The School of Law at Elon University is a private law school in Greensboro, NC, founded in 2006. Despite its relatively early establishment, Elon Law is one of the nation's top-rated law schools. The experiential learning curriculum, clinics, and residencies in practice provide an immersive learning experience for students that mirrors their future careers. Law students can look forward to multiple career opportunities upon graduation – but only if they demonstrate principles of academic integrity.
Elon Law has a low threshold for academic misconduct and penalizes students that violate the honor code. Although most law students do not intend to get into trouble while they study, mistakes happen. However, these mistakes lead to more than just a reprimand in some cases – they may also cause graduation delays. For egregious infarctions, students may face suspension or expulsion. Without the help of an attorney-advisor, students risk losing years of time and effort, ultimately forgoing their dream of becoming attorneys altogether.
Academic Integrity Principles at Elon Law
Elon University’s Honor Code applies to all students and schools in its network. The code mentions that the university expects students to engage in honest exploration and thoughtful contemplation, fostering an environment of trust. Although Elon Law has a separate handbook, it does not cover topics relating to academic misconduct. It refers students to the central, university-wide policy, where academic misconduct falls under the following categories:
- Cheating: If a student uses, solicits, or distributes unauthorized materials such as notes and study aids during an academic exercise, this is cheating. Other forms of this act include influencing educational evaluations and submitting previously completed work for a different class as new material.
- Facilitating Academic Dishonesty: Students may not engage in any activity that enables academic misconduct. Examples include giving information to other students about a test, selling unauthorized papers, notes, and lectures, or allowing another student to use one's work.
- Fraud: In the context of academic misconduct, this act is when students alter official academic records, cite non-existent sources, invent data/information, or make a false statement to gain an academic advantage over one's peers.
- Plagiarism: The act of taking direct quotations, theories, information, or original data from an author and trying to pass it off as one's personal effort. Another example of plagiarism is rephrasing or paraphrasing work without mentioning the author.
Each infraction has a different sanction, depending on the severity and the number of times a student committed academic misconduct. According to the policy, students must report any suspected violation to a faculty member and fill out a form via the student conduct website. If a faculty member suspects that a student engaged in academic misconduct, they schedule a meeting to discuss their concerns. If the student denies wrongdoing, the case moves on to Elon Honor Board for a hearing.
The Elon Honor Board oversees all academic misconduct violations. Elon University hearings occur if the student denies wrongdoing, if the Office of Student Conduct refers a student, or if the student faces suspension. Students, witnesses, and faculty members attending the case make statements, and the respondent answers questions. Once the process completes, the board members deliberate in private. They determine through a majority vote whether it is likely that the student committed academic misconduct. Prior infractions also factor in the board's decision, including deciding the severity of sanctions.
The associate provost for academic excellence receives the board's recommendations and informs the student within two business days of the hearing. If the sanctions involve suspension or expulsion, the committee consults with the Dean of Students.
Although students can appeal the board's decision, they can only do so for specific reasons outlined in the school's formal conduct procedures. These conditions are:
- The availability of new facts not reasonably available at the time of the hearing that can change the case outcome
- If the outcome of the hearing is disproportionate to the conduct violation
- The discovery of a procedural violation that significantly impact the hearing outcome
Students have seven days to submit an appeal request through the school's online portal. The University Appeal Board reviews the student's request based on the grounds mentioned above. It determines whether to uphold the original decision, amend its outcomes, change the findings, or schedule another hearing. The University Appeal Board's decision is final.
Sanctions for Academic Misconduct
Sanctions for violating Elon University's academic integrity principles range in severity depending on the violation. Former conduct is a significant factor in determining the punishment. Penalties for academic misconduct include:
- Academic censure
- Letter to Parents/Guardians
- Receiving an Honor Code “F”
- Disciplinary probation
- Suspension in abeyance
- Disciplinary suspension
- Permanent separation
Sanctions harm a student's future and cause more than just a hearing or inconvenience. Suspended students lose precious time as they wait to continue their studies, delaying graduation. Expulsion means that the student loses all privileges and educational progress, forcing them to enroll in a new program or find another field of study. With so much that can go wrong, students need the support of an experienced professional who understands what they are going through.
Hiring an Attorney-Advisor
Attorney-Advisor Joseph D. Lento specializes in student defense for academic misconduct and policy violations. With years of experience helping law students face investigations and hearing panels, Attorney Lento fortifies each respondent with the knowledge and the extra edge to make an impact. Attorney-Advisor Lento also helps negotiate with administrators to reduce sanction severity and works hard to help students have a fighting chance. Regardless of the violation or allegation, every student has the right to defend themselves against harmful claims that can change the course of their educational and career path.
If you face an academic misconduct charge at Elon School of Law, you don't have to go through the process alone. Call the Lento Law Firm today for a private consultation at 888-535-3686.