The Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University has high standards of academic conduct for all of its students. Truthfulness, honor, ethical integrity, and respect for others are essential for becoming a member of the legal profession, and so Pace Law School demands these same values from law students. The school is dedicated to producing attorneys who promote justice and respect for the law and has instituted an Honor Code to ensure students act accordingly.
Pace Law School students who do not abide by the Honor Code will have to face consequences such as lowered grades, retaking courses, or even expulsion from the law school. With a record of academic misconduct in law school, it could be very difficult for students to pass the bar's character and moral fitness exam or even to find employment in the legal field.
If you have been accused of academic misconduct or an Honor Code violation at Pace Law School, you should strongly consider contacting a student defense attorney-advisor for assistance. Your dreams of becoming a lawyer could be shattered with one small mistake.
The Honor Code at Pace Law School
The Pace Law School Honor Code obliges all members of the academic community to comply with the rules and responsibilities set forth in the Code. It explains what constitutes a violation and how suspected violations are handled. All law students are responsible for reading and knowing the Honor Code and are highly encouraged to consult with the school's advisors for any questions or misunderstandings of the Code.
Examples of Academic Misconduct at Pace Law School
The Honor Code lists the following examples as violations, but note that this list is by no means exhaustive:
- Purposely, knowingly, recklessly, or negligently cheating on examinations or in any other academic, scholastic, co-curricular, or extracurricular work
- Improper attribution and acknowledgment in law school assignments
- Use of ideas of another without attribution
- Taking an examination for another student or permitting another student to take an examination for oneself
- Failing to comply with instructions given by the person administering an exam
- Working on an exam outside of the official allotted time period
- Discussing the contents of an exam with another student who has not yet taken the exam
- Using any material or information during an exam other than what the instructor has designated as acceptable for use
- Invading administrative security put in place for examinations
- Taking, hiding, keeping, or damaging the property of Pace Law School or any member of the academic community
- Accessing, downloading, or deleting any material contained in or on any e-mail account, designated network drive, or storage device belonging to another member of the academic community without authorization
- Collaborating with another person on an assignment unless students are explicitly directed to collaborate by the instructor
How Pace Law Handles Law Student Academic Misconduct
Pace Law has an Honor Board comprised of law students as well as a faculty Academic Standing Committee (ASC) that handles suspected violations of the Honor Code. The process for dealing with an allegation has five parts:
- Informal resolution
- Formal adjudication
Anyone who suspects an Honor Code violation has a duty to report it to the Registrar. The Registrar informs the ASC and the Honor Board, and the ASC assigns an investigator to start looking into the matter. Anyone who reports a suspected violation must attempt to maintain confidentiality about the matter.
The investigator for Honor Code violation cases is a faculty member at Pace Law. To conduct the investigation, they may speak to anyone about the allegations or circumstances that led to the filing of the allegation, including the accused student, the accuser, the Dean, the Academic Dean, and other members of the ASC. The investigator can also request any information or documents from anyone as they see fit. An accused student can choose not to speak to the investigator, but it may result in an adverse decision.
The investigator finishes the investigation either by dismissing the allegation, moving to an informal resolution, or moving to a formal adjudication hearing.
An investigator can offer an informal resolution to the accused student, who has ten days to reply. If the student accepts the informal resolution, the matter ends, and the proposed sanction is implemented. There is no opportunity for appeal with the informal resolution process.
After the investigation, the investigator may choose to proceed to a formal hearing. The hearing will have an adjudicatory panel, which consists of three members of the Honor Board and two members of the tenured or tenure-track faculty. At the hearing, both the investigator and the accused student can question witnesses and present evidence. Students may have outside counsel present with them as well.
Once the hearing is over, the panel decides within six weeks if the student has violated the Code and, if so, can impose sanctions.
Investigators or students may appeal an adjudicatory panel decision to an appeal panel, which includes three tenured or tenure-track faculty members. Students have ten days to submit an appeal following the adjudicatory panel's decision. After the appeal panel makes a decision, there is no further option for appeal.
Students found responsible for violating the Pace Law Honor Code may face one or more of the following sanctions:
- Private reprimand
- Public reprimand
- Community service
- Dismissal from any law review
- Failure of a course
- Notation of the alleged violation and/or the resolution in the student's permanent record
What a Student Defense Attorney-Advisor Can Do
If you are accused of an Honor Code violation at Pace Law School, you are allowed to have an attorney-advisor with you at the hearing. You should consider contacting a student defense advisor much sooner than the hearing, however, as they can offer advice throughout the entire process. An attorney-advisor can help you build a defense and help you hold your law school to account. Joseph D. Lento has helped hundreds of students nationwide with academic misconduct and honor code violation issues. If you want to protect your future as a lawyer, contact the Lento Law Firm by calling 888-535-3686.