
- Committing theft on law school property
- Interfering with people's use of the law school library
- Defacing law school property
- Failing to report a violation or interfering with the enforcement of the code
Any Drake University Law School member who believes a violation occurred must report the matter to the Associate Dean either orally or in writing. Once the Associate Dean receives the complaint, they investigate whether it holds a factual basis. During this time, the Associate Dean also informs the accused student of the allegation against them and explains the investigation and disciplinary process.
Investigation and Hearing Process
The Associate Dean dismisses the case if it contains no merit or factual evidence. If the Dean suspects a possible misconduct violation, he drafts a proposed resolution for the matter. Then, the Dean sends a copy of their findings to the accused. If the accused student disagrees with the disciplinary measure or conclusions, they can request a full Honor Board hearing.
During the Honor Board Hearing, the Chair and Board review the allegations and evidence against the accused, including findings during the Associate Dean's investigation. The Board gives students time to respond to the claims and make a statement regarding the matter. Once the Board reviews the evidence and speaks to witnesses, it determines a sanction by a majority vote.
Students may not appeal the Honor Board's decision for any sanctions except suspension and expulsion. If the penalty is one of these two, the student may send a petition reviewed by all full-time faculty members in the law school. They determine the result through a vote of two-thirds. The faculty may dismiss the matter or recommend that the Honor Board impose a less severe sanction depending on their findings. The Associate Dean does not participate in the appeals vote.
Possible Sanctions for Academic Misconduct
Drake Law School imposes multiple p Penalties depending on the nature of the violation, the student's current status, and overall behavioral history. Although not all sanctions are severe, others have debilitating effects on the student's future. With a suspension and expulsion, students must wait to graduate or seek another law school to continue their education.
Even if a student wants to enroll in another law school, it may be challenging because of the suspension or expulsion charge on their permanent record. Admissions officers prefer students with unblemished records. Additionally, even less severe sanctions create awkward conversations with future employers and cause reputation damage. With so much at stake, students should never approach this issue alone. Instead, they should speak to an experienced professional who understands what is at stake.
Contacting an Attorney-Advisor
As a law student, you are preparing yourself for the rigors of your future profession. Unfortunately, in the effort to remain ahead and keep up with your peers, you may commit mistakes that adversely affect your future. In other cases, the allegations against you are untrue or lack evidence. However, they still cause insurmountable challenges during a hearing. You still deserve the chance to defend against harmful allegations to save your reputation. This scenario is where the skill of an experienced attorney-advisor can make all the difference.
Attorney-Advisor Lento understands your predicament and works hard to help you seek the best possible outcome. Advisor Lento is an expert in student defense and works with students nationwide facing similar issues. Whether it is experiencing bias from Board members, unsubstantiated allegations, or the violation of hearing procedures, advisor Lento is a shoulder to rely on when your situation is challenging.
You spent years dreaming of becoming a lawyer and working on your degree. Although not all mistakes are the same, all students deserve a chance to defend themselves against damaging allegations that ruin their academic and career paths.
If you or someone you love face allegations of academic misconduct or unprofessional behavior at Drake Law, it's not too late. Don't wait until the appeals process to speak to someone knowledgeable. Call the Lento Law Firm today for a considerate and thoughtful review of your case at 888-535-3686.