Student Defense – Loyola Law School

Loyola Law School at Loyola Marymount University aims to provide a legal education that helps students achieve and maintain excellence. The Law School's mission is to promote legal scholarship and academic freedom that produces leaders of the legal profession. Loyola shapes law graduates into lawyers and legal practitioners who adhere to the highest standards of personal integrity and professional ethics, and have a deep concern for social justice.

The Law School expects students to act consistently with these values and standards at all times, as they represent the institution as a whole. Students should also remain committed to academic and professional integrity, as this behavior is a requirement for admission to most state bar associations. Law graduates who have a misconduct infraction on their law school academic record could seriously struggle to launch their legal careers after completing their studies.

If you're a student at Loyola Law School who's been accused of violating the academic conduct policy, the Law School can initiate disciplinary proceedings against you. To prevent the School from putting an academic misconduct determination on your record, and to protect your future career as a lawyer, you should take serious measures.

It should be noted that the following information concerning Loyola Law School's academic misconduct policies refers to a 2017 version of the JD Student Handbook. To view the current version, you must have Loyola Law School login credentials; the School also didn't respond to repeated requests for a copy of the current handbook.

It's unusual for law schools and universities to prevent public access to academic policies. Potential students may want to review these policies before applying, or third parties (such as the Lento Law Firm) may want to ensure academic policies have similar standards compared to other institutions and adhere to reasonable practices.

For these and other reasons, academic policies should be available for public access.

Academic Misconduct at Loyola Law School

Loyola Law School has a detailed plagiarism policy in its JD Student Handbook, which defines and prohibits forms of plagiarism and cheating. Plagiarism a serious breach of the Law School's academic code, and prevents the School from upholding the highest standards of professionalism in legal education. The plagiarism policy applies to all student work for class, journals, moot court, or externships. The Student Handbook also lists disciplinary procedures for handling allegations of misconduct.

What Constitutes Plagiarism at Loyola Law School?

Plagiarism is taking the intellectual work of someone else and representing it as one's own. Loyola Law School defines three major forms of plagiarism:

  • Use of another's published work without attribution
  • Use of another law student's, lawyer's, or person's unpublished work without authorization or attribution
  • Inventing and misrepresenting sources

Loyola Law School prohibits other forms of academic and professional misconduct in addition to plagiarism:

  • Interference with the orderly conduct of educational or administrative functions of the Law School
  • Misrepresentation of grade point average or other accomplishments on a resume
  • Willful misrepresentation of qualifications for admission to the Law School
  • Violation of exam instructions, rules, procedures, whether with the intent to gain an advantage or not

The Academic Misconduct Procedure at Loyola Law School

Loyola Law School has a Student Conduct Committee that helps administer the Disciplinary Code, together with the Associate Dean for Faculty. When someone wants to report a conduct violation, they must go to the Associate Dean with their allegation. After the Associate Dean receives the report, the disciplinary process goes through four phases.

Information Investigation

The Associate Dean will start an investigation into the matter to determine if it has credibility. The investigation may include meeting with faculty, the accuser, and the accused student. After the investigation, the Associate Dean will decide if the accused student committed an infraction and if it warrants formal disciplinary proceedings.

Either the accused student or the Associate Dean may invoke formal proceedings. The student can also request that the Dean review the case without a formal hearing, and the Dean can issue a final decision. The Dean can also refer the case to the Student Conduct Committee for a formal hearing. If the Associate Dean invokes formal disciplinary procedure, the accused student must accept or request a referral to the Dean. If not, the Associate Dean's decision becomes final.

Student Conduct Committee Hearing

The Student Conduct Committee includes three faculty members and three Law School students. An accused student will go before this Committee at a formal disciplinary hearing, and may choose to have an outside counsel as representation. At the hearing, the accused student may present evidence, confront and cross-examine witnesses, or choose not to testify.

At the end of the hearing, the Committee will decide if the accused student is guilty of violating the Standards of Conduct in private deliberations and by majority vote. After their discussion, the Committee will hear evidence and arguments concerning sanctions, and will then impose an appropriate sanction. The Committee's decision is still subject to the Dean's review. They may decide to reduce the sanction or confirm the Committee's decision.

Sanctions

Students at Loyola Law School who violate the Standards of Conduct may face one of the following authorized sanctions:

  • Expulsion
  • Indefinite suspension
  • Suspension until a defined date
  • Formal censure
  • Oral censure
  • Academic penalty
  • Disciplinary probation
  • Revocation of degree

Students may receive more than one of these sanctions for the same infraction.

Appeals

Students may only appeal the decision of the Committee and the Dean's confirmation if the sanction is expulsion, indefinite suspension, suspension until a specified date, or revocation of degree. Accused students appeal their case to the Provost of Loyola Marymount University in writing, three days after receiving notice of the decision from the Dean. The Dean's action on the decision can only be appealed if the Provost deems it arbitrary and unreasonable. The Provost's decision on the matter is final.

Consult a Student Defense Attorney-Advisor

How can an attorney-advisor help you with your academic misconduct case? Although formal disciplinary proceedings at Loyola Law School aren't under the jurisdiction of public law, consulting with outside counsel can substantially increase your chances of a favorable outcome. An experienced attorney-advisor who's helped graduate and undergraduate students defend themselves during formal university disciplinary proceedings will understand which defense tactics are effective in your case. An attorney-advisor can also help with gathering evidence, contacting potential witnesses, and synthesizing the necessary information to advocate on behalf of the accused student.

In an academic misconduct case, an attorney-advisor can also ensure Loyola Law School is adhering to their own rules—something worth consideration at a law school that keeps its academic policies so private.

Joseph D. Lento specializes in defending university and graduate students in academic misconduct matters and has helped thousands of students across the country. Law students facing a misconduct violation who want to protect their future legal careers can call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 to discuss their options.

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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 our offices today, and let us help secure your academic career.

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