The Oklahoma City University School of Law (OCU Law) is a private law school established in 1907. The law school is part of the Oklahoma City University complex, with a new location near Downtown Oklahoma City. It is a Tier 4 law school and consistently ranks among the top in the nation. OCU Law is the home of the Chickasaw Nation Law Library, with a selection of over 300,000 unique volumes open for public access. Due to its outstanding reputation, students can look forward to many career opportunities upon graduating from OCU Law. However, they must demonstrate exceptional ethical standards and avoid committing academic integrity violations.
Completing law school is difficult, especially with the pressure to succeed and competition among peers. However, this pressure leads to multiple issues down the line, especially with a lapse in judgment. To maintain high grades, many students make mistakes that can cost them more than just a test or academic exercise. OCU law prohibits students from violating its academic integrity standards to maintain its stellar reputation. Those who do face serious consequences, ranging from a letter of admission to permanent expulsion from the University.
Student Code and Standards of Integrity
According to the Student Handbook, law students are not only completing their legal education but are also refining their moral development. Moreover, every student must follow and comply with the Student Conduct Code and demonstrate the professionalism expected now and as future attorneys.
As per the code, “a law student is required to assist in maintaining the integrity competence and purpose of the law school, [conducting themselves] in a manner consistent with the ethics of a legal profession and the academic community.”
OCU Law has an extensive list of what constitutes a violation of the Student Code. Some of these include:
- Failure to follow standards established by the faculty, Dean, Associate, or Assistant Deans at OCU Law
- Participating in the disruption of academic and general proceedings
- Giving or receiving information about an intellectual exercise without a professor's permission
- Copying from books, papers, or notes during an exam
- Failing to stop writing an exam after the time allotted ends
- Destroying library materials or hardware
- Engaging in plagiarism
- Forging and altering university documents
- Manipulating attendance records
- Gaining an unfair advantage by copying the work or answers of another person
- Failing to report violations to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
- Committing a criminal or fraudulent activity that reflects negatively on the law school
Because OCU Law has a prestigious reputation to maintain, it is understandable that it would impose strict guidelines regarding students' ethical and moral compliance. However, not all students accused of wrongdoing committed a violation. When this happens, you need the help of a skilled Attorney-Advisor who understands the adjudication process at most US universities.
Grievance and Appeals Process
Any member of OCU Law can submit a written report containing information about a code violation to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs of the School of Law. The Associate Dean must notify the accused student within ten days that they received a written violation report. After the Associate Dean receives the case, they forward a copy to the Prosecutor of the Disciplinary Tribunal and the Dean of the School of Law.
The Prosecutor has 30 days to investigate the matter and may ask for additional time from the Disciplinary Tribunal. Once the investigation completes, if the Prosecutor believes that there is insufficient evidence to support the allegation of misconduct, they dismiss the matter.
However, suppose they conclude that evidence supports the misconduct allegation. In that case, the Prosecutor drafts a complaint to initiate the formal disciplinary proceedings and informs the student. If the student disagrees with the Prosecutor's findings, the matter escalates to a formal hearing. The Disciplinary Tribunal hears the statements and evidence and recommends sanctions if they find the accused guilty.
After the recommendation of sanctions, the decision receives a review by the school of law faculty. If the faculty agrees with the decision, the student may appeal to the law school President. The President decides on the sanctions, and the student must comply as this review is final.
Possible Sanctions for Academic Misconduct
As per the handbook, sanctions for academic misconduct must be reasonable and proportionate to the violation. When deciding the punishment, panel members consider the student's history and may impose one or more of the following:
- Giving the student a verbal warning by the Dean or the Associate Dean
- A written reprimand
- Placement on probation for a definite period
- Temporary dismissal (suspension)
- Terminating student organization membership participation and other privileges
- Asking for financial compensation for damages to property
- Permanent dismissal (expulsion)
With so much at stake, accused students should never attempt to face this process alone. The stress, time, and skill you need to gather evidence and accurate witness statements take a heavy toll on your mind and performance. For the chance of a better outcome, it's better to speak to an Attorney-Advisor before reaching the appeals process.
Hiring an Attorney-Advisor
You worked tirelessly for the opportunity to become an attorney. Because you're a student, making mistakes is normal as you gain progress and experience. However, some errors are worse than others, leading to graduation problems. These issues undo years of hard work and effort, burdening you with unexpected expenses that affect your debt.
Attorney-Advisor Joseph D. Lento specializes in student defense. With years of experience tackling cases nationwide, advisor Lento understands your concerns and works tirelessly for the best possible outcome.
Sometimes, lapses in judgment happen. However, these errors shouldn't cost you a future career or reputation. With the skills of an experienced attorney-advisor on your side, you're in a better position to identify procedural errors, challenge inconclusive evidence, and highlight inconsistent statements or accusations against you.
If you face accusations of academic misconduct at OCU School of Law, don't delay. Call the Lento Law Firm at (888)535-3686 for an honest and effective consultation.