Student Defense – Seattle University School of Law

As a Catholic and Jesuit university, Seattle University (SU) upholds high moral and ethical standards. The SU School of Law expects students to understand the value of hard work, honesty, and integrity in all academic and non-academic pursuits.

Considering SU's moral values, the School of Law takes academic misconduct allegations very seriously. If a student fails to uphold the standards expected by the School, they face academic sanctions ranging from a reprimand to expulsion from SU.

The Lento Law Firm has unparalleled national experience with helping students handle academic dishonesty allegations. To help you understand what to expect from the SU School of Law's disciplinary process, here's an overview of the applicable codes.

Student Conduct at SU School of Law

Seattle University law students must follow two codes: the Code of Student Conduct and the School of Law Academic Integrity Code. Both sets of rules can be found in the Student Handbook.

Sections 2.10 - 2.40 of the Integrity Code describe, in detail, what type of conduct may violate the Code. It's the student's responsibility to read and understand these sections; however, we can summarize the contents as follows.

Examinations

  • A student must not use unauthorized resources during examinations
  • No student should obtain a copy of an examination without prior official approval
  • A student should not give another student answers to an exam which could help the student perform better on the same exam paper

Course and Law School Activities

  • No student should submit work by another person and pretend it's their own honest work
  • A student must not misrepresent the work done to satisfy certain course requirements, e.g., suggesting they participated in activities or events they didn't attend
  • No student should help other students cheat or gain an unfair advantage over other students

Library

  • Students must not destroy or vandalize library materials
  • No student may hide library materials from other students

Other Prohibited Conduct

  • Students cannot misrepresent their achievements or grades obtained to other institutions or potential employers
  • No student should fail to report any incident if they suspect another student violated the Code

So, any type of plagiarism, cheating, or academic dishonesty may be considered misconduct under the Integrity Code.

Request for Investigation

The President of the Academic Conduct Board (President) will, within five school days of receiving a complaint, appoint an Investigator and notify the named student. They must then appoint students to join the Probable Cause Panel.

Meanwhile, the Investigator should examine the evidence and, if required, meet with the named student. Within five school days, they should submit a report to the President. The named student will receive a copy of the report.

Probable Cause Hearing

Around seven days after the named student receives the Investigator's report, the President should convene the Probable Cause Hearing. The named student can't attend this hearing; however, they can submit their own evidence for consideration by the Panel.

The Panel will decide, by majority vote, whether probable cause exists. If there's probable cause, the Panel must set out the supporting facts and deliver a written charge to the President.

If there's no probable cause, the Panel should also report its findings, and the President will provide a copy of this report to the named student.

Adjudication Hearing

Within roughly 15 school days of the student receiving the charge against them, the President should hold an Adjudication Hearing.

The named student can hire an attorney to represent them at the Adjudication Hearing. Any student accused of academic misconduct should seriously consider hiring legal counsel to ensure the SU School of Law follows due process and upholds the student's rights at all times. Call us for help now if you're called to an Adjudication Hearing at SU.

  • Both sides can request evidence and call witnesses
  • Both sides can also object to the reliability and validity of the evidence presented by the other side
  • The named student should testify if requested

The Panel will decide if a Code violation occurred. If there's no violation, the Hearing ends. If there's a Code violation, the case proceeds to a Sanctions Hearing.

Sanctions Hearing

At the Sanctions Hearing, the Panel can impose a range of sanctions by majority vote. The President will then confirm the decision and notify the student in writing.

Reprimand

A formal or informal warning for violating the Code.

Education

An educational sanction, such as completing a paper, giving a presentation, or attending a workshop.

Probation

Disciplinary probation for a certain period of time. If the student violates the Code during probation, they may be suspended or expelled automatically.

Suspension

The Panel can recommend suspension for up to two years.

Expulsion

If the student violates the Code in such a way that the Panel believes the student shouldn't join the legal profession, they can recommend expulsion.

Appeals Process

Once the Hearings conclude, the student (or the Law School) can appeal the decision and/or the sanctions imposed. Any request for an appeal should be made within seven days of receiving the decision.

The Dean will consider the application and any relevant evidence before making a decision. The Dean can:

  • Affirm a decision or the sanctions
  • Increase the sanctions
  • Reverse a decision
  • Reduce the sanctions
  • Refer the case for further deliberation

The Dean's decision is final unless the case proceeds to further investigation.

Get Help With Academic Misconduct Allegations at SU School of Law | The Lento Law Firm

Academic misconduct involving a law student is an extremely serious issue. If SU School of Law finds that you violated the Code, this decision could significantly affect your chances of graduating from law school or working as a lawyer.

If you're accused of academic misconduct, don't face this difficult time alone. Call the Lento Law Firm at 888-535-3686 or leave us a message and let experienced attorney-advisor Joseph Lento and his expert team help you today.

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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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