Student Defense – North Carolina Central University School of Law

The North Carolina Central University School of Law endeavors to provide a challenging and broad-based education program that stimulates intellectual inquiry. NCCU Law wants to foster a deep sense of professional responsibility and personal integrity in each student, to produce competent and socially responsible members of the legal profession. To this end, NCCU Law has a Student Code of Conduct that all law students are expected to follow.

Any NCCU Law students who do not behave in an ethical and moral fashion, or do not respect the human dignity of all members of the community, can expect to face disciplinary action. Those who do not work to create a peaceful, civil law school environment may face sanctions such as suspension or even expulsion. Students with a disciplinary note on their records may also struggle to gain employment after law school or pass the character and fitness evaluation for their state bar examinations.

If you are an NCCU Law student accused of violating the Student Code of Conduct, contacting a student defense attorney-advisor for assistance will be your best step forward.

Student Misconduct at NCCU Law

NCCU Law is subject to conduct codes and procedures of North Carolina Central University but also has its own Code of Student Conduct in place to expand upon these standards. The Code is part of the NCCU School of Law Student Handbook, and it applies to conduct on Law School premises or at NCCU Law-sponsored activities.

The NCCU Law Code of Student Conduct lists behavior that is prohibited for law students, as well as procedures for dealing with suspected Code violations.

Examples of Prohibited Behavior

  • Using books, notes, outlines, etc., during an exam where the instructor has not authorized such materials
  • “Copying or attempting to copy from the work of another student during an” exam
  • Submitting for evaluation in a course, part of the whole of a work for which credit has been given previously
  • Inventing, counterfeiting, or alteration of quotations, data, procedures, experiments, sources, or other information for which the student claims authorship in an exercise submitted for credit
  • “Quoting from the published or unpublished work of another without” proper attribution
  • Borrowing from another's work information which is not in the domain of common knowledge
  • Unauthorized alteration or use of any University document or record
  • “Making a materially false or misleading statement” or omission to a university official regarding coursework, “school activity or program, or in the process of inquiry, investigation, or resolution of a disciplinary matter”
  • Making a materially false or misleading statement on an application for admission to NCCU Law

The Disciplinary Process for Academic Misconduct at NCCU Law

The procedure for Code of Student Conduct violations at NCCU Law starts with submitting a complaint to the Associate Dean of Students. The Associate Dean then launches an investigation into the complaint, gathering relevant information and notifying the accused student (the respondent) of the complaint against them.

If the Associate Dean finds sufficient evidence for the complaint, they may follow one of three procedures:

  1. Hearing before the Disciplinary Committee (consists of eight NCCU Law faculty and two students)
  2. Mediation between the parties
  3. Facilitation for disciplinary sanctions only

For academic integrity cases, however, only the hearing option is available.

Hearing

The respondent receives notice of the time and date of the hearing at least five days beforehand. They'll also have access to a list of witnesses and all written documentation submitted to the Hearing Panel. Respondents can present their own witnesses at the hearing but must provide the names of these witnesses 24 hours prior to the hearing.

At the hearing, accused students may have an advisor or attorney present either to support or represent them. The Hearing Panel must use the standard of clear and convincing evidence at hearings and make all decisions by majority vote.

If a student is found responsible for violating the Code of Student Conduct, an immediate sanction hearing will follow. When deciding sanctions, the Hearing Panel may take the respondent's past disciplinary record into account.

Appeals

Students found in violation of the Code of Student Conduct may submit an appeal to the Dean within five working days of the Panel's decision. The Dean refers the appeal to the NCCU Law faculty, who decide by majority vote to affirm the finding and sanctions, affirm the finding and remand the sanction to the Hearing Panel, or remand the case to the Hearing Panel to be deliberated again.

After the faculty decision on the appeal, students have a final option to appeal if they still don't agree with the outcome of the case. They may appeal through the North Carolina Central University disciplinary system. Appeals for suspendable offenses go to the Vice-Chancellor for Student Affairs, and non-suspendable offense appeals go to the Dean of Students. After hearing the appeal, the decision of either of these university officials is final.

Possible Sanctions for Academic Misconduct at NCCU Law

Students who violate the NCCU Law Code of Student Conduct may face one of the following sanctions:

  • Warning
  • Disciplinary probation
  • Restitution
  • Suspension
  • Expulsion
  • Other sanctions at the discretion of the Hearing Panel

Keep in mind that NCCU presumes a sanction of either suspension or expulsion for academic dishonesty. Everything is on the line in other words.

How a Student Defense Attorney-Advisor Can Help

If NCCU Law has accused you of academic misconduct, you are facing separation from the School of Law. Suspension or expulsion will leave a gap on your transcript, which you will have to explain to employers. Going through the investigation or formal hearing process can seem overwhelming if you've never done it before, and law school disciplinary proceedings are characterized by an intensive process which can be grueling for the uninitiated. With an experienced student defense advocate by your side, you can make sense of all the procedures and rest assured that your rights and interests will be protected.

Too much is at stake to leave anything at chance, and attorney Joseph D. Lento can help you through this difficult time. Attorney Lento and his team at the Lento Law Firm have helped law students nationwide just like you defend themselves against accusations of academic misconduct. To help protect your future as a lawyer, contact the Lento Law Firm today by calling 888-535-3686.

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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 the Lento Law Firm today, and let us help secure your academic career.

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