Established in 1908, Rutgers Law School is among the most prominent public law schools in the United States and is the oldest law school in New Jersey. Being part of the Rutgers community comes with multiple perks and benefits. However, placement also means a great deal of responsibility on the ethical and academic front, with little room for error.
Rutgers enforces strict conduct standards to maintain its strong reputation. As future attorneys, students must abide by these rules or risk graduation delays. Those who do not comply or commit violations face multiple sanctions, ranging from mild to severe, depending on the nature of the infarction. Yet, in some cases, administrators may make mistakes that unfairly jeopardize a law student's future. Whether the issue is bias or a procedural error, the risk of graduation delays or even permanent discharge is too significant to ignore. In these cases, the help of an attorney-advisor is an invaluable asset that prevents law students from losing their dream of becoming successful attorneys.
Academic Misconduct at Rutgers Law School
Rutgers Law School is part of Rutgers State University. All students attending Rutgers University must abide by the University Policy that lists the Code of Student Conduct. The behavioral expectations outlined in the Code list what constitutes a violation, examples of infractions, and the possible repercussion incurred for one or multiple issues. Academic integrity is high on the list of expectations, with a detailed description of the administrative process related to adjudicating violators.
Prohibited Behavior at Rutgers Law School
Law students who commit the following violations are subject to sanctions as listed in the Academic Integrity Policy available for PDF download:
- Academic Sabotage: When students engage in deliberate actions that impede the educational progress of their peers
- Cheating: The process of using or possessing prohibited materials like notes, cheat sheets, or electronic devices in an academic exercise. Another example of cheating is when a student submits a scholarly activity like a research paper after paying an essay mill to complete it
- Fabrication: When students invent false data, sources, information, or results and place them into an academic exercise
- Facilitating Dishonesty: Allowing another student to cheat or use one's work, whether on purpose or through carelessness
- Plagiarism: The process of using a source without giving them credit. Examples include paraphrasing another person's idea or theory or adding information without mentioning the original author.
- Miscellaneous Violations: Infractions that don't fit within a particular category but still constitute academic misconduct. Examples include fraud, forgery, theft of educational material, unauthorized access to scholarly information, or illegal distribution of materials
The university maintains that the principles of academic honesty outlined in the code help foster a safe, fair, and competitive environment. For example, Rutgers includes an honor pledge before every examination and major assignment that every student must acknowledge by signing to encourage students to abide by these rules.
How Rutgers Law School Addresses Cases of Academic Misconduct
Rutgers categorizes infractions into three levels of violations. Level 1 violations are the least severe, while Level 3 violations have significant consequences. Sanctions for these violations come in the form of academic penalties, educational sanctions, and disciplinary sanctions.
When there is a valid reason to suspect that a student is engaging in academic misconduct, a professor or student refers the matter to the Student Conduct Officer. The Conduct Officer performs an investigation and meets with the student to determine the validity of the claims and the next course of action. If the case warrants further review, the Student Conduct Officer requests an Administrative Conference that decides whether the matter requires a University Hearing. The call for a hearing happens only when the student may face significant sanctions such as temporary or permanent dismissal.
Students have the right to appeal the hearing committee's decision to the Campus Appeals Committee. After the Hearing Committee issues a sanction recommendation, students have ten business days to file an appeal. A student may only appeal a decision based on the following grounds: An unsupported conclusion, a procedural error, the emergence of new information that can change the case, or a disproportionate penalty. After receipt of this information, the Appeals Committee makes a decision. Students have the right to appeal once more to the Senior Student Affairs Officer, who makes the final decision for the case.
Possible Sanctions for Academic Misconduct
The severity of sanctions depends on the type of violation and level of the infarction. These sanctions include:
- Resubmitting an assignment
- Grade reduction on test or course
- Failing the course
- Participation in a workshop
- Community service
- Disciplinary reprimand
- Dismissal from a department or program
- Loss of endorsement and academic support
- Suspension for one or multiple semesters
- A deliberate graduation delay
- Permanent discharge with a notation of disciplinary expulsion that stays on a student's transcript
- Degree revocation
With so much at stake, students need the help of a skilled attorney advisor who understands the grueling process of investigations, hearing, and sanctioning when applicable.
Hiring an Attorney-Advisor
Attorney-Advisor Joseph D. Lento has years of experience working with law students nationwide who face school disciplinary processes, including potentially harsh sanctions like graduation delays, suspension, and expulsion. Attorney Lento works with accused law students to identify and prevent procedural errors, bias, and mistakes during investigations and hearings. With his guidance and support, students and their families can breathe easier knowing that they have a legal expert by their side. Attorney Lento and his team at the Lento Law Firm help decrease the likelihood of an unfavorable case outcome. In sum, they work to ensure a fair process and the best possible outcome to help law students become the successful attorneys they are today.
You work too hard to receive a sanction that can upend your dreams. If you or a loved one receive notice of a hearing at Rutgers Law School for academic misconduct, you don't have to face the charges alone. With Attorney-Advisor Lento by your side, you are less likely to fall prey to bias, errors, and mistakes. Call Attorney-Advisor Joseph D. Lento at 888-535-3686 or message the Lento Law Firm today for more information about handling your case.