Student Defense – New England Law | Boston

New England Law is dedicated to fostering excellence in educational and institutional endeavors to expand access to legal occupations, creating the next generation of attorneys, judges, and legal professionals. Students enrolled in JD and LLM programs will experience the rigors of challenging course work, specialized law clinics, and assembling their resumes through various opportunities outside the classroom.

Adhering to New England Law's academic integrity and ethical guidelines are some of the most vital pillars in building the beginning of your legal career. Consequently, the institution's code of conduct reflects the stringent rules and regulations students must follow to remain enrolled. Not only are the punishments for academic misconduct and ethical violations severe, but they can also affect you long after your days as a student.

You must keep your record clean if you want to gain employment in the legal sector. Therefore, if New England Law accuses you of misconduct, retaining the help of a professional student defense advisor will ensure that you receive the best possible outcome.

Student Conduct Requirements at New England Law

New England Law's Student Handbook details that “serious departures from generally accepted standards of integrity or behavior, particularly when such conduct is inconsistent with the trust and responsibility required of a member of the legal profession,” are remanded to the Discipline Committee. Moreover, it outlines the rules and regulations for adjudicating violations through the investigation, hearing, and sanction phases.

Examples of misconduct include:

How New England Law Handles Accusations of Student Misconduct

When a student is accused of alleged misconduct, New England Law's Office of the Dean will review the matter within ten days of receiving the notice of violation from the accuser to determine if informal or formal proceedings are required. Misconduct may be handled informally if the accused voluntarily admits their responsibility, with the Office of the Dean handing down disciplinary sanctions without proceedings. Suspension or expulsion may not be imposed through informal proceedings, but there is no appeals process safeguarding students.

If formal proceedings are necessary, the accused will receive a “written charge” from the school's Discipline Committee explaining the specific violation, facts about the situation, and the sanctions if responsibility is proven. Students will have seven days upon receiving the charge in written form before the disciplinary hearing begins.

Up to 72 hours before the hearing, the accused can submit a written response to the school's Administrative Officer. It may include:

  • Evidence of their own
  • Student's position regarding charges
  • Witnesses they will call for at the hearing
  • Whether or not the student will appear with an independent counsel

New England Law's Hearing Process

Typically, disciplinary hearings are held in private, but at the accused's discretion, the hearing can be public. A hearing record will be made available to each party, either by stenographic transcript or recording. During the hearing, the evidence against the accused will be presented, and that party shall have the right to call witnesses and to cross-examine all witnesses who testifyagainst themin person.

The Discipline Committee may place reasonable limitations on receipts oftestimony and only consider the evidence they deem is “relevant andtrustworthy.” Committee members may also consult transcripts or other records of the hearing after its conclusion.

Student Misconduct Sanctions at New England Law

A “clear and convincing evidence” standard will be used to outline sanctions in matters that warrant a suspension or expulsion—only a “preponderance of evidence” standard is needed for minor infractions. Possible sanctions at New England Law include:

  • Written reprimand
  • Academic remediation
  • Restitution
  • Course failure (with or without course credit)
  • Academic probation
  • Termination from on-campus clubs or groups
  • Suspension
  • Expulsion

New England Law's Appeals Process

Students seeking to challenge the Discipline Committee's findings or sanctions handed down may request an appeal, which New England Law's Student Handbook calls a “Right to Faculty Review.” Students may only appeal a sanction of suspension or expulsion and have 20 business days after receiving the Discipline Committee's notice to suspend or expel, which is conducted within 30 calendar days of the student's response. Materials for faculty review must be submitted by the student no later than seven calendar days before the faculty review meeting.

In addition to the findings of the Discipline Committee, the Faculty Review Team may consider:

  • Hearing records
  • New or additional evidence submitted by the party
  • Previously unreported evidence
  • Response from the accused

The Faculty Review Team may increase or decrease the severity of any sanction imposed but may not impose a sanction of suspension or expulsion unless a majority of the members determine that a breach of school regulation is established by clear and convincing evidence.

Retaining a Professional Student Defense Advisor

The journey of becoming a lawyer is intense and fraught with many obstacles. Unfortunately, students sometimes misstep and place