Student Defense – Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University

At Hofstra University, students must respect the pursuit of academic knowledge and support the community of scholars by upholding standards of honesty and integrity in their work. The Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University expects the same transparency in academic work from their law students as well. Law students are preparing to enter the legal profession, a career that demands moral and ethical conduct at all times. To help its students prepare to become attorneys, the Deane School of Law asks students to uphold principles of honesty, morality, and transparency.

Students who do not demonstrate behavior befitting an attorney or legal professional may find themselves facing disciplinary action from the Deane School of Law. In addition to sanctions from the law school, an academic misconduct violation could lead to further negative consequences for law students. Obtaining employment or clerkships could prove difficult, and sanctions might set back progress toward a law degree, costing more time and money. A notation of academic misconduct on a law school record could also prevent a law graduate from passing the state bar association's character and fitness evaluation, effectively preventing them from practicing law.

Your future as a lawyer could be in jeopardy if you are charged with an academic misconduct violation. Consider consulting with a student defense attorney-advisor for help.

Academic Misconduct at the Deane School of Law

The Deane School of Law has a student handbook that covers all forms of conduct and other regulations pertaining to law students. The handbook contains a Code of Academic Conduct, which prohibits forms of academic misconduct and lays out procedures for dealing with alleged violations.

Students must also follow the rules set by Hofstra University and may be subject to the University's disciplinary procedures and sanctions as well. The Deane School of Law can also take disciplinary action independent of any University procedures if a law student violates the Code of Community Standards of Hofstra University.

Examples of Prohibited Conduct at Deane School of Law

  • Giving a student any unauthorized information concerning an exam prior to the time the student takes the exam
  • Using an electronic device during an exam
  • Copying, reading, or sharing another student's examination paper or book during the course of the exam
  • Beginning an exam before the prescribed time or continuing to write the exam after the prescribed time without proper authorization
  • Failing to submit all exam materials at the end of the exam
  • Damaging, destroying, or concealing property belonging to or deposited in the Law Library
  • Making material misrepresentation in connection with Code of Academic Conduct proceedings
    Failing to appear before the Disciplinary Committee to testify
    Damaging, destroying, or concealing evidence with the purpose of obstructing a Code of Academic Conduct proceeding
  • Making a material representation to obtain an academic benefit
  • Recording a class, workshop, seminar, or lecture without the speaker's permission
  • Stealing, damaging, destroying, or concealing another student's or faculty member's notes or books
  • Submitting the same or significantly similar work for credit in more than one course without disclosing the fact
  • Plagiarism

How Does the Deane School of Law Handle Academic Misconduct?

Alleged violations of the Code of Academic Conduct at Deane School of Law go through four phases: complaint, investigation, hearing, and appeal.


Anyone, not just law students and faculty, can submit a report of a suspected violation of the Code to the Office of Student Affairs. Once the Office of Student Affairs receives the complaint, it will notify the accused student.


The Office of Student Affairs investigates each formal complaint. If the Office finds no probable cause, that the alleged infraction wasn't severe enough to violate the Code, or if the complaint wasn't filed in a timely manner, it will dismiss the complaint. The Office of Student Affairs may also resolve the matter directly with the accused student, or push the case forward to a Disciplinary Committee Hearing.


The Disciplinary Committee that conducts the hearing includes three faculty members who are appointed by the Dean. The Committee must notify the accused student 10 days in advance about the date of the hearing. Accused students can have anyone represent them at the hearing, including an external attorney-advisor. They can also call witnesses, present relevant evidence, and cross-examine witnesses. To decide whether the accused student is guilty or not of a violation, the Disciplinary Committee must have a majority vote.

  1. Appeal

Students who disagree with the Disciplinary Committee's findings may appeal by notifying the Chair of the Committee, who notifies the Dean. The Dean will review the case and may take one of the following actions:

  • Affirm the decision of the Disciplinary Committee
  • Modify the findings or penalties
  • Order a new hearing
  • Dismiss the charges

The Dean's decision on the matter is final.

Possible Sanctions for Misconduct

If the Disciplinary Committee at the Deane School of Law finds a student guilty of violating the Code of Academic Conduct, it may impose one or more of the following penalties:

  • Expulsion
  • Suspension
  • Probation
  • Disciplinary letter in student's personal file
  • Oral reprimand
  • Restitution or restoration

Seeking the Help of a Student Defense Attorney-Advisor

If you are accused of academic misconduct at the Deane School of Law, you may feel overwhelmed by the formal disciplinary procedures. Rather than trying to navigate this complex system on your own, consult with an attorney-advisor who has experience with such proceedings. A student defense legal advisor can help you gather evidence, identify witnesses, and prepare your defense for your hearing.

Attorney Joseph D. Lento has assisted law students across the country with academic misconduct cases, helping them protect their futures as lawyers. Contact the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 with your questions about academic misconduct defense.

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If you, or your student, are facing any kind of disciplinary action, or other negative academic sanction, and are