Student Defense: Regent University School of Law

Regent University School of Law (Regent Law) is a professional graduate school established in 1986. The law school is part of Regent University, a private Evangelical university that emphasizes Christian-based principles. Regent Law students rank among the top moot court teams in the country, winning over 40 national and regional competitions. The university's campus is among the most scenic in the American South, boasting 70 acres of neo-Georgian architecture.

Since law students are the attorneys of the future, Regent Law prepares them for the rigors of their future profession by combining real-world scenarios with theoretical principles. To graduate, students must demonstrate high moral and ethical principles that mirror the institution's core religious beliefs. However, to remain enrolled and in good standing, students must follow the rules outlined in the Honor Code or face repercussions that have a detrimental effect on their future.

Regent Law Honor Code

Academic integrity is a core component of any student's behavior at the university. All Regent Law students must abide by the Honor Code published by the law school. The School of Law lists the following behaviors in the Honor Code as violations of academic integrity:

  • Falsifying information: Students may not provide the university faculty, Honor Code council, or staff members with untrue information that concerns themselves or other students.
  • Cheating: Using any unethical means to gain an academic advantage over peers. Students must also refrain from using unauthorized materials such as laptops or study notes in an academic exercise or test.
  • Misuse: This violation is when students deliberately sabotage educational or electronic material to deprive other students of accessing them. Another example is when a student highlights a part of a text for other students to misuse the information during an upcoming exam or test.
  • Reckless Behavior: Some behaviors can lead to penalization even if unintended. Examples include discussing the contents of an exam or quiz with a student yet to take it.
  • Miscellaneous Violations: Committing any infarction that constitutes academic misconduct not otherwise mentioned in the Honor Code.

Regent Law also considers any action to undermine the Honor Council's investigation process a violation. For example, students who report a case of academic misconduct despite the incident not occurring also face harsh penalties. Although these rules are necessary to maintain a level playing field for every law student, some students do not mean to commit an infarction. Even an honest mistake can lead to sanctions if students do not take the matter seriously and defend themselves.

Honor Council Panel and Hearing

All Regent Law School campus members must report any suspected case of academic misconduct within ten days to the Dean of Student Affairs. As per the policy, accusers should first discuss the issue with the accused to allow them to defend themselves or report the incident themselves to the Dean. If there is clear and convincing evidence of a possible violation, the matter escalates to a hearing.

Accused students must attend a pre-hearing conference to explain how the hearing will proceed and name the witnesses who will testify for both parties. During this phase only, students may have an attorney present. The attorney cannot participate in the pre-hearing conference.

Although an accused student may have a Defense Counsel to help during the hearing, this person must be a member of the university and cannot be an external attorney. Despite this, a student may work with an external attorney-advisor for support and to help them formulate a strong defense strategy.

The council asks questions and hears witness statements before deliberations. After making a decision, the members fill out a verdict form and present it to the Dean for Student Affairs.

Appeals Process

Students may appeal the Honor Council's decision to the Dean and ask for a new honor council hearing within five days of receiving the verdict form. Appeals receive a review by the Dean and Presiding Officer, who decides on the matter. To ask for a new panel, students must prove the following:

  • That they have new evidence not available during the time of the hearing
  • That the student's inability to present evidence was not a result of a lack of diligence
  • The latest evidence appears relevant to the case and true
  • The new evidence can change the case outcome

The Dean's decision is final in most cases unless the student asks for a new hearing and wishes to appeal that result. In that case, students must review the university-wide grievance policy in the student handbook.

Sanctions for Honor Code Violations

Sanctions vary depending on the number of times the accused faced penalties for unethical behavior. As per the policy, the possible sanctions imposed by the Honor Council Panel include:

  • An oral reprimand
  • Reduction of assignment or course grade
  • A written letter noting the violation
  • Placement on probationary status
  • Suspension
  • Permanent discharge

During these stressful times, a student needs solid support – and that support comes with working with an attorney advisor who knows the ropes. The Dean may also add sanctions depending on the severity of the case. Since these sanctions harm the student's future, every action that deters them counts.

Hiring an Attorney for the Best Defense

Sanctions beyond an oral reprimand have adverse effects on students' academic pace, stress levels, and future careers. Even without an expulsion, transcript notation or a suspension can destroy a student's reputation. During this time, they need the expertise of an attorney-advisor that specializes in student defense.

Attorney-advisor Joseph D. Lento has years of experience successfully handling academic integrity accusations against law students nationwide. With his solid knowledge of adjudication processes in law schools, Attorney Lento identifies problematic patterns and boosts the accused's confidence to get results.

A lapse in judgment or honest mistake should not be why you can't pursue a career in law. Call the Lento Law Firm today to discuss your options in-depth at 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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